One glance at the Texas Associated Press High School Poll might have some thinking the state-ranked Pleasant Grove Hawks football team is the best kept secret in the Lone Star State.
The Hawks’ 51-14 win at Liberty-Eylau last week caught the eye of many in Northeast Texas, but apparently not the AP pollsters who have Pleasant Grove unranked. On the other hand the Padilla Poll has the Hawks ranked second in Class 4A, while the Harris Ratings and Dave Campbell have Pleasant Grove at No. 5 in 4A.
Pleasant Grove (4-0) is expected to steam-roll over Krum Friday, a school that handled the Hawks easily in 2016.
“Despite our record, and how bad we beat Frisco two weeks ago, I was frustrated; we didn’t take the step that we needed, too,” said Dave Campbell’s Coach of the Week Josh Gibson. “Consequently, we came out against Liberty-Eylau and played the best game since I’ve been at Pleasant Grove.
“The vision is that we would like to play for a state championship, but to do it we’ve got to take care of sixteen weeks of football, and that hasn’t been done here before. It’s a big task, and to do it will be a diligent task.”
Some might think Krum could be a trap game with Gilmer being the next challenge.
“I don’t think it’s a trap game the way we approach things,” Gibson said. “Our big deal is we’re trying to grow every day. We talk about being better at Monday’s practice than we were at Friday’s game with Liberty-Eylau. Our kids have bought into this. They practice harder than any group I’ve been around. When you do that you take a step every day and on Friday nights.”
Depth not a problem for state-ranked Hawks
Depth has always been a concern for Pleasant Grove coaches, but those circumstances are better in 2017.
“You’ve got to be lucky in regard to injuries; we’ve got four kids that play both ways,” Gibson said. “However, those kids play less than twenty-five percent of the time on one side of the ball. Chauncey Martin had a great game last Friday, but only had nine carries at running back. We try not to wear our kids down so it doesn’t hurt our defense.”
Pleasant Grove’s game with Krum will be on ESPN, 94.1 FM, with Chuck Zach doing the play-by-play.
There’s several Northeast Texas schools taking the week off, including Texas High and Liberty-Eylau.
In other action Friday Atlanta (2-2) play at Tatum, a 3-point favorite; Hooks (3-2, 1-0) is a 4-point underdog to New Diana (2-3, 0-1); Paul Pewitt (3-2, 1-0) entertains Daingerfield (1-3, 0-0) in a tossup; DeKalb (4-1, 1-0) is favored by 11 points over Ore City (1-4, 0-1); James Bowie (1-2) is favored over Cumby (1-4); and Maud (1-4) will be at home and the underdog against Grapeland (2-2).
Atlanta’s game at Tatum will be on KPYN, 900 AM.