Pleasant Grove Looks to Soar as Football Season Begins
Pleasant Grove Head Football Coach, Josh Gibson, is very excited about the possibilities for the Hawks as they kick off the 2016 season.
The Hawks improved greatly in Gibson's second season last year, almost beating highly touted and heavily favored Gilmer in the playoffs. Coach Gibson hopes to continue the steady progress for his program this year.
Around 110 young men have come out for football this year at PG in grades 9-12. On varsity the Hawks have eight returning starters on offense and seven returning starters on defense. In preparation for this season Coach Gibson says they had a phenomenal spring and summer attendance and accountability was awesome again this year.
The Hawks are making a few changes as far as offensive and defensive schemes are concerned. Defensively they are moving to a 3-4 setup, while on offense they plan on being extremely multiple. The quarterback will be based out of the gun or so-called spread formation. Gibson says they will still incorporate the misdirection run, and be 50/50 pass/run, which would be an increase on passing compared to years' past.
Coach Gibson says there are a number of seniors to be watching for on the field. They include:
- #45 Jackson Pace, a 6'3" 212 pound tight end and defensive end who was a 1st Team All-District selection at TE last year.
- #25 Keshawn Jones a 5'9" 170 pound Running Back/Safety, who was a 2nd Team All-District selection at RB last year.
- #20 Logan Wesley, a 5'7" 190 pound Running Back, who was a 2nd Team All-District selection at RB last year.
- #44 Cole Lipham, a 6'5" 208 pound Defensive End, who led the team in quarterback sacks in 2015.
- #16 Bobby Cooks, a 5'9" 165 pound Linebacker, who lead the team in tackles in 2015.
Juniors to watch include:
- #77 Nick Gavriel, a 6'1" 308 pound Offensive Tackle, who was Newcomer of the Year and 1st Team All-District selection at OT.
- #3 Xavier Benson a 6'3" 195 pound Linebacker and Wide Receiver who was a 2nd Team All-District selection at Linebacker last year and is a 3 year starter for the Hawks.
- #4 Carson Cox, a 6'2" 175 pound Quarterback, who started all 11 games for PG last year.
- #6 Tyler Allen, a 6'1" 187 pound Defensive Back.
These Hawks put up some impressive numbers last year.
Statistical DEFENSIVE Leaders Returning:
Helping Coach Gibson this year are assistant coaches:
Justin Gibson, Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and coaches the Offensive Line.
Brandon Easterly, Defensive Coordinator and coaches the Defensive Line.
Riley Fincher, coaches Quarterbacks and Running Backs.
Jordan Knight, coaches Wide Receivers.
Stephen Blevins, coaches Offensive Linemen.
Blake Worley and Drake Staggs, coach Linebackers.
Andy Allen, coaches Safeties.
Dwight McCowan, coaches Corners.
Steve Morris, coaches Defensive Linemen.
It will be a challenging schedule for the state ranked Hawks this year. Coach Gibson says the schedule is filled with six ranked opponents. One of the highlights will be playing Frisco at the $1.5 billion Dallas Cowboy's facility.
The Hawks will also play cross-town Arkansas High for the first time ever in varsity football, with that game being played at Razorback Stadium on the Arkansas side of town. Coach Gibson says he would love for this to become an annual game. He expects a sold out stadium and for the atmosphere to be awesome.
Gibson says the team's goal is to grow as much as they possibly can. He said he believes the football program can make the move to become an elite team in the State of Texas. They are ranked #20 in the preseason state polls.
"Playing six state ranked teams gives us a great opportunity to gain credibility."
Gibson has a message for Hawk Nation fans this year, "We are asking for your unconditional support. Jump on the band-wagon from day one, come to the games, support the boys, and enjoy the ride with us!"
Only time will tell what kind of year it will be for the Pleasant Grove Hawk football team this year. However, as they say, it looks like the sky's the limit for this group. From the Head Coach all the way to a first year starter, the Hawks are pumped, excited, and ready to soar.
The enthusiasm at PG is growing every year under Coach Gibson and you can just tell, no one is going to out hustle, or out work these Hawks and that each player and coach is going to give their all for the good of the team.