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Syrupmaids chasing history as they prepare for AAAA final four

Posted at 11:46 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 23:46:42-05

CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL) — Today's high school senior was born around 2003. A senior at Cairo High School in 1982 would be in their late 50s. 1982 is the last time the Cairo girls basketball team won a state title, but this year's Syrupmaid seniors are looking to change that.

"I'm Cairo. I've always been here," said Cairo girls basketball coach Daphne McClendon. "I went to school here. My family's here. My kids went to school here, my sons's a senior this year. We bleed red and black."

For McClendon, leading her Alma Mater to the state final four is special.

"I was telling someone yesterday, I think they like me, but I really like being with them," she laughed.

Winning makes things fun, and the Syrupmaids are a win away from playing for their first state title since 1982.

"It hasn't sunk in yet until we go to the next level," said senior Ta'Kyah Bradshaw. "We're ready, bring it. We're all for it."

"I think we're starting to understand. I actually heard them talking more about it today, and that was the first time," said McClendon. "I think we know what's at stake and what we need to do to get there."

The confidence in making it happen is led by the Syrupmaid nine. Nine seniors, looking to finish their high school careers on top.

"They know exactly what's on the line," said McClendon of her seniors. "They know what they're doing. They've been playing together for a very long time."

With the backing of the Cairo community, this group is looking to add another year to the banner.

"Everything's on us. We have to keep going," said Bradshaw.

Cairo faces Troup County Friday in the AAAA final four. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at Cairo High School.