1940 Gladiators – A Winning Tradition #13

It has been 70 years since the 1940 Italy Gladiators were undefeated and unscored on. Bill Bryant was a graduate of Italy High School and the Sports Editor for the Italy News Herald. The following is his thirteenth article of the season.

Italy to Close For Ball Game

Citizens to Follow Gladiators to Big Championship Game

Italy will close up tight as a drum and will turn out bag and baggage to accompany the championship Gladiators to Corsicana Friday afternoon, where they will play Mildred for the championship of District 21-B. The Gladiators are winners in this section of the district and hold the record of not having their goal line crossed during the season. Not a single point was scored against the Gladiators during their season’s play.

Italy was practically unanimous in signing a petition to close up shop Friday afternoon. The petition was circulated by Billy Howell, under auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, and was signed by the following (businesses):

First National Bank
John Cabbell
Western Auto Store
P.P. Brewster
J. H. Walston
Marvin Scott
Rod Williams
Windham Hdw. Co.
R.S. King
H.T. Ray
Bill Wardlaw
Roy Wimberley
J.O. Ward
Mrs. V.M. Hunt
Meadows and Lynch
L. Rienzi
W.C. Commons, Jr.
The Ladies Store
Will Ward
S.R. Green
J.D. Stovall & Sons
L.D. Parker
Wm. Cameron & Co.
R.C. Wood
M.C. Godfrey
D.M. McCain
Katie’s Place
M.W. Knight Gro.
The Cotton Shoppe
Jim Denn Café
Jim Smithwick
Russell Shires
Whit George & Co.
Italy Implement Co.
S. & S. Confectionery
Hooks Cleaners
J.A. Carson
Robert Windham
Floyd Herrin
Dunaway Service Station
A.E. Ellender
O.D. Eddleman
Lon Couch
Buel Janes
Speer & Cohagan
J.V. Wood & Bros.
Ellis Hargrove
Reynolds Oil Co.
Ray Bratcher
Jake Shires
Italy News Herald

The petition ask the merchants to close from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon in order to show the town’s loyalty to the home team that has made such a wonderful record this season.