Cairo, GA - As always in South Georgia, people's calendars revolve around football. It's no different in Cairo. Donald Thomas doesn't mind the audience, even in his first year at quarterback.
"It feels real good because people are looking up to you," he said. "I just want to be there for my team and make plays."
It will be Thomas's last chance to makes plays as a Syrupmaker. He's a senior. And he's also one of more than 15 players taking over a starting position.
"The group that we graduated last year, a lot of those guys started anywhere from 30-40 games during their career," Head Coach Tom Fallaw said, "and we're kind of in an unknown year again."
Linebacker P.J. Davis is the only starter on defense.
"As you know, in Cairo everybody plays hard, everybody gets to the ball," said Davis, a senior. "So, I think our defense is still gonna be pretty good."
That confidence from the players stems from their middle schools days, watching the 2008 champs in the stands.
"They've seen good football," Fallaw said. "We're hoping that that's definitely something that carries us through some games because we are inexperienced."
But the players aren't deterred by their inexperience.
"I just hope we get a region championship," Davis said. "As you know, we want to put a number on our board this year for my senior year and hopefully we get deep off the in playoffs and make a great run."