Hard work in the classroom and on the athletic field paid off for Newton High School senior Artice Hobbs, as he will soon walk through the hallowed halls of the United States Military Academy at West Point as a member of the incoming Class of 2020. Four years from now, Hobbs will leave West Point as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He was nominated by U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson.
“Putting forward nominations of Fourth District students for admission to the U.S. Military Academies is one of the most important jobs we do each year,” said Rep. Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “The nomination process is not easy. It’s a long road, and I congratulate all our nominees. All of our outstanding nominees are at or near the top of their class in academics, athletics and community service. It’s quite an accomplishment and all of our students and their parents should be justifiably proud.”
Hobbs is one of only 23 students in the fourth congressional district, comprising parts of Dekalb, Newton and Gwinnett counties and all of Rockdale County that Rep. Johnson nominated to be considered for an appointment to either the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, West Point, or Merchant Marine Academy.
According to Representative Johnson’s office, students who graduate from a service academy will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
“It’s a big responsibility and I am very honored to be in the position to be trained as an Army officer to serve my country,” said Hobbs. “I’m just in awe right now to have this incredible opportunity.”
In addition to working in the cyber-technology field as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Hobbs has another lofty goal he’s also pursuing after his college graduation. The star running back and slot receiver for the Newton High School football team also has aspirations to play in the National Football League (NFL).
“I can either serve in the Army while playing in the NFL or do that afterwards,” said Hobbs, who added he’s excited about the prospects of both career opportunities. In fact, he even has a third career prospect floating around in the back of his mind.
“I have always been fascinated with buildings,” he said. “Designs and infrastructure have just always fascinated me. So once I complete my military service and hopefully a career in the NFL, I’d like to pursue a career in architectural engineering. When I grew up I always liked buildings and always wanted to be an architect.”
In fact, until recently he hadn’t considered the military as an option.
“I always thought I’d go to Georgia Tech,” said Hobbs, who noted it was a coach that opened his eyes and steered him towards the outstanding opportunity the military academy could afford him.
“I toured several colleges in the Southeast region—Troy, Georgia Tech, Duke,” Hobbs explained. “I went to football camps too. One night my family was having dinner and we were all sitting down at the kitchen table and me and my Dad were talking football. And he said, ‘I wish there was a coach who would call you and give you so much attention, and tell you how much they love you and need you and want you to play.’ And right after that, Coach Brent Davis from the Army called me and showed me so much love and attention that just made a huge impression on me. With the other coaches it felt like it was just a business. Coach Davis was more than just a coach. He wanted to build a relationship and that meant a lot to me.”
According to Hobbs, it’s those types of relationships that have meant so much to him and guided him over the years to become the young man he is today.
“The coaches here at Newton had a big role into me getting this opportunity,” said Hobbs. “They allowed me to showcase my talents and be a part of this program and play on the football field for them. But the biggest factor in my life would be my parents. They groomed me to be in this position. They instilled in me the importance of being respectful and having leadership and discipline and always cooperating with others.”
Those are the same characteristic West Point looks for in prospective cadets.
According to U.S. Military Academy website, “Being accepted for admission to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point is an exceptional honor reserved for our nation’s most promising students. But it takes more than excellent grades to be accepted for admission. West Point wants leaders who are not only intelligent, who are physically fit and of outstanding character.”
Those same characteristics that Congressman Hank Johnson and the recruiters at West Point observed in Artice Hobbs have been known to the leaders and staff at Newton High School all along.
“Artice Hobbs will add an element of speed and competitiveness that West Point football currently needs,” said Newton High School football coach, Terrance Banks. “Artice was a captain for us the last two seasons and he has great leadership skills on and off the field. Artice is the type of student–athlete every coach wants. He is great in the classroom with a 3.9 GPA and he is also in the top 30 in his graduating class. West Point is getting a great football player but an even better young man. He has played a huge part in the success that Newton Football has had since I have been here. I am extremely proud of Artice. He has set a standard to which all of the players who come through Newton will be held to. I have no doubt that he will be a great officer who will make our community very proud.”
“We are tremendously proud of Artice,” added John Ellenberg, principal of Newton High School. “He is an outstanding young man—a leader in the classroom and on the athletic field. He is an excellent representative of Newton High School and is most deserving of his appointment to West Point. I know he has a great future ahead of him. The sky is the limit with this young man.”