OUR TOWN: Highland Games at Maryville College

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Maryville, like many schools in Blount County, is known for athletics, especially football.

But that spirit doesn't just live on the field.

This town, with perfect proximity between the mountains and lakes, has residents who have great pride in where they're from.

If you've played a sport in Blount County, chances are, you've shopped at Pokey's and Sports.

"This whole store almost is school spirit items," says Andrew Tinker, the store's owner.

He says families can find just about anything.

"It's fun to watch them from the time they're little to the time they graduate."

Maryville residents wear their pride proudly, and live it on the quaint streets of Maryville, every day.

"The native people are extremely friendly, extremely helpful, kind and caring for other people. 35:00 And that's not something you find throughout the United States," says Tinker.

Nestled in the middle of town is the peaceful, quiet campus of Maryville College.

"Students will say the reason they chose Maryville, was when they came for their visit and saw the campus," says Vandy Kemp, Vice President and Dean of Students for Maryville College.

It's a place where students and faculty are deeply connected to their roots.

"Our Scottish identity is very important to us here. Our football team is the Fighting Scotts. If you drive around campus and look at our athletic fields you see Scotts everywhere. It's who we are," says Kemp.

She says thousands headed to the Highland Games, will see that heritage: from Anderson Hall which is more than 100-years-old, to the 1-year-old Clayton Center.

"Part of it is the the historic tradition, part of it that we want the rest of the world to know what a wonderful place Maryville College is and this gives us a unique opportunity."

Those visitors will also feel the sense of community.

"You look at Maryville as a whole, it's one of the best places to live and retire in the United States," says Tinker.

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