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Tribe-'Toppers rivalry heads to TV

Douglas Fritz • Aug 25, 2018 at 9:16 PM

JOHNSON CITY – Welcome to the living-room rectangle, Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett.

WCYB will televise the area’s most prominent rivalry Friday when the Hilltoppers take on the Indians in high school football action at Tipton Stadium.

The local station will broadcast “News5 Game Night on CW, presented by Food City and Champion Chevrolet.” It starts at 7 p.m. with News 5 Game Night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

News 5 anchor PJ Johnson will do the play by play while Sports Director Casey Goetz adds the color commentary. The program will also be simulcast on the WCYB Facebook Page.

THE PJ FILE

Johnson has experience as an announcer, working a pair of college games for Abilene Christian. He also announced basketball and baseball games in Greenville, S.C.

“I’ve always had an interest in it,” Johnson said. “I am not one of those guys who screams. We will see how it goes. I am excited about it.”

Johnson said he knows the telecast will be held to a high standard.

“When you’re doing a game now as opposed to 25, 30 years ago, people know what a game is supposed to look like,” he said. “We have to look like that. It will be a challenge, but we’re really optimistic. We will have five cameras, instant replay, and we’ve rented a production company to put it on the satellite.”

COLORFUL WORDS

Goetz has experience as a sidekick, working the East Tennessee State-Tennessee men’s basketball game.

“Doing that game put some of my fears at ease,” he said. “I was a little hesitant for this game because I’m not a former coach or player. I will just react to what I see, and not get into so much technical stuff. PJ and I will feed off of each other.”

Goetz said he will make an extra effort to prepare for the contest.

“I will definitely spend a little extra time on it,” he said. “PJ and I will meet with (Science Hill coach) Stacy Carter and (D-B coach) Joey Christian during the week like the bigger networks do.”

COACHES’ COMMENTS

Carter said he hopes the broadcast is a good idea.

“You almost wish it would be a replay,” he said. “The D-B game is a big gate. I don’t know how it will work. I hope this will energize football in the area, but I have my reservations about it.”

Christian said the main thing is keeping the broadcast from interfering with his team’s approach to the game.

“We will handle that where it’s not another distraction,” Christian said. “We’ve been on TV before, so we know about the TV timeouts and all that. We will be ready where it’s not a distraction.”

THE HISTORY

D-B dominated this rivalry for nearly two decades, winning 19 straight games. But the tide has turned, and Science Hill is riding a six-game winning streak in the series.

The Hilltoppers enter with a record of 1-1. The Indians are off to an 0-2 start.

WATCH LATER

The program will be rebroadcast Sept. 11 on Tri-Cities CW at 11 a.m. and on Sept. 2 on WEMT FOX Tri-Cities at 1 p.m.

The Tri-Cities CW can be viewed on cable television and satellite providers in the Tri-Cities region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

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