South Georgia powerhouse Cairo has reached the Class AAAA quarterfinals twice over the past three years and has gone a combined 21-1 in Region 1-AAAA over the same span. The Syrupmakers will carry a 17-year playoff streak into 2019, which will mark the 98th season in program history. Cairo has won three state titles in its history, the most recent coming in 2008.
Steven DeVoursney took over as head coach in 2015 and will be leading a roster this upcoming season that has state championship potential in all three phases.
“We played some pretty good defense last year and we’ve got some good guys coming back off that defense,” said DeVoursney. “And we’ll have some younger kids that will hopefully step up for us. So we’re excited about this year.”
The group held opponents to just 11.08 ppg last season as Cairo took a 10-3 record to the semis. A 15-14 loss to Thomasville in Week 1 and a 15-7 loss to eventual Class AAAAA state champion Bainbridge Week 2 was the only non-region games for Cairo before they jumped into region action. They reeled off 10-straight wins before eventually falling 20-17 to Troup.
On offense, Class of 2020 and 6-foot-3 quarterback Robert Matthew Peters will be back under center. Peters proved his dual threat abilities last season and has been offered by Army. He will be joined by Tay Solomon, who paced the ground game as a sophomore in 2018 with 10 touchdowns and 778 yards off 103 carries (7.6 ypc). Additionally, wideouts Nick Gosier and Marquii Lovejoy will be back after playing significant roles in the passing game as juniors and three starting offensive linemen will be back.
“It will be his group to lead,” said DeVoursney of Peters “He’s a great athlete and a very intelligent young man.”
Cairo will also have its all-state punter and kicker, Class of 2021’s Noah Jones back. Jones averaged 40.7 yards per punt in 2018.
“Noah a really good punter and a kicker,” said DeVoursney. “He started for us as a freshman and he’s gotten better every year he has been here so we are expecting big things from him. He got really consistent putting the ball in the end zone on kickoffs and we were able to try some long field goals. Our snapper is back and our all-state returner (Gosier) is back also. So we feel pretty good about special teams too.”
Spring practice stars on May 1 and will conclude with a three-team jamboree May 17.
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