MISSOULA, Mont. -

The state lacrosse tournament is right around the corner, starting up in less than a week, one of the teams to keep an eye on are the Hellgate Knights.

The Knights are the defending state champs and they know teams are going to be coming after them.

"Oh yeah were going to have a big target on our back people are going to be looking to take us down" said Hellgate senior Griffin Williams.

"We've been talking about the target on our back for a while, pretty much the whole year its been a focus of us, were not looking past anybody but I think we're pretty confident in how we've prepared" said head coach Kevin Flynn.

One added bonus for Hellgate is having been in the title game before, they say having that experience will help them out.

"A lot of our team has experience in the state championship so they'll know what to do, they'll stay calm, and it will help a lot" said Williams.

"That experience being in the championship game before certainly is a nice thing to have behind you, its a helpful little boost no matter what" said Hellgate senior Spencer Schultz.

This year Hellgate has posted an 11-5 record and are ranked first in the conference standings, the Knights say they're excited to be the top team but they say rankings aren't important.

"Even though were ranked No. 1 that doesn't mean anything, every game starts 0-0 so despite the fact that were being No. 1, that can't mean anything to us, we have to go out there and play like were the last ranked team like were the under dogs" said Schultz.

Heading into this weekends tournament the Knights have had a simple message and that's to play Hellgate lacrosse.

"I think our message is just been the same as it has been all year which is we just play lacrosse the way that we play and don't worry about what the other team is doing, we always kind of focus on the things that we can control and they're still doing that" said Flynn.

The state tournament starts up this Saturday in Bozeman.