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Coach Wilson showed way for D-B's 1980s All-Decade Team

Douglas Fritz • Apr 8, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Editor’s note: This is the second of a six-part series honoring the top players over the past 50 years of Dobyns-Bennett football. The Times News All-Decade and All-Half Century teams were chosen by a panel. Each team consists of at least one quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker and secondary. The other spots can go to any position.

KINGSPORT — The 1980s started slowly for Dobyns-Bennett football, but there was lot of success before the decade was over.

Fred Walton guided the Tribe for two years (1980-81) before Ted Wilson took over as the head coach from 1982-89.

Under Wilson, the Indians had three double-digit-win seasons (1986, 1987, 1989). In each of those years, D-B didn’t lose until reaching the playoffs, but the Indians were unable to get past the second round.

They also had a nine-win season in 1983.

The Big Seven

RB — Mike Faulkerson

OL — Michael Adams

QB — Mark Williams

WR — T.W. Peguese

DL — Jeff England

LB — Mark Slaughter

DB — Mark Bristol


RB — Bobby Hill

LB — Lane Corum

PK — Chris Barnes

RB — Chad Riggins

OL — Ryan Riggins

RB — Willie McClain

WR — Tom Williams

What could have been

Chris DeGreen, Eric Sayman, Michael McGuire


A three-year starter from 1985-87, Faulkerson averaged 8.9 yards per carry as a junior before scoring 122 points and gaining 1,230 yards as a senior.


At the heart of the Indians’ terrific offensive lines in the mid-1980s, Adams was a two-year starter at center on teams that went 22-2.


Williams threw only one interception as a junior in 1986 and racked up 1,289 yards passing during his senior season.


Peguese was the leading scorer on the 1986 squad that was picked to finish fifth in the league. The Indians went 11-0 before getting knocked off in the second round by eventual state champion Halls.


Also a starter at center, England created havoc for opposing offenses by totaling 71 tackles from his defensive tackle position as a senior in the early 1980s.


Slaughter was a ballcarrier’s nightmare during his senior season. He finished the 1983 campaign with 102 total tackles.


In 1983, Bristol was a force against the running game (74 tackles) and passing attack (four interceptions).


Hill (82-83) rushed for 1,745 yards over his junior and senior seasons. ...

Corum (88-89) totaled 78 tackles on defense and led the Tribe in rushing. ...

Barnes’ kicks were so powerful, one coach termed them “a different explosion” during the 1986-87 seasons. …

Chad Riggins was D-B’s leading scorer as a running back and kicker in addition to his standout play on defense in the late 1980s. ...

Ryan Riggins was a two-year starter at center who also totaled 112 tackles his senior year at linebacker in the late 1980s. ...

McClain led the Indians in rushing and receiving his senior year while also starting at cornerback during the late 1980s. ...

Tom Williams was the Tribe’s first receiver with over 30 catches in a season and started at cornerback in the early 1980s. ...

DeGreen was an all-state linebacker as a junior in 1980 but suffered a broken ankle in the second game of his senior season. …

A starter at wide receiver and defensive back as a junior, Sayman suffered an injury on the last play of spring practice but came back to play seven games as a senior in the mid-1980s. ...

McGuire was a standout linebacker who was involved in a car wreck as a sophomore and suffered a knee injury as a senior in the late 1980s.

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