The Italy Gladiators went all pads on Friday during both 2-a-day practice sessions. Lineman worked the seven man sled for the first time and and receivers adjusted to catching with the shoulder pads on.
The camp quickly intensified when head coach Craig Bales sent the entire team to participate in a 3-on-3 blocking/tackling drill. With a running alley of about 5 yards marked off by dummies on the ground and excited coaches and cheering players on the sides, the carnage began.
Junior Varsity and Varsity players were mixed in to the drill. Seniors against Freshman, Juniors against Sophomores and teammate against teammate. Defensive coordinator Jeff Richters was loving every second of the high impact collisions that resembled a demolition derby.
Afterwards, the players gathered for a quick speech and the huddle was noticeably tighter than before. The players had gladius dagger like stares as Coach Bales commented on the good and where there was room to improve.
During his final speech of the week, Coach Bales kept players distracted while the remaining coaching staff crept over to the sideline and began bombing the players with water balloons. Coach Bales told the team, “Go get ’em!” and the chase was on. The coaches quickly scattered as the Gladiators armed themselves with water balloons.
After an intense and hard-hitting week of football, it was a chance for the team to have a bit of fun. 2-a-day practices will continue thru the August 13. The Gladiators will travel to Valley Mills on Saturday, August 14 for their first scrimmage.