Sports Spotlight: Tarboro’s Tobias Joyner adds to family legacy with two state championship game MVP awards in the same year

Joyner helped lead Vikings to back-to-back state titles in 2021
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 6:18 PM EST
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TARBORO, N.C. (WITN) - Tarboro football made it back-to-back state titles on Saturday. Back-to-back in the same calendar year. Their star running back Tobias Joyner played a huge role in making it happen. We feature him in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“I coached his dad back in ‘95 which was the first year I came down here,” says Tarboro head coach Jeff Craddock.

“My dad, my uncle and my brother,” says Tarboro senior Tobias Joyner, so Coach Craddock coached like my whole family pretty much.”

For the past 6 seasons there has been a Joyner in the backfield at Tarboro high. Tobias, the younger brother, following big brother C.J. as he became the Vikings star senior.

“I learned a lot from him. How to use the whole field. How to use my speed,” Tobias says, “When I was a freshman he was a senior he had 24 too.”

“I’m going to have to put a really great running back in 24 next year,” says Craddock, “to keep up that tradition.”

Tarboro’s tradition of excellence grew more this week as Joyner and the Vikings won the state title. Their second state football title this year.

“Stay with the game plan, work in the weight room, on the field, execute,” says Joyner, “and I knew it was going to happen.”

Joyner not only earned state championship Most Valuable Player in the spring, but on Saturday, Tobias went for 132 yards and two big touchdowns. He repeated as state championship MVP in the fall as well.

“It meant a lot man. I was happy about it. It’s what I work for, it’s what we work for. My line open stuff up for me, my fullback,” says Tobias, “It means a lot to be MVP two times in one year.”

Tobias adding to the legacy of the name Joyner.

“Everything is earned. He’s been grinding that weight room for 4 years. He’s never given me an ounce of a problem. He’s just a great example in the classroom, he’s a great example in our community, obviously he’s a great example on the football field,” says Craddock, “You don’t replace kids like Tobias. He’s going to be missed. But I know I sure enjoyed coaching him.”

And Tobias will always be remembered for doing it the Tarboro way.

“That’s what makes us players that we is,” says Joyner, “That’s why we keep winning state championships back-to-back. Because, we work hard on and off the field.”

Coach Craddock hopes to help Tobias get somewhere to play for the next four years.

If you have an athlete you would like to see featured in our Pepsi Sports Spotlight please let us know about them. You can email nominations to spotlight@witn.com.

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