Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade features Hawks as grand marshal

Mardi Gras Parade
Pleasant Grove coach Josh Gibson points out a few instructions prior to Saturday's Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade.

 

Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade spells fun and excitement for many.

Pleasant Grove coach Josh Gibson and his 2017 state championship football team was serving as grand marshal of the Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade.

“I’m so proud of these kids, and excited whenever they get exposure,” said Gibson. “This is a pretty big honor being the grand marshal. We’ve still got our football banquet and ring ceremony. I don’t know if you can top what’s been happening to our football team.”

Make no mistake, the Hawks were having fun Saturday, riding and throwing beads and candy at the front of the parade.

Senior Nick Gavriel showed evidence of his big, mean, dominating lineman personality when he started throwing beads.

“We had to sit around a long time, and I was glad to get the parade started,” said Gavriel. “I’m anxious to throw beads at people. Mardi Gras means throwing beads at people, and spending time with family and friends.”

Drake, Gavriel having fun at Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade
Hawks’ Drake Fowler laughs at a comment made by teammate Caleb Porchia during the Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Texarkana.

Gavriel includes his teammates when talking about family. He’s excited that several members of his football family will be playing at other schools in the Great American Conference. Linebacker Caleb Porchia, the defensive MVP in the state title game, will be on the other side at Ouachita Baptist.

Graduation this spring means Gibson must reload in the offensive and defensive lines if the Hawks are to be successful in 2018. Gavriel believes there are good prospects in the lower grades.

Marti Gras Parade
Pleasant Grove players throw beads and candy during Saturday’s Texarkana Mardi Gras Parade.

Freshman Landon Jackson returns after being named to the Texas Sports Writers Association’s all-state team after a brilliant season at defensive end. Jackson expects to grow, stretching to 6-8 and about 255 before he leaves Pleasant Grove.

The coaches called up sophomore Landon Watlington (6-1, 278) from the junior varsity for the playoffs to back up Gavriel.

The talk of football wasn’t really on the players’ minds.

It was a carnival atmosphere, with thousands in attendance, hoping to catch some beads and candy from their heroes of the gridiron.

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