"I'm not worried about what everyone else thinks about us. We just need to concentrate on ourselves and make ourselves better," Rhea County head coach Mark Pemberton said.

Taking it to the next level in the weight room, back to a familiar offense, and a 6-1 record. The Rhea County of old has returned.

"We wanted to make sure we knew our team identity and we really embraced that. Our identity this year is, pound the rock really, blue collar, and hard working," Rhea County running back/linebacker Bradley Goodwin said.

Due to their four team region, the Golden Eagles qualified for the playoffs without even playing a down, but they're not out here just looking for a playoff spot.

"We always thought it was going to be a battle. We're guaranteed a spot, but who wants to be guaranteed, when you can be number one," Rhea County quarterback Kyle Carr said.

If the Golden Eagles want the top spot and home field advantage in the playoffs, they'll have to go through the team that most recently had that honor in their region. A foe all too familiar in the Soddy Daisy Trojans.

"They beat us for the first time last year, since I've been here. So, I know our kids are excited to go back at it again," Pemberton said.

Rhea County has done all it can do to erase any memory from their back to the back losing seasons. If any lingers, its fuel to the fire as the 2019 team is on the cusp of putting the gold back in Golden Eagles.

"We actually ended up getting third in the region last year, so that was a big emphasis this year. It's huge, we really want to win this one," Goodwin said.