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CHAMPIONS EDITION OUT DEC. 15

Look for more stories and photos about Signal Mountain's three title teams in next week's State Champions Edition, featuring highlights of the football, girls golf and volleyball teams.

Signal Mountain High School's hot second half Saturday is keeping the chill off people's minds as the football team's first state championship remains the topic of conversation throughout the community.

The Eagles brought home the 2010 Class 2A Tennessee football championship trophy after a 56-28 come-from-behind win over Trinity Christian Academy, which led the game 21-7 early in the first half before Signal Mountain rallied to maintain its undefeated season.

"It's just huge," Eagles head coach Bill Price said of the 14-0 season and the school's record-setting title run in only its second year of varsity football. "It's huge for the kids, the community, the assistant coaches and me. These kids committed to being in the weight room and doing all the little things that make for a team's success. But Signal Mountain allowed me to coach the way I wanted to coach. The kids and the community adapted very well."

Grinding out the win with a dominating rushing attack in the rainy weather, the Eagles ran for 523 yards on 59 attempts. Donnie Garner was selected MVP after getting 218 of those yards and three of the Eagles' eight touchdowns in the victory. It was Garner's first 100-yard rushing effort of the season and Andrew Price picked up his third of the year with 133 yards.

Quarterback Hogan Whitmire, who passed for more than 300 yards in the Eagles' second-round victory over Friendship Christian, completed four passes for 165 yards including an 80-yard pass to Will Queen, who ended the day with two receptions for 141 yards.

The team consisting of 13 seniors, which included a half-dozen starters, leaves behind a bar that includes a 10-0 run through a junior varsity schedule their first season, a 10-2 junior year and a record of 24-2 in the school's first two varsity seasons.

"You have to have great players to win a state championship," Price said. "I have coached some great teams and what it always comes down to is having the good athletes but more importantly having the good kids."

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