Randleman must start season minus standout Dobias

Randleman’s Thomas Dobias won’t be on the field at the start of the season after knee surgery. (Bob Sutton/Randolph Record)

Surgery means Tigers linebacker / running back will miss at least a month

RANDLEMAN – Randleman junior Thomas Dobias, considered one of the top football players in Randolph County, underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus Thursday.

He’s expected to play this season for the Tigers after missing four to six weeks.

“I should be back for the start of conference play,” said Dobias, who plays linebacker and running back.

Randleman, which opens the season Friday night at Asheboro, is scheduled for five non-conference games before a week off. The Tigers’ Piedmont Athletic Conference opener comes Sept. 30 vs. visiting Wheatmore.

The surgery took place at the Surgical Center of Greensboro. That’s where he underwent surgery last September for a broken arm.

The injury to his right knee occurred in practice earlier this month.

“First day of full contact, I just came down on it wrong,” he said, hoping it was just a twist.

As a result, Dobias missed last week’s scrimmages, when the Tigers generally performed well. Coach Shane Timmons said he was encouraged by how Randleman handled those situations against multiple opponents.

Dobias, 16, said his knee was feeling better daily, but further testing detected the tear.

Dobias received various all-county recognitions for his play as a linebacker in each of his first two seasons in high school.

He made 13.3 tackles per game last season before a broken arm suffered in a victory against Wheatmore cut short his sophomore season and he had subsequent surgery. Also last year, he was second on the team with 210 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

“We couldn’t afford anyone to get hurt, not to mention our best player,” Timmons said, referring to the 2021 season.

The Tigers went 1-4 in games following Dobias’ injury.

His absence could have the biggest impact on defense at the beginning of this season.

“We’ve got a lot of depth at running back,” Dobias said.

Either way, he became a key player right away for the Tigers as a freshman on a team that was undefeated in the regular season. His influence has grown since then.

“Thomas is a big leader for our team,” senior quarterback Christian Long said.

By Bob Sutton