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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sensabaugh goes to Titans Looking to shore up defense


NASHVILLE — Kingsport native Coty Sensabaugh is joining his cousin Gerald in the NFL.

The Tennessee Titans, continuing their focus on shoring up their defense, opened the final day of the NFL draft by selecting Coty Sensabaugh with the 115th overall pick.

Sensabaugh, a cornerback who played for Dobyns-Bennett High School and Clemson University, had 87 tackles and four interceptions along with two quarterback pressures and 18 pass breakups over 52 career college games. The 6-foot, 185-pounder had a team-high 13 pass breakups in 14 starts and played a school-record 993 snaps as a defensive player last season.
Sensabaugh graduated last May.

The Titans let cornerback Cortland Finnegan leave as a free agent, so they needed more depth at cornerback with four draft picks remaining Saturday. Sensabaugh will join a group competing to fill that spot as a starter.

“When we lose some players like we did this year, we didn’t panic and jump out and try to fill it by signing a free agent and replace a guy because we lost a guy,” coach Mike Munchak told The Associated Press. “I think our philosophy was that we thought we were happy with what we had in house ... We just felt this is a guy that would come in right away and help us in a lot of ways.”

Sensabaugh is a second cousin to Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh, the two growing up on the same street together. Titans secondary coach Brett Maxie coached Gerald with the Cowboys and said he sees similarities between the men in their intelligence, football knowledge and speed.

The Titans’ new cornerback was timed at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, but he said he was timed at 4.31 seconds at Clemson.

“He taught me everything I needed to know about this process,” Coty Sensabaugh said of Gerald. “He gave me a lot of advice and walked me through everything step by step.

“He and my agent and my friends who are in the NFL, I got a lot of help from a lot of people.”

Coty Sensabaugh played early in his career at Clemson in passing situations and defending receivers inside. But he started as a senior on the outside, and Titans college scout Cole Proctor pointed out that Sensabaugh allowed South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery, the 45th pick overall by Chicago, only one catch in a game last season.

Maxie said Sensabaugh will have the opportunity to play inside and outside because he is smart enough to learn q u i c k l y.

“The fact that he is such a smart football player, you are not as worried about moving the guy around because he can handle it,” Munchak said. “He has already done it and been a good football player in a good system.”

Trying to boost a unit that ranked eighth in the NFL in points allowed but gave up yards in bunches, the Titans pulled five of their seven picks this year from the defensive side of the ball.

Tennessee started the draft by selecting Baylor receiver Kendall Wright in the first round but followed with outside linebacker Zach Brown of North Carolina (second round, 57th overall), tackle Mike Martin of Michigan (third, 82nd), Sensabaugh (fourth round, 115th), safety Markelle Martin of Oklahoma State (sixth, 190th) and defensive end Scott Solomon of Rice (seventh, 211th).

Taylor Thompson — who played defensive end most of his career at SMU but entered the draft as a tight end — was taken in the fifth round with the 145th overall pick to break up the Titans’ defensive string.

The Titans sent their 155th pick in the fifth round along with the No. 227 selection in the seventh to Miami to move up 10 spots and take Thompson. They sent their sixth-round pick in 2013 to Minnesota to get Solomon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board Meeting Notice


Please try to attend our meeting this Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 1 PM in the Eastman Conference Room at V.O. Dobbins. Please look over the by- laws. If there is something that is not clear to you or you have questions about, bring your concerns to the meeting. As a board members you have the right to question the by-laws or make changes. This does not mean that what is there is wrong, it simply means that we need to upgrade.


To see and copy a set of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association by-laws, please click here

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lady Indians’ Chrystal Derr collects gold medals in 100, 200, 4x100 relay

At last Friday’s Texas Roadhouse Dan Crowe Tom Coughenour Relays, there were lots of friendly family competitions.

In girls sprints, D-B’s Chrystal Derr was in a class all by herself. She won the 100 (12.07) and the 200 (25.09), also joining Mercedes Bright, Shannon Stroud and Gracie Cross for a scorching anchor leg in the winning 4x100 relay (49.04).

Even when she is out front by herself, Derr has an invisible opponent. She is racing against her mom’s legacy at D-B. Her mother, Lamona Sensabaugh Derr, holds Lady Indians school records in the 100 (11.9) and the 200 (24.9). Both were set in 1985.

“I’m getting there. As the meets go on, I get closer,” said Chrystal Derr, who was named the meet’s Outstanding Sprinter.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kingsport Idol is Back!

It's baaack!

Kingsport Idol 2012 promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Auditions begin on Tuesday, May 15th at 6 PM at the Civic Auditorium in Kingsport. Finalists will be featured at the Funfest Mardi Gras on July 13th.

Call Mark Kilgore at 423-367-2921 to sign up!

New Vision Youth Fundraiser

Please come out to the Fish Fry and Bake Sale, sponsored by the New Vision Youth this coming Friday and Saturday at 1 PM. Proceeds go to raise money for the group's field trip to Washington DC, to see the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Howard University, and other sites. The sale features lemon cakes, chocolate upside down cakes and red velvet cakes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kingsport teen set to release first CD

Juliana Soto is a New Vision Youth Kid; both she and her 2 sisters and brother have been members of the New Vision Youth the past 2 years

A release party for Juliana Soto will be hosted today at 313 E. Sullivan St. beginning at 7 p.m.



KINGSPORT — In elementary school, Juliana Soto would stop gym class by taking a spot on a small hill on the playground where she would sing. The audience is about to be a little bigger.

Soto, a home-schooled 15-year-old from Kingsport, is having her first collection of songs released on CD today on Open Gate Records, a project she has been recording since October in a studio located in West Virginia.

“It’s been a lot of work, but this is fun to me,” the teen said in a soft voice, the result of being put on vocal rest after overactive rehearsals left her almost speechless.

Her parents, Luis and Toryina, said she began writing song lyrics at age 3 and did three things — cry, play and sing.


“I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse, but we knew from how much she enjoyed it, just enjoyed just singing out — we knew that it was going somewhere. She won a spelling bee a few years back and sung the winning word,” Toryina said.

“We would be in church, and they would have a group of children on stage. (Juliana) would go ahead and go to the front and start singing,” said Luis.

Juliana admits that church is where she probably sings the best, but it is not a performance.

“This is not a place to show off. It is to use the talent that God has given you,” she said. “You use it and display it whenever you can because he can take it away in an instant, and I realize that. I am singing for him, and it is comforting. I come forward to sing for him.”

The practice in the pulpit is similar to the path one of Juliana’s inspirations, the late Whitney Houston, took in her course to stardom.

“She would watch Whitney perform and would watch the way she formed her words, projected into the microphone and formed her lips. It was funny to see her mimic that, then it was amazing to hear the voice,” said Toryina.

Juliana says she has had to make sacrifices — not getting to hang out with friends, skipping parties and dances — in order to get where she is, but she is happy with her decision.

“My parents support me, but this is what I hope to do the rest of my life, and I’ve had to forgo some things kids my age get to enjoy,” said Juliana.

“Some kids want the party and not the consequences. I really take to heart of making choices wisely. You never know what could happen tomorrow. It isn’t promised. I’ve learned to handle things, and I think I’ve learned from parents that you have to work for things.”

A release party for Juliana will be hosted today at 313 E. Sullivan St. beginning at 7 p.m. featuring performers from New Vision Youth of Kingsport, and she will perform at Rascals Teen Center at 125 Cumberland St. on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Synthetic drug forum set at V.O. Dobbins

• KINGSPORT — Parents and students in grades K-12 are invited to attend a community forum on synthetic drugs to be held Saturday from noon until 1 p.m. in the Resident Association Community Room behind the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Center on Wheatley Street.

The forum is being hosted by the Kingsport Police Department, South Central Kingsport Community Development Inc., New Vision Youth, Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or Jeannie Hodges at 378-2927.

Happy Birthday, Van Dobbins, Jr.: "I had to tell him about the party, to make sure he'd be there."

When it comes to Van Dobbins, Jr., nobody knows him better than wife Dorothy.

His 70th birthday party was no exception. It was originally planned as a surprise party.

"I knew that wasn't going to happen," Dorothy laughs, "because I know my husband. He can go to the store to get something like a loaf of bread, and three hours later, come back. He will have stopped to see about somebody, or run off to do an errand for somebody he bumped into. He'll even stop just to talk to someone that he sees. My nerves couldn't stand that."

"If I wanted to make sure he'd be at his own birthday party, I had to tell him about it first."

On Saturday, March 31, 2012, family and friends packed into the Douglass Community Room in the school building Van graduated from, and is renamed for his late father, to celebrate Van, Jr.'s 70th birthday.

Party-goers took part in a roast to the guest of honor, including an amusing story about football participation from Dobyns-Bennett football coach Graham Clark, musical duets, and a wonderful slide show heralding Van's past 70 years.

Click here to see pictures from Van's 70th birthday party.

Dorothy had a lot of community support planning the event.

"I had a lot of help from family and friends," Dorothy says. "We are blessed in this community with people we've known all our lives, who just said, "what do you need, what do you want me to do?" That always makes a difference."

"This party was a way to tell Van that we all love him and appreciate him," she says.

"And to make sure he can be in one place for more than an hour," she laughs.

Ballfield Get-Together Benefits Hall Family

A pleasant Saturday greeted folks who came out to the Douglass/V.O. Dobbins Ballfield on March 31st, to fellowship and take advantage of the early springtime weather.

Click here to see pictures of the Saturday get-together in the ballfield.

"I just got tired of all the funerals," says organizer Corky Blye, who spent most of his time over the grill at one of the shelters. "It bothered me that people were more or less acting like we hadn't seen each other in a long time. It's good for us to get together as a community from time to time, see each other, get the kids out, and just have a good time like we used to have in Riverview." Folks were treated to hot dogs, slaw, potato salad and chips. The event was not without purpose. Proceeds from the food sales benefited the family of the late Tim Hall, who passed away in March.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter egg hunt set for Friday

• KINGSPORT — Children 9 years old and younger are invited to an Easter egg hunt Friday beginning at 10 a.m. at the V.O. Dobbins/Douglass ball field and playground, Louis Street, Kingsport. The egg hunt for children ages 2 to 5 will be held in the gated playground area beginning at 10:30 a.m. The egg hunt for children ages 6 to 9 will be held in the ball field. The Easter egg hunts are sponsored by New Vision Youth and Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Community Services Division. For information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553, Jeannie Hodges at 378-2927 or Chassie Smiley-Freeman at 224-2489.

New Vision Youth plan fish fry, bake sale

• KINGSPORT — A fish fry fund-raiser and bake sale will be held Friday and Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins/Douglass ball field on Louis Street, Kingsport. The fish fry will feature Florida sea bass, rainbow trout and whiting. The bake sale will feature cakes, pies, slices and homemade cookies. There will also be a drawing for friendship Easter baskets for a $1 donation. Proceeds will help fund the New Vision Youth trip June 2-3 to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Forty kids with chaperones will make the trip, and the cost is $85 per child, which includes bus round trip, lodging and food. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or Veronica Camp at 245-6999.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012