Smithfield: Sports

John Gibbons to play football at Newberry College

John Gibbons (second from right) signs with Newberry College with (seated, from left) his grandfather, Richard Gibbons, his mother, Donna Gibbons, his father, Terry Gibbons, (standing) his brother, Jacob Gibbons, Smithfield-Selma principal Stephen Baker, athletics director Jeff Dufour and football coach Wes HIll.
John Gibbons (second from right) signs with Newberry College with (seated, from left) his grandfather, Richard Gibbons, his mother, Donna Gibbons, his father, Terry Gibbons, (standing) his brother, Jacob Gibbons, Smithfield-Selma principal Stephen Baker, athletics director Jeff Dufour and football coach Wes HIll. cbest@newsobserver.com

Parents: Terry and Donna Gibbons

High School: Smithfield-Selma

Height, Weight: 6-foot-4, 230 pounds

Why Newberry? “I was impressed by the coaching staff and their approach to football and the educational opportunity that was there for me.”

Major: Business Management

Notable: John was a three-year letterman for the Spartans. He was a two-way starter on both lines. He projects to be a long snapper and play the offensive line at Newberry. “I know the key will be putting on a lot of weight and adjusting to the higher effort level college football will require,” he said. … His most memorable game at SSS was the Spartans’ 22-21 victory over South Johnston to end the 2013 season. But above all, the experience of high school football is what he will remember most. “High school football, there’s nothing like it,” he said. “Playing with my best friends all through high school, getting better. It was one of the most fun things I’ll every do.” … Smithfield-Selma coach Wes Hill, who coached John on the offensive line before being promoted to head coach this winter, says Newberry is getting a dedicated football player. ... Gibbons is following a path to college football similar to the one Hill did. The addition of long snapping duties in middle school carried over through high school and it’s a big part of the reason Newberry wanted him as a part of its program. “Long snapping is all about staying cool under pressure,” John said. “You have to have the same approach if you’re snapping a punt from your own 2-yard-line or snapping for an extra point.”

Smithfield-Selma coach Wes Hill: “John is very well prepared for college football and we think he’s going to do very well. It was a pleasure to coach him on the offensive line for two years. He was a player that (former head coach) David (Lawhon) thought a lot of and we’re all looking forward to seeing him play in college.”

Compiled by D. Clay Best

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