North QB battle unresolved going into preseason camp

Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett quarterback Michael Haynes throws the ball during a game last season.

Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett quarterback Michael Haynes throws the ball during a game last season.

This summer and into the fall, Michael Haynes and Hayden Sphire are vying for the starting quarterback position at North Gwinnett.

The two are competing for the job left open by the departure of Harvard signee Scotty Hosch.

Haynes, a senior, is the front-runner for the spot, according to head coach Bob Sphire.

"Michael's got more experience now," Bob Sphire said. "He got several varsity reps last year. He got a chance to be in several games and play in more situations. He's got great leadership qualities, very intelligent."

Hayden Sphire, a junior, though not the front-runner at this point is still very much in competition with Haynes.

"Hayden's had a real good offseason," said Sphire, Hayden's father. "He's put on a lot of strength and size."

Bob Sphire knows North has a good situation at the quarterback position heading into their preseason practices and is not in a hurry to make a decision on one over the other.

"(A decision) has not been made yet," Bob Sphire said. "We feel like we've got two guys who'll be game ready. The two of them are different, but I do see both of them getting on the field most Friday nights."

Haynes and Hayden Sphire are different style quarterbacks and have different strengths they bring to the Bulldogs.

"I think Michael's got a great chance to really take this team and be the primary leader at the (quarterback) position," Bob Sphire said. "Michael has more running ability. He gives us more zone-read, run game, option game. He's got great leadership qualities, very intelligent. He's really the frontrunner going into preseason practice."

But Hayden Sphire isn't far behind in the quarterback battle.

"Hayden is a little bit more cerebral, spreads the ball around more with the passing game, more of a pocket decision maker as opposed to a zone-read run guy," Bob Sphire said. "He's very good at understanding defenses. Within our passing game, he has a real good understanding of what progression to read the receivers based on the defensive coverages that we're getting and where to get the ball to versus certain coverages within our route structure. He's been around (football) all his life so he has real good understanding of all those things."

Only time will tell who takes over the reigns under center and continue the Bulldogs' rich quarterback tradition.

Haynes and Sphire are splitting reps at practices with Haynes taking the first set followed by Sphire, according to their head coach.

The duo will get their first game-type situations on Aug. 17 when North will play Stephenson in a pre-season scrimmage.

North opens the season by playing last year's state runner-up Colquitt County in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 25.


TheRidge 3 years ago

Amazing. We've been following this controversy for years. Haynes is a stud who should have played more last year. Now he is being held back so Coach's kid can get a chance.

Michael, if you get tired of Daddy-ball, we could use a QB who could throw for 2000 and run for 1000 over at P Ridge!

Otherwise, we hope to see the controversy make it to week 10.


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