Kingsport Times-News: Dobyns-Bennett, Sullivan South athletes moving on to next level
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Dobyns-Bennett, Sullivan South athletes moving on to next level

Tanner Cook • Feb 7, 2019 at 12:37 AM

KINGSPORT — Three Dobyns-Bennett standout athletes made it official on Wednesday afternoon as high jumper Tanner Henry signed with Wofford, quarterback Lendon Redwine inked with UVa-Wise and offensive lineman Cade Salyers penned with Richmond.

HENRY LEAPS TO SPARTANBURG

A two-time all-state jumper, Henry signed with the Terriers based mostly on consistency throughout his junior year.

Last year, he wore the gold 10 times out of the 10 regular season meets that the Indians competed in. He jumped at least 6 feet, 4 inches for five consecutive weeks and set a new personal best at an indoor meet at East Tennessee State in January.

“Tanner is not just a high jumper,” head coach Bob Bingham said. “He’s a real athlete. He’s planning on doing the decathlon this spring and Wofford wants him to try that when he gets to Spartanburg, too. He’s good at a lot of events and can do the triple jump and even pole vault a little.”

“I think the final factor in choosing Wofford was really the coaches and the campus. I really liked the way the team treated me when I was there on my visit,” Henry said. “I’m always up for a challenge. The decathlon challenged me sophomore year, but I’m ready for it this year. … When I first started track, I wanted to make the team. I came out the first meet of my freshman year and jumped 5-feet-10, and I thought I actually had a chance at college then.”

With a new personal best under his belt in the high jump and the outdoor season not even underway yet, Henry is eying a state title in one event or the other before leaving for Wofford. He plans to study business and specialize in sports management.

REDWINE STAYS LOCAL

D-B head coach Joey Christian described his starting quarterback as a “five-star kid,” and Redwine donned his hat showing the logo of the Cavaliers.

With UVa-Wise already signing a lot of local talent on Wednesday, Redwine was the latest for the Cavs in a long list, and he says that was a deciding factor.

“I’ve been around that program over there, and my sister went to school there,” Redwine said “I’ve spent some time with the football program, and I felt like that was where I needed to be. … They’re giving me the opportunity to come in right away and compete for the starting job. It’s been great to talk with the others and helping recruit other local guys. I got on board early and helped get some others on board with me.”

With UVa-Wise extending the in-state tuition borders all the way down to Cookeville, the Cavs are attracting talent from all over the region and beyond.

Redwine during his career as the field general for the Indians had 23 starts, accumulated 3,829 passing yards and threw for 19 scores. He was also named the 2018 FCA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, which was played on his home turf at J. Fred Johnson Stadium in December. He wants to major in biology.

SALYERS BECOMES A SPIDER

The 2018 District 1-AAA Offensive Lineman of the Year had already signed with Richmond in December.

Richmond is a member of the Colonial Athletic Conference, which last season sent a record six teams to the FCS playoffs. Salyers also gets to be a part of the “South’s oldest rivalry,” pitting the Tribe of William and Mary against Richmond. The Capital Cup has been contested annually since 1898, and in the 129 meetings, the series is tied at 62-62-5. Last season, Richmond won a slugfest 10-6 and got the second consecutive victory over W&M. Only three Division I rivalries have more games played.

“A lot of the schools I had offers from had really good academics, but the deciding factor was the coaches,” Salyers said. “My offensive line and conditioning coaches were very welcoming. I felt like I fit in that environment, too. … Playing (James Madison) was a big factor, too. That league is competitive, and it’s going to be a challenge. I like challenges.”

Salyers had 69 knockdown blocks and was a two-time All Region performer for the Tribe on the football field. He played in the 2018 Toyota East-West All-Star Game at Austin-Peay.

WATTERSON GOES TO CAVS AS WELL

Sullivan South football player Aaron Watterson signed his letter of intent with UVa-Wise on Wednesday morning. Watterson is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound wide receiver described as a great blocker by his coaches. He had 10 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns last season.

“Aaron is a kid with great character and also an exceptional blocking wide receiver with the body to play college football,” Sullivan South coach Justin Hilton said. “I look forward to seeing how he develops and contributes at UVa-Wise.”

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