Rebel streak officially all-time best

TSSAA recognizes Maryville’s 74 straight as record

It’s official.

In terms of consecutive wins in Tennessee high school football, Maryville is the best the state has ever known.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association updated its Web site recently for the coming season. For the first time, the state’s governing body for high school athletics is acknowledging an all-time best under the heading for most consecutive wins: 74, Maryville, 2004-2008.

In past years, the TSSSA declined to recognize records for consecutive wins, acknowledging only Bedford County Training Academy’s unbeaten streak of 78-0-4 between 1943 and 1950 as the all-time best mark. The association also recognizes the Tigers’ streak of 52 consecutive shutouts during the run.

Bedford won 64 in a row before being tied for the first time. Maryville pulled even with that mark in the season’s fourth game a year ago, defeating rival William Blount a week later for win No. 65.

The Rebels hold the record for all-time state championships with 11. Hillsboro snapped Maryville’s nearly five-year long run, 10-7, in last season’s state championship game. With Mississippi’s South Panola High School, then owner of the nation’s longest active streak with 89 straight, having lost the night before, the Rebels held the top spot nationally for 24 hours.

De La Salle High School of Concord, Calif., holds the nation’s all-time mark with 151 straight victories between 1992-2004, a mind-bending run encompassing 12 undefeated seasons. Charlotte’s Independence is the only other high school team to top the century mark, reaching 109 consecutive wins before the streak was snapped during the 2007 season.

Last year’s senior class of Rebels left Middle Tennessee State University’s Floyd Stadium with heavy hearts after the championship game. The historic loss made ESPN SportsCenter’s nightly Top 10 list.

Turns out, the Class of 2009 got it done after all.

Maryville plays host to the Maryville Orthopaedic Clinic Football Jamboree Aug. 14 at Shields Stadium at 7 p.m. The Rebels open the 2009 season at five-time defending state champion Alcoa Aug. 28.

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