Football in Blount County, a step above the rest

By  | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- East Tennessee reigned supreme in this year's high school football state championships in Cookeville, but one county continued it's dominance over the rest of the state. Blount County is home to two of the winningest football programs in the state.

It's hard to talk high school football in Tennessee and not mention Alcoa and Maryville.

"It is unique" Said head coach of the Maryville Rebels Derek Hunt, "I wish we could put our finger on exactly what it is that makes it so special."

The two schools are currently tied with 16 TSSAA State Championships. That's good for the most in the state.

"I don't really have the answer." Alcoa head coach Gary Rankin said, "I've been asked that two million times because two schools that close together having that much success, it's is pretty unusual."

The two are not just in the same county, but the two high schools are less than five miles a part. They share a combined 32 state championships

"It's really awesome for Maryville and Alcoa to be so close. I think there are a lot of people in Blount County who are so spoiled. We're just blessed to have each other." said Hunt.

"It's definitely big. It's always an expectation to be in Cookeville in state. Great rivalry." said Alcoa's Davis Maples.

A great rivalry that sets high expectations for both schools every season

"It's hard when you don't win a state championship and the other school right down the street says oh we won one where's your ring?" said Maryville's Christian Markham.

There's none of that this season though, both teams walked off the field in Cookeville as state champions

"It may be in the water." laughed Rankin.