The Mt. Vernon Mountaineers will play for a Missouri state high school football championship Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field.
The 10-4 Mountaineers will face 12-2 Maryville at 11 am Saturday morning in Columbia.
Saturday at home, the Mountaineers beat Lutheran South 16-0 to advance to their first championship game in 35 years. Tom Cox was the coach back then, when the Mountaineers lost to Valle Catholic.
Cox is back three decades later and would love to beat the Spoofhounds and win Mt. Vernon’s second state football championship. The Mountaineers won it all in 1978.
“It’s a rallying cry for the whole town,” Cox said during Monday’s practice. “The town of Mt. Vernon is very healthy whether we’re winning or not, but now it just adds a whole other dimension to it.”
Cox came out of retirement to return to Mt. Vernon for the 2014 season. That team’s freshman class is now the group of seniors leading the Mountaineers to Columbia.
“It’s incredible. We’ve been playing together since third grade,” senior Tristan Dennis said. “To be able to go this far this last season – it’s amazing.”