COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF | Alcoa Tornadoes

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.)-- You'd think this is old hat for a guy like Gary Rankin and it is, but football season still gets the juices flowing. The head coach for Alcoa told WVLT News Sports Director Rick Russo, "We're having a good time, the kids are certainly ready to play. The preseason is tough on everybody, but when the games start, everything starts moving real fast."

The Tornadoes are gunning for a 5th straight title this season. As for what the fans can expect from the defending state champs, coach Rankin says, "I hope more of the same, our kids have worked hard, they've had a good fall so far. If we can stay healthy and the kids keep improving, we'll have another good year."

Rankin has won 14 state titles as a head coach, 4 of them came at Riverdale in Murfressboro where he returns Saturday to coach his Tornadoes against Blackman high school. The coach says it'll be interesting heading back to that area, "Yeah, I don't want to go, but I've gotta go. They're a 6-A school. They're probably one of the top 10 teams in the state. It'll be a good game, it's a December game for us, win, lose or draw. We think it'll help us in the long run, it should be fun. They're opening up on a new turf at their stadium and they're making a pretty big deal of it so it'll be fun."

And you'll be able to watch that fun develop with WVLT televising the game Saturday night from Murfreesboro beginning at 8 p.m.

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