Football is family, but at Clinton High School, it takes a deeper meaning. Any kid who has experienced it, knows being coached by your dad in a sport, at times, can be a double-edged sword.
Keith said, “It’s like a chip on my shoulder.” For sophomore QB Joshuah Keith, it’s ultimately a blessing. “Having him on the sidelines, I’ve always wanted that because he coached my brother and I was like I want to play for my dad one day and it happened so, it’s a good thing.”
He’s in his second year starting at quarterback for the Dragons, and his dad, Darell, the car rides home are postgame critique sessions. “He was like I have to make better reads on some things. We already know what I did good so he tells me what I did bad so I can work on that. Because everyone has something to work on,” Keith.
His dad said, “His mother is his number one fan so, I let her, I’ll funnel everything I want to say positive to him through her. And she does that and then I critique what he does so we tag-team it that way.”
It’s truly a family affair — his older brother Donovan is also on the Dragons’ coaching staff, watching his younger brother live out childhood goals. “Since he was a little kid he always had dreams and aspirations of being a starting QB and going above and beyond. It’s just an honor to see him play football he’s a way better athlete than I ever was.”
On Friday, the family was part of his best passing performance of his career — helping the Dragons reach four wins for the first time since 2018, completing 24-33 passes for 366 yards while scoring three total touchdowns in their win over region-rival Lenoir City.
“My teammates were congratulating me on how I played. I was thanking them for how they played because I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Josh on his Friday night performance. “The coaches said, ‘How much do you think you passed for?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know coach, I’m not really worried about it right now.'”
The Dragons have not made it to the playoffs since 2014. Josh said that is the team’s goal this season and his only focus.
“I didn’t think too much about stats at this point right now, as a team, we’re not really worried about stats,” said Josh. “I’m doing whatever I got to do to make it to the playoffs and to help my team get there.”
A dual-threat quarterback, Josh has completed 81-of-his 130 passes for 1,313 yards and seven touchdowns, throwing three interceptions in his second year under center. He has also recorded 107 rushing yards on 58 carries for two touchdowns.
“I’m grateful. Everybody wants their kid to do well but at the same time, I want him to stay humble,” said Coach Keith. “At the same time I’m very proud of him.”