Robbinsville wins battle for Smoky Mountain crown

Robbinsville beat Murphy, 17-14, on Friday in one of the biggest rivalries in the Smoky Mountain Conference and in Western North Carolina. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Robbinsville took home the Smoky Mountain Conference title after beating Murphy, 17-14, on Friday.

It’s one of the biggest rivalries in the conference and in Western North Carolina. Both programs have several state titles and will be advancing to the first round of the playoffs next week.

Earlier in the week, News 13 traveled to Robbinsville to get a taste of what it’s like to be a Black Knight in a town where football is everything.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure. You just try to be like everybody else,” Robbinsville running back Rylee Anderson said.

In Robbinsville, you're expected to win, and expected to bring your best to the field every day.

“This is the 12th year I’ve been back as the head coach,” Robbinsville coach Dee Walsh said.

Walsh grew up in Robbinsville and knows what a privilege it is to lead this Black Knights team.

“It’s really fun. I’m fortunate enough and feel very blessed to get to work here. It’s a great school system, a great community. Got some great coaches and some awesome kids,” he said.

He has an entire town rooting him on week after week.

If you live there, you know it's hard to escape the game -- especially when you stop by Lynn's Place.

“We’re very supportive of all of our teams,” said Lynn Brown, owner of Lynn’s Place.

Stop by for a quick lunch, and you'll stay for hours -- stumbling into stories from former players and coaches.

“For me, it was one of the ultimate honors to be part of the football team,” former player Todd Odom said.

“We won a state championship all four years I played,” said Mitch Beasley, another former player.

In total, the team has 13 titles. It’s a big accomplishment they think sometimes isn't recognized.

“A lot of times, we don’t get a lot of coverage from Asheville back this way because we are so rural,” Odom said.

But, for them, it's more about making the community proud.

“It’s an experience here that we take pride in being known as title town,” Odom said.

Football is way a life in Robbinsville. It’s a tradition unlike any other, one this team and community said they’ll never take for granted.

“You feel like you’re in your mama’s arms once you get up and look around here. It’s home. That’s it. It’s home,” said Billy Brown, owner of Lynn’s Place.