KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The West High Rebels were just three points and a controversial call away from advancing to the state semifinals in 2020. This years team is using that heartbreak and putting a chip firmly on their shoulder.

The Rebels know they have to turn their attention to this season, but they’re not going to forget how it felt to walk off the field in defeat.

“Our kids was heartbroken and they carried that over with them,” West coach Lamar Brown said. “We don’t dwell on it, but it’s always in the back of our mind and our kids have turned it into a lot of extra energy in the weight room and on the practice field. I’ve been really proud of their response to that event.”

West returns the bulk of the offense, eight returning starters, that averaged 34.7 points per game last season but will have to replace quarterback Baker Dance.

“We really just got to go out there and work for it” senior running back Shannon Blair said. “It’s not going to be given to us so we have to take what we want.”

The Rebels have a quarterback competition going between Carson Jessie, John Carlevato, and Hunter Dance to see who will lead the way this season under center.

West opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 21, when they play host to Bearden.