One on One with Bob Sphire

North Gwinnett has played Byrnes SC and will open the season again with a regional power in Prattville, Alabama. Coach Sphire discusses the opening game and 2009 in exclusive with

North Gwinnett has been a team over the last 2 years that has played on television several times and played for a state championship in 5A in Georgia. Every time I was able to see them on film or in person you knew you were going to get a exciting game. One of the main reasons was the play of their quarterback Mike Tamburo. He reminds me of a smaller Steve Young.

Coach what has it been like coaching a player like Mike Tamburo for the last 3 years?

Coach Sphire-" The first word that comes to mind is fun. He was fun to coach and fun to watch play. He gave us such a large variety of plays and options with him at quarterback.He gave us the ability to be creative in preparation and during games. He just really had a knack for making average plays into big plays. The mark of a good quarterback is consistency and the kid never had a bad practice in the 3 years he was here. His demeanor and effort was the same everyday and it paid off for him during games.

Now you have had time to look back at 2008 what were some of the positive things you saw out of your team?

Coach Sphire-" Going into last year we lost a tremendous amount of talent from the 07 team. We lost 6 kids that was our 2 deep on our d-line and we had 10 new starters on defense going into our first game with Byrnes. Those young men basically had only JV experience and here we were asking them to play against the number one team in the country and perform well. I didn't make things any easier by getting Byrnes and Brookwood as our out of region games, but our kids performed well and that was a positive to me. Yes those guys made some mistakes , but they were playing full speed and gave us a great effort. To see those young men flying around and getting after people was something I will remember about last year."

Coach you mention your tough out of region schedule. Who do you play next year?

Coach Sphire-" We just signed the paperwork and we play a scrimmage game over at Bob Jones (AL) the week before the season starts. Then we open up at home versus Prattville Al. I think our kids are ready to start winning some of these regional games."

With such high level talent as Trey Sims, Cordero Dixon, JuWuan James and Austin Shepard. What are you expecting out of your 2009 team?

Coach Sphire-" Those guys are going to have to shoulder alot of responsibility early. We are going to be very very young around them. There is no middle ground with our team right now. Meaning we have guys that have played alot and alot of guys that have not played much at all. There is not in between right now for us.These young guys are going to have to step in ready to play. I mean we are going to play several sophomores and those young men are unproven at this time. They can not come out against Prattville and play like sophomores.I dont think you can win a 5A state championship without finding kids that want to play and cover punts, kickoff's etc. What is going to determine our fate is the kids that are not going to be in the limelight, but the one's that can develop along the way into football players and accept a role."

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