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Alcoa tops defending state champions list in football

Douglas Fritz • Jun 16, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Heading into high school football season in Tennessee, one defending state champion stands atop the list of most wins accumulated with only one loss.

And it should come as little surprise it’s five-time defending Class 3A title-holder Alcoa. Here are the rankings:

Team W-L Class
Alcoa 40-1 3A
Peabody 29-1 2A
Lake County 25-1 1A
Maryville 24-1 6A
Elizabethton 18-1 4A
Knox Central 5-1 5A


Alcoa’s only loss in its last 41 games was a 17-3 decision against Maryville on Sept. 12 of last season. Before that loss, the Tornadoes had a 29-game winning streak.

Prior to the streak, Alcoa fell to Maryville 28-24 in 2017.


The Golden Tide lost to Gibson County in the middle of 2018, and its previous setback was against Union City in the Class 2A quarterfinals in 2017.

Lake County

Prior to a perfect run last season, the Falcons were bumped off by Cornersville in the Class 1A semifinals in 2018. They also lost earlier that year, a 60-40 decision to Dresden.


The Rebels lost in the Class 6A semifinals in 2018, a 38-0 blowout against Oakland. They were also bumped off by Alcoa, 34-28 in Week 4.


Prior to a 15-0 mark last season, the Cyclones were clipped twice during a five-week span in 2018.

Anderson County beat them in the second round of the playoffs, and eventual Class 4A champion Greeneville captured a 35-20 decision.

Knox Central

The Bobcats did something rare last year. They won a state title in the same season with a multi-game losing streak.

Central lost to South Doyle and Gibbs in back-to-back games in 2019 heading into postseason play. But the Bobcats bounced back with five straight wins to claim the Class 5A championship.

The only other eventual state champion in the last decade to lose two straight games on the field — not including a later-applied forfeit — was Knoxville Catholic in 2015.



Science Hill’s Paige Carlsen made it official Monday by signing to play soccer at East Tennessee State.

Carlsen said picking ETSU was an easy decision.

“I love Johnson City, love the coach and have some teammates I’ve played with in the past,” Carlsen said. “One of my best friends and some other family friends are friends with Coach (Jay) Yelton. We met through them and he’s a great family man. So I’m super excited.”

A forward, Carlsen was a major goal-scoring threat for the Lady Hilltoppers. In the 2019 Class AAA tournament, Carlsen put the Lady Hilltoppers ahead of Maryville by finding the back of the net 13:15 into the game. The lead didn’t stand up and Science Hill lost 3-2. Carlsen totaled three shots on goal in the match.

Carlsen said she has good memories at Science Hill.

“My sophomore and senior years we were really good and went to the state both years,” she said. “The whole trip down there with everyone on the bus and all my teammates in the hotel rooms, that was an awesome experience.”

Carlsen was the Sidney Smallwood Award winner for athletics. She carried a 3.9 GPA and scored a 31 on her ACT.


Dobyns-Bennett’s Jared Vermillion will continue his pin-striking ways at the next level after signing Saturday with Tusculum.

Vermillion made two appearances in the state tournament with the Indians: as a freshman in 2017 and this past season as a senior. He averaged 162.5 in four games with a high score of 190 in this year’s event and did not qualify for the semifinals.

Vermillion also participated in the team event in 2017, where the Indians lost 20-7 to Smyrna in the quarterfinals.

Contact Douglas Fritz via email at [email protected]

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