I hope everyone enjoyed reading the articles about the 1940 Italy Gladiator football team. That must have been an amazing ride for the coach, players and fans. On September 17, 2010, Italy will play Hubbard at Willis Field for Homecoming. Before the game the surviving five players from the 1940 Gladiators will be honored – 70 years have passed but their legacy lives on.
I found the following football highlights for that year in Jamie Ward’s scrapbook. The author is unknown:
The fighting Italy Gladiators opened a successful football season on Sept. 20, 1940, when they defeated the Mansfield “eleven” on Willis Field. Italy gained 351 yards rushing and totaled 15 first downs to Mansfield’s one. Rod Williams led the scoring with 30 points.
The Gladiators rolled over Whitney in the Willis Field on Sept. 27. After 244 yards were gained by rushing, the “Gold and White” was handed a second victory.
Frost fell beneath the Italy “grid machine” on the evening of Oct. 4. The home boys played a good offensive and defensive game.
Blooming Grove was the challenger of our first Conference game on Oct. 11. Again the warriors triumphed over the opposing Lions with a 20-0 decision.
Hubbard City donated the second conference contest as they were trounced by the Italy gridmen on Oct. 18, by a score of 32-0.
The mighty Gladiators walloped their everlasting rivals from Milford on Oct. 25. The Bulldogs were led from Willis Field after a shameful beating.
The unscored on, untied “Gold and White” journeyed to Kerens on Nov. 1, and brought back a cinched conference championship title, by winning the 3rd Conference melee.
The Midlothian gridsters lost all hope of victory when the Italy warriors scored two touchdowns before having possession of the ball. This was our game of revenge. The score was 43-0.
Mildred tangled with Italy for Bi-dist. Honors at Corsicana Tiger field on Nov. 29. The Gladiators showed an excellent game of defense and left the “Bobcats” on the little end of an 18-0 decision.
Gustine became the unhappy victims of the “Gold and White” when they clashed on Waxahachie High Indian Field. The Italians rolled over the opposing Tigers with a lead of 9-4 first downs and football season over held by the Gladiators. Due to a 37-0 triumph, the Gladiators were crowned Regional Champions of Dsit. 21-B and 22-B for 1940.
The entire season was a period of fine cooperation between the coach and the players. Everyone did his best at all times in practice as well as on the field of contest. Each member of the squad was willing to help his co-worker in every way possible to produce a clean winning team and that is what happened. After the season had ended and after all records were compiled, the final results were largely in favor of Italy with a 374-0 victory over all the opponents of the year 1940.
The end for now.