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Thursday, February 22, 2018
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Quiet off the field, TJ Cole is a beast with the ball in his hands

Make no mistake, a football game is a fight, and a state championship game against a two-time defending champ and winner of 40 straight is certain to be a slugfest. Though Pleasant Grove coach Josh Gibson often told anyone who would listen that his fullback, TJ Cole, could be a great slot receiver, that was one of the few positions...

When Hawks need it most, Benson makes big plays

Joy pervades everything that Xavier Benson does, so it is fitting that he was the one to unleash it for Hawk nation. In Pleasant Grove’s season of unparalleled achievement and unbelievable plays, one will always stick out in the memories of Hawk fans. In the state championship game, thanks to an unyielding defense and opportunistic offense, Pleasant Grove seemed to be...

Toler the best defensive lineman in these parts

At tight end, a key to running success “We’re going to state!” senior lineman Austin Toler barked to his teammates as he came off the field, yielding to a sub midway through the fourth quarter of a state semifinal 45-14 drubbing of the Graham Steers. He was met by his Pleasant Grove teammates with howls and huffs of hearty agreement. The son...

Gavriel leader of Fat Boy Gang

Pleasant Grove coach Josh Gibson loves to brag on the talent in the trenches that helped propel his Hawks to a 16-0, state championship season. A group known to demolish opponents on Friday nights and then pop out of bed before dawn for a day of hunting, they themselves the Fat Boy Gang. “Most linemen are fun to coach,” he said....

Fowler an anchor on defensive line

“It’s awesome. It’s something I can’t explain,” said Pleasant Grove lineman Drake Fowler said through a wide grin, moments after Pleasant Grove polished off Graham, 45-14, to win a berth in the state championship game. “We’ve been working for this since seventh grade.” That hard work paid off in many ways: a 16-0 state championship season and for Fowler, a scholarship...

Hawks fall on dark and stormy night

Girls move to playoffs; boys still in first On a wet and brutal night, Pleasant Grove’s boys and girls came away from Liberty-Eylau’s Radar Dome with a pair of closely fought, razor-thin losses. A 51-50 loss dropped the Lady Hawks to second place and gave the District 14-4A championship to L-E, which improved to 17-11, 9-1 in district. Pleasant Grove dropped...

Girls make it look easy, boys make it look hard; both hold onto first place

The home crowd began to heat up when Layton Jackson helped Pleasant Grove climb out of a hole of its own making by draining a three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to help the Hawks regain a lead squandered against Paris. Perhaps sensing that a talented and deep group of players was beginning to meld into an elite team, the crowd...

UIL realignment puts Liberty-Eylau back into Pleasant Grove’s football district

Early prediction: District champ odds-on favorite to win state championship Atlanta is replaced by Liberty-Eylau in Pleasant Grove’s district, while Texas High faces some long commutes in the wake of UIL realignments announced today. The Hawks will compete in of one of East Texas’ toughest conferences: Longview Spring Hill will be the only one of five schools in 6-4A, DII that...

Lady Hawks roll, boys stub toe against Pittsburg

Both teams remain in first, but margin of error is slim Pleasant Grove’s girls cruised to an easy win over Pittsburg while the boys were unable to overcome a slow start and suffered their first district loss of the season Tuesday night at Hawk Gym. The Lady Hawks’ 78-28 win and the boys’ 64-61 loss leaves both in first place District 14-4A....

Still No. 1; Hawks, Lady Hawks sweep Atlanta

Pleasant Grove squads drive toward playoffs Pleasant Grove’s boys and girls both stayed in first place in District 14-4A by posting double-digit over the Atlanta Friday night at Hawk gym. The Lady Hawks (17-7, 6-1) raced out to a 18-2 lead and cruised home to a 58-37 win over the Lady Rabbits, who were playing without a starting guard. The boys...