Italy JV wins season opener, Varsity enjoys Pep Rally

Image: Justin and Kyle — Justin Hayes and Kyle Wilkins relax at the pep rally before the game against Maypearl.

Justin and Kyle — Justin Hayes and Kyle Wilkins relax at the pep rally before the game against Maypearl. (Barry Byers)

Italy JV vs. Mapearl JV Thursday, August 27:
The only thing that stopped Chase “Thunder” Hamilton and his Italy JV teammates on Thursday night was lightning. The Maypearl Panthers JV couldn’t stop the Gladiator ground attack as Hamilton, himself, ran for 176-yards on 4 carries, including an 82-yard touchdown run.

The first quarter ended with neither side crossing the goaline. In the second quarter, Italy drove the ball down to Maypearl’s 10 yard line. Italy tried a double reverse that sprung Corrin Frazier into the endzone.

Unfortunately, the creative play was called back due to a clipping penalty. On the next play, JV quarterback Tony Wooldridge threw a pass to Jase Holden in the back of the endzone for 6-points.

Ethan Saxon powered in the 2-point conversion to give Italy an 8-0 lead over Maypearl. Saxon is also credited with the hit of the game when the Maypearl runner reacted as if he had smashed into a brick wall.

Bravio Luna was selected by his teammates as the MVP of special teams after making every tackle when Italy kicked the ball to Maypearl.

For the rest of the half and into the third quarter, Maypearl just couldn’t find a way to stop Hamilton, who ran for the 82-yard touchdown on the final play of the game.

Maypearl received mercy from the “Football Gods” when the contest was called early in the third quarter due to lightning. Officially, the JV Gladiators are awarded the victory with a final score of 14-0 over the Panthers.

Although Wooldridge and Holden played extremely well, Hamilton was chosen as the games overall MVP by his teammates.

Italy’s JV win against Maypearl will no doubt boost their confidence as they host Chilton next week in Italy.

Pep Rally for Varsity:
The Italy student body gatherd inside the Italy Coliseum to show support for the Gladiators before their Friday night game against the Maypearl Panthers.

The event was highlighted with a musical chairs contest featuring students, players, Teacher/Coach Andrea Windam and the new Italy High School Principal, Tanya Parker.

The eventual winner was Nathan Brock who was excited to get the candy prize for his efforts.

The Gladiator Regiment Band kept the festivities rocking while the Cheerleaders did what they do best, cheer!

The event was capped off by the playing of the school song and then the Varsity Players huddled at center court for a rousing break.