The Dan River Wildcats have made a habit of winning this time of the year, but they've yet to bring a state trophy home to Ringgold.
For three years running, Dan River has made it to the state dance, only to fall short of the ultimate prize.
"We've been the bridesmaid and never the bride. Every year that we get there and get turned away I think it can only add fuel to the fire," said seventh-year head coach Jacob Gruse.
The Wildcats lost in the state championship in 2009. They made it to the Final Four in 2010 and the state quarters a season ago. It's the most successful run in program history, and this year's squad could be the best yet.
"We have talent, experience, guys that want it, guys that work hard," said senior forward Trey Edmunds. "We've just got a mixture of everything."
"Each and every day we've got 13 guys going at each other," said Devante Davis, a senior point guard for the Wildcats. "That's a good thing when you can have any guy step on the floor at any time to pick up the slack."
With the Region playoffs underway, this year's Wildcats are a perfect 23-0, and it hasn't been close. Just four games all season were decided by single-digits. And they hold the number one spot in the Group A state rankings.
"Number one at this time of the year means absolutely nothing," Gruse sad. "Hasn't meant anything the whole year. It's a nice sign of respect for our program, for what our kids have done. They're not handing out any trophies right now."
Like any title contender, the Wildcats are built on defense. And it doesn't hurt to have Dogwood District Player of the Year Trey Edmunds. He's headed to Virginia Tech on a football scholarship, but not before enjoying one final season on the basketball court.
"He's a better person than he is an athlete," Gruse said. "I think that speaks volumes of him. He's a one of a kind type kid. Maybe once in a lifetime type player that you get to coach. We feel very blessed to have him come through our program."
For Edmunds and the rest of the senior class, there is only one way they want to go out.
"We want the big prize and we know what it's going to take," Edmunds said. "We just know we've got to put in the work. Nobody is going to give us anything. We know we got to bring our A-game every time we play."
That prize is only five wins away.