KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Alcoa Tornadoes are coming off a 13-1 season, winning their 7th straight 3A state championship.

While things are a little different as longtime defensive coordinator Brian Nix takes over the head coaching duties from the departed Gary Rankin, the goals and expectations don’t change at Alcoa, they want to win their 8th title in a row.

“If you ask our seniors what they want to do, they want to win the state championship and they want to beat Maryville,” said Nix. “Those aren’t goals, those are the rewards for (hard work), what goals do we have to set to accomplish that. I think that’s so important, talking to them about what you have to do on a daily basis to make those things a reality, otherwise it’s just a dream.”

The Tornadoes have seven starters returning on both sides of the football, including all five offensive lineman. Nix feels like the line is going to be the strength of the team.

Senior Zach Lunsford will take over at quarterback.

“He had a great spring, he had a great scrimmage at Powell,” said Nix. “If you’re a fam of football you want to root for Zach.”

Alcoa opens the season on the road on Friday night when they travel to Rhea County.