By Steve Williams
It’s not unusual for two people to have the same name, but it is really interesting when that name is Joshua Dobbs.
If you’re a University of Tennessee football fan, I know you know who Joshua Dobbs is. But the Vols’ starting quarterback is not the only ball player in town with that name.
The freshman centerfielder on Powell High School’s junior varsity baseball team also is Joshua Dobbs.
While umpiring in a JV game at Grace Christian Academy, I literally heard about this three weeks ago when the PA announcer called out Josh Dobbs’ name as the next batter coming up.
This might make an interesting column, I thought. What’s it like to have the same name as the star quarterback in town?
Get a lot of reaction about it? A little kidding? How does a young high school athlete feel about something like that?
I ran my column idea by Powell varsity coach Jay Scarbro last week. I also told Coach Scarbro, if Joshua balked at the idea, it would end right there.
After Josh said he was okay with it, I said something good might even come from it, in addition to just publicizing what Scarbro called “an interesting, funny coincidence.”
Joshua Dobbs, When did you first hear of the Vols’ Joshua Dobbs?
“Actually, in the 7th grade, my social studies teacher told me to look up my name on the internet site to make sure nothing dirty was on there. I went on there and there was this guy with my name, and he played baseball and football. He was like a 4-star or 3-star recruit. That was the first time I became aware of him.
“Because of that, I knew of him before anyone else really did. I think he was a senior in high school then.”
At that time, neither knew Dobbs was going to end up at UT.
“I found that out after one of the first spring games he played in. ‘Hey, there’s a quarterback at UT named Josh Dobbs,’ he recalled hearing.
“That was cool. So I looked him up again, and hey, he really is at Tennessee.”
It wasn’t long before Powell’a Dobbs started hearing comments about it. He still does.
Coach Scarbro said opposing teams react when they notice the name on the roster. One teammate even playfully kids him about it.
“I was at the dentist office a couple of weeks ago, and they saw my name on the screen, and everybody was asking if Josh Dobbs, the UT quarterback, was going to come in. But it was just me.”
The younger Joshua Dobbs shouldn’t sell himself short. Not from what the Powell varsity baseball coach had to say about him.
Coach Scarbro said he’s known Joshua’s parents, Patti and David, his entire life, and they attend the same church, First Baptist of Powell. That, of course, means Scarbro has known Joshua since he was a baby boy.
“Great people, great family,” he said.
Joshua appears to be a budding baseball standout at Powell. He bats left, throws right and has good speed, which allows him to cover a lot of ground defensively and give Coach Eric Turner’s JV team a second leadoff man out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order.
“I believe he has started every JV game,” said Scarbro. “He’s a contact hitter, a good player. And he has the makings of becoming a good player in years to come, because he has a good work ethic.
“Apparently, the Joshua Dobbs that plays at UT is a great student and a great all-around person, and this Joshua Dobbs is right in line with him. He really is — academically outstanding. He works very hard in the class room. He works very hard on the baseball field. And always does everything the right way.”
Powell’s Dobbs has never met UT’s Dobbs.
“No sir, but I really do want to though.” He thinks the Vols’ junior signal-caller is a good guy and an interesting guy.
So, your feelings about having the same name?
“I think it’s pretty cool.”