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Whitwell wishes farewell to high school football team on the way to state championship

People are celebrating history this weekend. The high school football team, the Tigers, are fighting for the state championship title for the first time ever. (Image WTVC)

A population of more than 1700 and a passion that's infinite; that's an easy way to describe the small town of Whitwell.

People are celebrating history this weekend. The high school football team, the Tigers, are fighting for the state championship title for the first time ever.

Mayor Linda Hooper says it's the talk of the town.

Whitwell High School has sold a thousand tickets," she said. "There are 1729 people that live here. That's counting babies, the whole ball game."

It's the big ball game that has high school alum Casey Condra planning a pre-game tailgate.

"We've had a history of bad luck," he said. "So for us to have a team going to compete for a state championship Saturday, it's special. The thing I've noticed, it's bringing the community together and that's what a small town is all about."

The teamwork is all around the city. It's not hard to find it at the Raceway gas station along along Highway 28. Darin Rogers owns it.

"These kids have been together since they were very very young," said Rogers. "They've played together virtually their whole lives."

This Whitwell staple is where football players get a homemade biscuit before school. It's also where the town watched as their team kicked off a historic weekend. It wasn't a turnout of 1,700 people, but it sure sounded like it.

"Everyone is giving them well wishes," said Mayor Hooper.

"I think people are gonna start hearing the name Whitwell a lot more," said Condra.

The team received support all around the region.

They'll face the Cornersville High School Bulldogs on Saturday in Cookeville.

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