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Countdown To Kickoff: Alcoa

ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Alcoa High School is in the middle of a drought.

It's been two whole years since the Tornadoes played in the state title game.

From 2004-2010, Alcoa had one of the most impressive, dominating runs in prep sports history...winning 7 straight state championships.

But the last two years, Christian Academy of Knoxville was the school that finally had an answer for Alcoa, knocking the juggernaut out of the playoffs both years.

Last year's loss isn't forgotten.

"The loss to CAK at the end of the season has really motivated us as seniors to really go out there and work hard in the off-season," wide receiver John Riley McLaughlin said.

If Alcoa is to get back to the title game (and capture the program's 13th state championship), the Tornadoes will have to overcome some youth and inexperience.

While five starters do return on offense, the team will have just two returning starters on defense.

"We need to transfer our work ethic over to helping out the younger guys on our team," McLaughlin added. "That's really what it is going to come down too: is our younger guys stepping up and making big plays for us."

Quarterback Peyton Wall is back for another season, as is running back Jacquez Tyson. Tyson is big, punishing back and Alcoa's ground game should be the strength of the team.

The Tornadoes open up the season August 23 at Smith County.

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