Maryville/Alcoa to play on ESPN2

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A national audience will soon get to watch the best rivalry in the state of Tennessee.

This year's Maryville/Alcoa game has long been talked about getting picked up by ESPN. Monday afternoon that became official.

When the Rebels host the Tornadoes Sunday, Aug. 26, the Blount County battle will air on ESPN2, starting at noon.

"Obviously it's a change in time and routine and Sunday, we've never played a game on Sunday and never played one at noon either,
so that's going to be a challenge for both teams," Maryville head coach George Quarles said Monday afternoon.

With an ESPN2 telecast, there's the potential for the game to reach 100 million homes. The decision to play the game, however, wasn't an easy conclusion to come too.

"You know I'd be the first to say, 'you don't need play a high school game on Sunday,' but to have this opportunity to play on ESPN, for Maryville and Alcoa, the coaches, the community, it's just a great opportunity," Alcoa's Gary Rankin said.

Maryville and Alcoa are the most tradition rich programs in the state. The Rebels have won 13 state championships, while Alcoa has captured twelve.

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