0

North Gwinnett Bulldogs 2011 Football Preview

North Gwinnett Bulldogs 2011 Football Preview

— Mascot: Bulldogs. Coach: Bob Sphire (57-9 at North, 103-64 overall). Region: 7-AAAAA Last playoff appearance: 2010

Offense

2011 Schedule

Aug. 20 McEachern^

Aug. 27 East St. Louis

Sept. 3 St. Augustine*

Sept. 16 at Collins Hill

Sept. 23 Meadowcreek

Oct. 7 at Norcross

Oct. 14 Mountain View

Oct. 21 Mill Creek

Oct. 28 at Duluth

Nov. 4 Peachtree Ridge

2010 Results (11-1)

Lassiter^ W 34-14

Bob Jones W 42-20

Crenshaw W 17-12

Collins Hill W 33-20

at Meadowcreek W 45-0

Norcross W 38-0

at Mountain View W 56-10

at Mill Creek W 28-7

Duluth W 26-7

at P'tree Ridge W 28-10

Lassiter W 56-7

Grayson L 23-19

^at Georgia Dome

*at Carrollton

North Gwinnett graduated nearly its entire offense from last season. Running backs Joe Jones and Donnie Miles are the only full-time returners. There's just a handful of other players who saw playing time last year.

"On offense we will be a much slower, out of the gate team than what you've seen out of us in the past," North head coach Bob Sphire.

Jones and Miles are the only full-time starters back, but their role will be reduced as they will be primarily used on defense.

That leaves four other players "1 Will Harris, Jonathan Lewis, Darrian Lovelace and Brian Williams "1 sharing carries.

Scotty Hosch (pictured) takes the reins at quarterback after splitting duties with C.J. Uzomah, now a freshman at Auburn. Hosch passed for 1,006 yards and 14 TDs last year, but will have to break in new receivers this fall.

North only had one returning receiver in Tyler Nemec, but the senior tore his ACL the first week of the summer and is out for the season. Chad Scott had a strong offseason and has emerged along with Alex Boyd as the leading receivers.

The Bulldogs have nine guys they are trying to piece together for an offensive line.

"That's really the biggest puzzle that's being assembled," Sphire said. "There's a lot of shoes to fill."

Alex Stoehr and Austin Parker each split time last year and are the only ones with playing experience. The rest of the line could change from week to week during the season.

"We're basically a whole new offensive football team," Sphire said. "It's a work in progress."

Defense

The strength of North's team this year is by far the defense. The Bulldogs have seven starters back and will use their best offensive players to fill in the gaps.

"We're going to put our best folks on defense," Sphire said. "We're committed to trying to have a championship defense."

Jones and Miles will start in the secondary and play sparingly on offense at running back. Will Harris is a promising sophomore and possibly the team's best athlete that will also play on both sides of the ball.

The rest of the defense is solid. The Bulldogs have three starters returning at linebacker with Carl Rider, Justin Thomas and Alex Forrester back. Steven Burger also saw considerable playing time.

"We've got some experience back at linebacker," Sphire said.

The biggest strength is the defensive line. Division I prospect Jordan Washington leads the way, while all-county selection Justin Alabi, Jonathan Jones and Joseph Dillard return in the Bulldogs' three-man front.

"That front six guys in our scheme, that's encouraging," Sphire said. "The defensive unit is a tight group that has played together since eighth grade."

North feels Lanier impact

Lanier High School opened a year ago in neighboring Sugar Hill, taking students from North Gwinnett. The Bulldogs are seeing the affect now.

North had 80 varsity players out for fall practice, which is about 40 players less than two years ago.

"The whole Lanier impact has reduced our roster significantly," Sphire said. "We're coaches, we have to adjust. We have what we have and we have to adjust."

Defending region title

Gwinnett County spilled over into Region 7-AAAAA in 2004 and since then only two teams "1 Norcross and North Gwinnett "1 have repeated as region champs. No team has won three region titles in a row. The Bulldogs will try to become the first this season.

"It's a new year and we've got a lot of work to do," Sphire said. "I'm a little wary right now of trying to set a bar. I just want us to get better everyday."

North is 36-3 in Region 7 games over the last five years under Sphire and Peachtree Ridge was the last school to beat the Bulldogs in 2008.

"I'm just hoping come region time, that we've learned a lot," Sphire said. "We've got a tough region ahead of us."

Tough schedule

The first month of the season will be a challenge for North. The Bulldogs scrimmaged Region 8 power Grayson, played Kell in the Corky Kell Classic and get two out-of-state powers the next two weeks.

The Bulldogs will host East St. Louis (Ill.) in their annual showcase and then St. Augustine (Fla.) at Carrollton in another high-profile event. Both teams are among their state's best.

"Any time you bring in some of the best in the nation, hopefully that prepares you for what's to come," Sphire said.

The rest of the season doesn't get much easier as North has to make its way through a gauntlet of tough Region 7 teams.

-Brandon Brigman

North Gwinnett Roster

PROBABLE STARTERS

Offense

QB Scotty Hosch (6-3, 195, Sr.)

RB Joe Jones (5-10, 225, Sr.)

RB Donnie Miles (5-11, 195, Jr.)

WR Chad Scott (5-11, 170, Sr.)

WR Alex Boyd (5-9, 175, Jr.)

WR Russel King (5-11, 165, Jr.)

LT Devondre Seymour (6-5, 297, Jr.)

LG Austin Parker (6-2, 302, Sr.)

C Evan Gholson (5-11), 210, Sr.)

RG Andy Kwon (6-2, 240, Jr.)

RT Alex Stoehr (6-0, 275, Jr.)

K Arroyave Alexandro (5-8, 140, Sr.)

Defense

DE Jordan Washington (6-3, 260, Sr.)

NG Jonathan Jones (5-6, 220, Sr.) and Joseph Dillard (6-1, 245, Sr.)

DE Justin Alabi (6-1, 215, Sr.)

SLB Carl Rider (6-2, 215, Sr.)

WLB Justin Thomas (5-10, 192, Sr.)

MLB Alex Forrester (6-0, 202, Sr.) and Steven Burger (5-11, 195, Sr.)

CB Will Harris (5-10, 170, Soph.)

CB Malcolm Jackson (5-11, 175, Sr.)

FS Joe Jones (5-10, 225, Sr.)

Dog Donnie Miles (5-11, 195, Jr.)

Rov Jalen Brooks (6-2, 195, Jr.)

P Scotty Hosch (6-3, 195, Sr.)

1 Donnie Miles RB/DB 11

1 John Urzua QB 9

2 Joe Jones RB/DB 12

2 Grant Manning QB 9

3 Alexjandro Arroyave K 12

3 Robert Pucciarello QB 10

4 Scott Hosch QB 12

5 Russell King WR/R 11

6 Chad Scott WR/DB 12

7 Hayden Sphire QB 10

8 Will Harris RB/DB 10

9 Caleb Scott WR 10

10 Tyler Shelnutt WR 10

11 Nick Andryusky WR/DB 11

12 Bobby Young WR/DB 10

13 Michael Haynes QB 11

14 Andy Summers WR 9

14 Malcolm Jackson DB 12

15 Jalen Brooks Rov 11

16 Jacob McCoy DB 10

17 Hunter Couch K 12

18 Tyler Nemec WR/R 12

19 Theodore Chang WR 10

19 Ryan Moore QB 9

20 Greyson Whitton DB 10

20 Amos Lee K 12

21 Noah Lyman LB 10

22 Alex Boyd WR 11

22 Ehvann Holland DB 11

23 Trevor Bramblett WR 10

24 Chris Bolden WR 12

25 C.J. James RB/Rov 11

26 Nate Brown WR/DB 10

26 Avery Elford LB 9

27 Colton Manning DB 11

28 Jonathan Lewis RB 11

29 Jordan Chaskin DB 10

30 Nick Alvarez RB 10

31 Michael D'Angola K 10

32 Dominique Taylor RB 10

32 J.T. Parrish DB 10

33 Austin Letlow LB 10

33 Harold Johnson RB 9

34 Kevin Harris DB 12

35 Andrew Westbrook LB 11

36 Bryan Williams RB 10

37 Darion Lovelace RB 12

37 Jamojah Lester DB 12

38 Jake Jaragoski LB 11

39 T.J. Miller DB 11

40 Stephen Herbert RB 10

41 Dakari White RB 10

42 Carter Cross LB 10

43 Justin Thomas RB/LB 12

44 Keith Richardson RB 10

44 Alex Forrester LB 12

45 Jordan Leroux LB 12

46 Brett Byerly LB 11

47 Austin Kerr Rov 12

47 Luis Carasco K 10

48 Joshua Sonii Rov 10

49 Daniel Lee WR 12

49 Daquin Davis Rov 11

50 Carl Rider LB 12

51 Justin Vining OL 11

52 Dante Sawyer DL 10

53 Braxton Willis OL 11

54 Andrew Scruggs OL 10

54 Ben Carswell LB 9

55 Drequz Smith DL 10

56 Steven Burger LB 12

57 Cody Stanton DL 11

58 Alex Stoehr OL 11

59 Eric Copeland OL 10

60 Jacob Bellville DL 10

61 Paul Hirschmann OL 10

62 Evan Gholson OL 12

63 Andy Kwon OL 11

64 Tyler Wilson OL 10

66 Kevin Escamilla DL 10

67 D.J. Jordan OL 9

68 Adam Corn OL 9

69 Cody Butcher DL 10

70 Devondre Seymour OL 11

71 Keegan Cargill OL 10

72 Mitch Hyatt OL 9

73 Joseph Penco OL 12

74 Anree Saint-Armour OL 9

75 Derek Forrester OL 12

76 Austin Parker OL 12

77 Brad Ruddell DL 11

78 Erin Dunne OL 10

80 Errol Allen DL 12

81 Jehoshua Chang DL 10

82 Brendan Rourke LB 10

82 Blake Sangster WR 9

83 Niko Thibodeaux WR 12

84 Roman Berkham WR 9

85 Morgan Paxton LB 10

86 Evan Harbeck Rov 10

87 Almonzo Brown WR 9

88 Brandt Cameron WR 9

89 Michael Pucciarello WR 11

89 Parker Sechrest LB 9

90 Mason Sampey DL 12

91 Eddie Dernar DL 12

92 Justin Alabi DL 12

93 Haris Khan DL 10

94 Joshua Manners DL 11

95 Jonathan Jones DL 12

96 Preston Green DL 11

97 Jordan Washington DL 12

98 Desmond Smith DL 10

99 Joe Dillard DL 12