Prior to Troy Hobbs taking the head football coaching job at Shiloh, he spent 16 years as an assistant for North Gwinnett’s Bob Sphire.
The two worked together in Lexington, Ky., and for six years at North.
The longtime friends will be back on the same sideline today in San Antonio.
Sphire is the head coach for the East Team at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome, while Hobbs along with North assistant Traye Moore are assistant coaches for the game.
“That dude is so much fun to coach with,” Sphire said. “Troy and Traye are doing their thing with the offense. I’m turning them lose and letting them run it.”
This is the second year Sphire has been involved with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was the East Team’s offensive line coach last year.
“They asked me to come back and be the head coach and I said ‘sure,’” Sphire said.
The West Team is led by Tony Sanchez from national power in Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.
Over the last 13 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has featured many future NFL stars like Adrian Peterson and Andrew Luck.
Sphire will have some familiar names and faces on his team. North Gwinnett defensive lineman Dante Sawyer, a South Carolina commitment, is in the game along with Norcross’ Kevin Mouhon and Myles Autry and Buford’s Korie Rogers.
Sphire’s North Gwinnett team faced Mouhon and Autry twice this season, including in the state championship game that Norcross won. Mouhon is a Tennessee commitment and the Daily Post’s Defensive Player of the year. Autry is one of the nation’s top athletes and is uncommitted to a college.
Rogers is a two-time state defensive player of the year and a Clemson commitment and helped Buford win a second-straight state title.
In addition to the four players from Gwinnett, there’s seven more players from Georgia. Cedar Grove’s Bryson Allen-Williams (South Carolina), Brooks County’s Malkom Parrish (Georgia), Cedartown’s Nick Chubb (Georgia), St. Pius’ Nick Ruffin (Auburn), Sandy Creek’s Demarre Kitt (Clemson), Tucker’s Elisa Shaw (undecided) and Lowndes’ Dyshon Sims (Georgia).
“The speed on the field is incredible at every position,” Sphire said. “There’s a lot of talent at every position.”
University of Georgia fans will get a glimpse of some of the Bulldogs’ future players. UGA commitments quarterback Jacob Park, running backs Chubb and Sony Michel, offensive linemen Sims and Isaiah Wynn and defensive back Parrish are all playing for the East Team.
“These guys have been great this week,” Sphire said. “They’ve worked hard and have bought in to the team concept,” Sphire said.
What: U.S. Army All-American Bowl
When: Today, 1 p.m.
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio
• North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire
• North Gwinnett assistnat Traye Moore
• Shiloh head coach Troy Hobbs
• Norcross linebacker Kevin Mouhon
• Norcross receiver Myles Autry
• North Gwinnett defensive lineman Dane Sawyer
• Buford linebacker Korie Rogers