When ESPN Statistics Analyst Joey Koontz heard the network planned to broadcast the Maryville/Alcoa football game, he wanted to come home and be a part of it.
Koontz graduated Maryville High School in 2005. His father still teaches there.
This weekend he'll use his love of sports and numbers to help viewers across the country get to know his hometown rivalry.
"I've already put together a preview packet for the game, just a bunch of really cool statistics," says Koontz.
The "sports fanatic" started crunching numbers for ESPN two years ago.
"I grew up from when I was little with this rivalry," says Koontz. "I probably went to every Maryville/Alcoa game from when I was in eighth grade, to when I graduated high school."
He says the old stomping grounds look much more glamorous these days, but still have the same Maryville spirit.
"The new turf is just unbelievable," says Koontz. "The new video board down there, these championship banners they hung in front of the weight room."
And with all the upgrades Head Coach George Quarles says now is a good time to have ESPN's lens on Maryville.
But with about forty ESPN employees, seven cameras, and a mobile production studio on sight, he says Saturday was a little hectic.
"Hopefully, we can get down to just playing football tomorrow, get all this stuff behind us today," says Koontz.
And Koontz says research shows tomorrow's scoreboard could predict future outcomes.
"Since 1998, eleven of the past fourteen winners of this game have gone on to win their respective state championship," says Koontz. "So this game does a pretty good job foreshadowing whose going to hang one of those banners."
Kickoff is tomorrow at noon at Maryville High School. ESPN-2 will broadcast the game.