Italy spirit and excitement growing

Image: Artist Barry Byers — Original drawings by Barry Byers promote Homecoming spirit.

Artist Barry Byers — Original drawings by Barry Byers promote Homecoming spirit. (Karen Mathiowetz)

Gladiator fever has hit and is definitely evident around town. You know when you drive down Main Street that it is Homecoming week because of the displays on the merchant’s windows. Shiny gold bows also have been tied around posts to boost spirit.

Barry Byers, a graphic artist and Italy graduate and ex-Gladiator football player offered to paint the windows downtown and the Booster Club readily accepted his offer. The Booster Club would like to thank the merchants for giving permission for Byers’ art to be placed on their windows.

“We appreciate Barry painting the windows this year,” said Booster president, Becky Milligan. “We cannot thank him enough for doing this. We would also like to thank him for designing our tee shirts this year.” Byers, with a little help from Andrew Jones, was busy all weekend decorating the downtown windows. Jones is the son of Jodie Graves Jones, an IHS alumni.

“I had fun doing this,” said Byers. “I hope this boosts school spirit for Homecoming. We drew a lot of attention from people passing by and that is what we wanted to do.”

Preparations for Homecoming 2008 have been underway for several months and will culminate on Friday night with the district showdown between Italy and Wortham at Willis Field at 7:30. This year’s Homecoming Queen will be crowned during half time.

There will be a table set up for Italy alumni to register before the game and receive a gift. The graduating classes of 1938, 1948, 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988 and 1998 will be honored this year. Anyone that graduated in these years is asked to meet on the field at 6:45 p.m.

A Homecoming Parade will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the high school and follow a designated route to the downtown area. Cash prizes will be awarded to the Best Float, Best Spirit Float and Best Theme Float compliments of Tina Haight and the Plaid Donkey.

After the completion of the parade, the public is invited to attend the pep rally at the High School where the Homecoming King will be announced.

The George Scott Memorial Scholarship Committee will host a fundraiser in the High School Cafeteria from 5-7 p.m. A barbecue dinner catered by Bubba’s in Ennis will be served and all proceeds will benefit the local scholarship.

Come out and have a great time and support your Gladiators.