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Spring playoffs: Win or go home

With any sport, the most exciting time is the postseason playoffs when teams must win or go home. The playoffs begin this week for local and area high school teams with the emphasis on soccer and baseball. Baseball is an American born, American bred sport that has become popular in other parts of the world. The local high school teams are perennial participants in the baseball playoffs and this year is no exception. The Lamar County Trojans (18-9, 10-5) are the #3 seed from Region 5AA and begin their 12th consecutive postseason quest Wednesday when they travel to Elbert County. The Blue Devils (19-3-1, 11-3) are the #2 seed from Region 8AA. The teams play a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. with the ‘˜if’ game to follow Thursday at 4 p.m. The Pike County Pirates (24-3), long a baseball powerhouse, begin their postseason run as a #1 seed after winning the 4AAA regular season title. They play a doubleheader with Long County at home Wednesday. Soccer is an immensely popular international sport that has blossomed slowly but steadily in this area for the last 10-15 years and, as has been the case for several years now, multiple area teams have qualified for the postseason. The Lamar County Trojans (14-4, 10-0), ranked #5 in Class AA, won Region 5AA and are a #1 seed heading into the postseason. They host the unranked Union County Panthers (9-4, 5-2) Friday in a match that begins at 7 p.m. The Panthers are the #4 seed from Region 8AA. The #4 LC Lady Trojans (14-3-1, 8-2) were second in the region and are a #2 seed when the girls playoffs begin Thursday. Lamar hosts unranked Rabun County (4-3-1, 4-2-1) Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The Wildcats are the #3 seed from Region 8AA. Both Pike’s girls and boys enter the playoffs as #1 seeds after going undefeated in Region 4AAA during the regular season. The #3 Lady Pirates (14-2-3, 6-0) host unranked Monroe High School of Albany (1-7, 1-6). The Lady Tornadoes are the #4 seed from Region 1AAA. The unranked Pirates (10-8, 6-0) also play Monroe (1-7, 1-6). The Tornadoes are also the #4 seed from Region 1AA. The Pike teams host the Monroe teams in a rare soccer playoff doubleheader tonight (April 23) with matches beginning at 5:30 p.m. There is plenty of other soccer playoff action on tap as well. The Upson-Lee Knights (15-0-1, 10-0) are ranked #1 in Class AAAA and a #1 seed for the playoffs. They host unranked Thomson in the first round Friday. The #9 Spalding Lady Jags (13-2, 10-0) are a #1 seed and host unranked Cross Creek in round one Thursday. The unranked Spalding Jaguars (12-4-1, 7-3) are a #2 seed and host unranked Cross Creek Friday. The unranked Lady Bulldogs of Mary Persons (14-3, 8-2) are a #2 seed and host unranked Baldwin Thursday. All of these soccer teams are favored to win their round one games and, if they live up to that billing, will be hosting Sweet 16 playoff games next week.

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