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November 25, 2012
Maryville makes winning a habit
Maryville has won 43-consecutive football games, back-to-back Tennessee 6A state championships and 13 state title trophies fill the Rebels' trophy case.
Nevertheless, Coach George Quarles and his team are questioned daily by the naysayer's about the Maryville schedule, the strength of the district the Rebels play in and the overall talent level of the players the veteran coach puts on the field.
Each season begins with the naysayer's predicting which team will knock off Maryville in late November to go to the state championship game in Cookeville.
The fact is that since 2001 Maryville has fallen short of the state championship three times.
In 2003, Morristown West stopped the Rebels march, in 2008 Hillsboro ended Maryville's 74-game winning streak, and White Station defeated Quarles' troops for the state championship in 2009.
Since moving up to 6A, Maryville has defeated Riverdale (2009 and 2011), Smyrna (2010) and Siegel last Friday to end the seasons for their opponents.
Riverdale and Siegel were both undefeated at 13-0 and favored by many to defeat the Rebels.
In last week's Rivals Top 100, three Tennessee teams were ranked ahead of the perennial power from the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains.
(D-II) Ensworth checked in ranked No. 17, Maryville's 6A state championship opponent Whitehaven No. 24, Siegel No. 42 and Maryville No. 70.
Based on those rankings, Rodney Saulsberry's Whitehaven squad should be favored over Maryville in the title tilt.
Of course the Tigers should be favored to defeat Maryville this time.
Saulsberry is an exceptional coach who promotes his players to college recruiters as well as any mentor in Tennessee.
(RB) Mark Dodson Jr. has committed to Ole Miss, (DB) Darrius Sims and (WR) Gerald Perry have both committed to Vanderbilt, (QB) Patrick Smith has been offered by Mississippi State, Arkansas State and Memphis, (WR) Justin Hunt has offers from Arkansas State, Marshall, MTSU and Western Kentucky, (OL) Vincent Hunter has offers from Arkansas, Mississippi State, Memphis and Arkansas State.
In addition, (DT) Andra Smith, (DB) and David Rivers are being recruited and will both likely sign to play in college.
Maryville does not have a senior listed in the Rivals.com recruiting database and (RB) Shaun Prevo is the only junior listed.
Most definitely, Whitehaven (14-0) should be favored to win the 6A championship game in at 7 p.m. (CST) Nov. 30 in Cookeville.
Nevertheless, the less-talented (according to recruiting services) Maryville Rebels won the state championship game 23-7.
That's "Murville football," as they say in the championship town just south of Knoxville.
Quarles and his veteran staff know how to scheme and put together winning game plans that give their Rebels an opportunity to win and win and win. In turn, when the team hits the field for battle the players believe in their coaches and the Maryville football tradition those before them have helped to create.
When Clark Kent would put on his Superman attire he performed amazing feats of strength.
That might be the best way to describe the extraordinary feats the Rebels perform when they put on the Maryville uniforms.
That makes Whitehaven vs. Maryville for the state championship a good example of what high school football is about.