School Spotlight: Pleasant Grove Spartans (Pleasant Grove, AL)

Pleasant Grove is a public high school in the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove, Alabama. Pleasant Grove’s mascot is the Spartans and their school colors are purple and gold. Pleasant Grove participates in the 5A level of sports in the AHSAA. Pleasant Grove’s football team won regional championships in 1984, 1988, 2006, and 2010. They also participated in the 2014 5A State Championship game, losing to St. Paul’s. Current Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback James Bradberry attended Pleasant Grove in high school. Pleasant Grove is now led by Head Coach Darrell Lebeaux who has held this title since 2018.

Coach Lebeaux is a graduate of Pleasant Grove High himself. His senior season was in the 2002-2003 football season. Back in 2011, tornadoes that hit the Alabama area had immensely affected the Pleasant Grove community. Bouncing back from the 2011 tornadoes and losing a couple of students would be very difficult for the community to overcome. Luckily, the newly built buildings in Pleasant Grove were missed by those tornadoes. The community eventually bounced back to make the State Championship game in 2014.

In 2017, Pleasant Grove went 5-6 with Coach Lebeaux as an assistant. Eventually in 2018, He took over the program and led a major turnaround of the culture. Instantly in 2018, he led their team to a 9-3 record, making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs. In 2019, PG improved to 13-2, eventually losing in the State Championship game at the 1-yard line. This year Coach Lebeaux won the Coach of the Year of the entire state, also winning the south regional championship. In 2020, Pleasant Grove went 13-1 with their only loss coming in the State Championship game. The very next year, they went 13-2, losing in the State Championship 3 years in a row. However, Coach Lebeaux again won Coach of the Year and won the North region championship. Last year was Coach Lebeaux’s 5th year as Head Coach. They went 12-2 and loss to Ramsay, the eventual state champions, in the semifinals. Coach Lebeaux is doing an AMAZING job of taking a 4A caliber team and playing them up to a 5A level. Coach Lebeaux is also doing an outstanding job of putting kids in college. He managed to put 35 kids in college for the last 5 years.

In order to keep up the school’s success and take the next step to get over the last hump, Coach Lebeaux cites the statement engraved in their field-house. The saying is “The players graduate, but our standards DON’T.” The kids at the program understand the standards and are committed to the common goals of the team. Coach Lebeaux wants his kids to be able to persevere and face adversity through difficult tasks. Teaching these kids how to take advantage of opportunity is another life lesson that Coach Lebeaux teaches. Coach Lebeaux believes in gaining kids game-time experience without running the score up on weaker opponents. This helps develops the kids game at an earlier stage in their career so that their skills aren’t foreign when they are actually relied upon by the team. Also, great coaches keep the standard of excellence around the program and will help push Pleasant Grove to the next level.

Here are some of the top prospects expected to lead the Spartans next year:

#9 Eric Handley is a 6’2″ 205 lb class of 2024 Quarterback. He is the number 1 QB in the state with offers from Kentucky, Troy, and UAB.

#3 Camren Wormley is a Cornerback for Pleasant Grove. He also plays offense and has great home-run ability.

#11 Clarence Taylor is a 6’0″ 165 lb class of 2025 Wide Receiver and Free Safety. Clarence is a playmaking receiver who can either take a slant for 6 or run straight past a defensive back.

#77 Jordan Foy is a 6’6″ class of 2024 Guard or Tackle. He benches 345 lbs and squats 500 lbs and is a very strong lineman.

#22 Jordan Smith is a 5’10 170 lb class of 2026 Running Back and Fullback. Jordan is a great one-cut runner who hits the hole as soon as it opens.

#16 Michiel McGuire is a 6’1″ 165 lb class of 2024 Free Safety and Cornerback. Michiel is great in both the running and passing game as a defensive back.

#25 Eithan Everson is a class of 2025 Outside Linebacker and Strong Safety. Eithan hasn’t played much but will be looked to take a step up next year as a starter.

#17 Aaron Tift is a 6’2″ 185 lb class of 2024 Wide Receiver. Aaron is a big bodied receiver who rarely drops passes and uses his size to body smaller defenders.