The Fork Union prep football team enters 2012 with the top-rated high school quarterback in the country and a chip on its shoulder after winning just four games last season.
The Blue Devils were state champs in 2010 but an injury-plagued 2011 left them 4-6 and with a bad taste in their mouths.
"Yeah I hated it," Hackenberg explained. "I'm probably one of the most competitive people you'll meet. Losing is something I don't really take lightly. I didn't take any of them lightly last year, any of the six."
Fork Union's 2012 hopes will be tied in large part to Hackenberg, the Penn State commit who is ranked by several publications as the top high quarterback in the country.
Hackenberg is the unquestioned leader of the team, a position he relishes.
"It's something that I've dreamed of ever since I was little, you know being that guy as a senior leading his team to the state championship so that's my goal and I'm going to do everything I can in my power to get us back there."
"You know when you get the recognition from all the media and scouting combines and that kind of stuff that he's had, everyone's hunting for a piece of Christian Hackenberg and that's just the way it is," FUMA head coach Micky Sullivan explained.
The Blue Devils open the season in a nationally televised game against Virginia power Hermitage on ESPNU. That game, along with the prestige of playing at Fork Union, could be seen as a pressure cooker but the Blue Devils take it in stride.
"It's a good pressure," receiver Michael Guerci explained. "It's more of a goal than a pressure I'd say. I think everyone wants to be there obviously so everyone's going to work as hard as they can to get there."
"The expectations were set by a lot of guys who have been here for a long time and it's just one of those things," Sullivan added. "You come to Fork Union and you know you come to be a champion."