The #8 Pleasant Grove Hawks football team will compete in the competitive district 4-7A, D-II this season against the likes of #1 Gilmer, #14 Gladewater, Atlanta, Pittsburg, and Springhill.
Pleasant Grove is expected to challenge Gilmer for a district title. The Rankings are according to Dave Campbell’s Texas football magazine for 4A-DII. Last year, the Glimer Buckeyes defeated PG 31-10.
The Hawks will start sophomore Ben Harmon at quarterback this season.
“Ben is very talented quarterback, we’ve known that since he’s been in middle school,” Josh Gibson said.
Harmon led the Hawks 7-on-7 team to a 17-1 record while playing quarterback this summer.
Gibson said last years starting quarterback T.J. Cole is moving to fullback in the Wing-T formation that thrilled the Hawk nation the second half of last year.
“He’s (T.J. Cole) going to flourish in that role (Fullback). The switch is going to allow us to throw the ball a lot better and have a more physical runner back there,” Gibson said. “I think that Cole is going to be one of the best in Texas.”
Senior Xavier Benson who played wide receiver on offense last year will play tight end of offense this season, Josh Gibson said. On defense Benson plays linebacker where he’s rated as one of the best in the state.
Benson said on twitter that he has verbally committed attend Texas Tech on football scholarship.
Lucas Wacha is the last Pleasant Grove Hawks football player to D-I football. Wacha played at Wyoming where he was the team’s leading tackler for 3-years in a row and is now a rookie at the Dallas Cowboys pre-season camp in Oxnard, California ;where he’s trying to make the NFL roster.
“Now that Xavier is doing this we are hoping we can kick a kid or two out to D-I schools each year,” Josh Gibson, Pleasant Grove and Athletic director said.
Pleasant Grove Hawks wide receivers are Cox, Harmon (Aaron) and Wells
Carson Cox, Aaron Harmon and Cameron Wells will play wide receiver.
Chauncey Martin and Luke Martin will play tailback. Josh Roberts will play wing back. He’s (Roberts) one of the fastest kids on the team and averaged over 7-yards per carry last year.
“Every one of those kids are great receivers and that’s why we had such a great 7-on-7 season,” Coach Gibson said. “We got a lot better in that area and we needed too; we got a lot better in that area,” Gibson said.
On the offensive line, Pleasant Grove has three 300 pound kids that have been on varsity for 3-years. Nick Gavriel is 304 pounds, Austin Toler is 302 pounds and tackle Drake Fowler is 6’5 and 298 pounds, center Zach Wrinkle is a 3 year starter. The guards on offense are all going to be first year starters but Gibson said they might be the best they ever had.
Coach Gibson said the defense is the strength of the Pleasant Grove Hawks team. Coach said it’s what made his team so good last year and 8 starters are returning to this years team.
Josh Gibson will have a radio coaches show every Tuesday from Noon till 1 p.m. during the football season live on Fox Sports Radio 1400, on line at foxsportstexarkana.com and on the Freed Am Sports App. The Pleasant Grove Hawks football games will be carried live on 94.1 FM ESPN-Texarkana, espntexarkana.com and 94.1 FM ESPN Texarkana on the Freed AM Sports App. Chuck Zach will provide the play-by-play and Jason Boston the color commentary.