Maryville Red Rebels upholding the standard in 2023

Those expectations envision playoff runs ending in the title game.
Maryville Red Rebels
Maryville Red Rebels(wvlt)
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 7:45 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Maryville Red Rebels open their 2023 season Friday night and will enter the new year with plenty of fresh faces.

“There’s a lot of players on our team that nobody knows their name yet, but they will here in a few weeks,” said Head Coach Derek Hunt. “Because they have the opportunity to show what they can do. So that’s all you want is an opportunity.”

Hunt’s 2023 Rebels feature just five returning starters from their quarterfinal team a year ago. With 17 starting positions left to fill on the roster, it’s not uncertainty felt by this Maryville team but rather a chance for the underclassmen to make a name for themselves.

“We have high expectations at Maryville, regardless of how many kids we have to replace or how many games we won or lost last year. The standard is not going to change here, and that’s something we’re proud of,” said Hunt.

Senior cornerback Hutton Jones said, “You don’t want to be the one team that disappoints, so it’s definitely a driving factor, and we want to live up to those expectations every year.”

Those expectations envision playoff runs ending in the title game.

“If we’re counting on our success here in the past at Maryville then we’re going to be in bad shape. It’s now the senior’s team, it’s their senior year, this is about them,” said Hunt.

However, to add to their trophy case it’ll take more than just the effort they leave out on the field.

“We’ll have to get the mental aspect of the game sharp, as sharp as we can. Watching film, preparing for who we’re playing, the mental aspect is a huge part of the game too,” said Jones.

With the 2023 season knocking on the door, the Rebels are ready to battle it out for four quarters on Friday nights.

“You can’t beat a fall Friday night in Maryville. It still kind of have that small-town feel where the town shuts down and everybody’s going to watch the Rebels play,” said Hunt.

Jones added, “My best friends are on this team, so hopefully these will be some of the best memories I’ll have.”

The Red Rebels open their season Friday, Aug. 18 on the road against Heritage at 7:00 p.m.