Joey Christian breaks down Dobyns-Bennett-McMinn County ruling


The Indians square off against top-ranked Maryville on Friday

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The TSSAA decided to allow Dobyns-Bennett to advance to the third round of the football playoffs after last Friday’s game between D-B and McMinn County was canceled due to concerns about a Rebel player testing positive for COVID-19.

According to the TSSAA, the decision to call off the game was based on the judgment of Dr. Stephen May with the Sullivan County Health Department and Dr. Tim Jones, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health.

Dobyns-Bennett head coach Joey Christian couldn’t even tell his kids the news of the ruling, given it came after practice.

“I didn’t get to look the kids in the eyes and tell him, so not sure how they responded for what their feelings were at that time,” Christian said. “The negative was we didn’t know what was going on. We went out to practice today and practiced preparing for McMinn County.”

Covid has impacted every level of athletics from the pros to the college ranks to high school and even knowing that nothing is certain in 2020, the Dobyns-Bennett head coach still was caught off guard.

“In my 24 years of experience, there’s been no experience or nothing that I’ve ever done that you could even draw on for the last couple of months, really this whole year, but certainly in the last three or four days,” Christian mentioned.

As his squad prepares for Maryville, Christian knows what the Rebels bring to the table. The top-ranked team is 12-0 on the season, including a 45-8 victory over Heritage in their last played game, which was in the first round of the playoffs.

Dobyns-Bennett is familiar with Maryville given the Indians fell 45-10 to the Rebels in last years postseason and Christian knows what his squad has to do if they want to come out on top on Friday.

“You’ve just got to let it all hang out and just get in the ring and just start throwing your best punches and leave nothing behind.”

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