However, Lendon Redwine calls his position the best job in Kingsport.
Technically, it’s not a job, although he spends numerous hours working to get mentally and physically prepared for it. But Redwine takes his role as the quarterback of the Dobyns-Bennett football team seriously, knowing it invokes as much passion on a Friday night as any occupation with a paycheck.
“I always say it’s the best job in Kingsport,” Redwine said. “It’s fun and there is a lot of stress. You have to be a role model for younger kids, but I try to go out and enjoy it.”
Redwine certainly enjoyed the second half of last season, when the Indians embarked on a six-game winning streak to win the Region 1-6A championship and advance to the second round of the TSSAA playoffs.
During that stretch, the Indians defeated Farragut 42-34 to break the defending state champion Admirals’ 19-game winning streak.
Redwine led a potent offense — one that averaged more than 30 points per game — by completing 60 percent of his passes and throwing for 2,284 yards. This year could be even better with the team returning a beefy offensive line, its top two running backs, Ian Hicks and Nic Bristol, and a good group of receivers that includes Cade Maupin, Dalton Harkleroad and 6-foot-7 tight end Charlie Browder.
“The offensive line we have is hard to beat and they can create some space,” Redwine said. “Having Ian in the backfield, he can break one off for a big play. The offense we have is going to be high energy and there is the potential for the big play every single play.”
ALL THE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Redwine is tall enough to see over defenders and strong enough to often escape a defender’s grasp. He’s the latest in a line of tall D-B quarterbacks, following the likes of Duran Ferguson, Jamie Crawford and Chris Cook.
His coach sees Redwine as a player with all the tools to be successful.
“He’s got it all, the arm strength, the understanding of defenses,” Tribe coach Joey Christian said. “Coach (Chris) Thacker has come in (as offensive coordinator) and Lendon understands every wrinkle in the offense. He has to understand it and what’s expected for our success. He does a great job.”
There are several big games on the schedule, starting with a Week 1 showdown with defending Class 4A champion Greeneville and followed just two weeks later by the rivalry game at Science Hill. However, Redwine and his teammates haven’t been looking too far ahead, taking their coaches’ advice of dealing with the task at hand.
“We just have to take it week by week and we just have to step up and play every week,” Redwine said. “The coaches will have us prepared, so it’s up to us to know our roles and hopefully we will end up with another conference championship.”
FOOTBALL AND THE OUTDOORS
Redwine made the decision to skip his senior season in basketball to concentrate on football with a goal of playing at the next level. As a student, he enjoys math and science and plans to major in biology in college, working toward a career path as a physician’s assistant.
He also loves the outdoors and has traveled to several places. His favorite trip was to Alaska, where he went whale watching. But his love of the outdoors also includes that rush of being outside on a Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium, where thousands of rabid football fans are cheering on the Indians.
Before those big moments, he puts in the work on the field and with film study to make sure he’s prepared for his role. Such dedication is what his coach says separates him from the pack.
“Lendon is a great kid who comes from a great family,” Christian said. “He is fully committed to football and his craft. We talk about standards a lot and he’s a great example. We need all of our kids to have standards like Lendon has.”