IYAA Homecoming 2012 included parade floats, a town pep rally and three wins

Image: C-Team Gladiator Damien Wooldridge(5) tries to bring down a Hubbard Jaguar.

C-Team Gladiator Damien Wooldridge(5) tries to bring down a Hubbard Jaguar. (Barry Byers)

Italy — The IYAA (Italy Youth Athletic Association) celebrated their homecoming week with players, cheerleaders and coaches participating in the 2012 Italy High School Homecoming Parade on Friday. The kids certainly enjoyed riding on decorated floats while tossing candy into the crowds lining the streets. After all, the players have pretty good throwing arms and the cheerleaders have experience throwing candy and mini footballs into the stands during games. Everyone was, “right at home,” one might might say.

The IYAA cheerleaders, overseen by cheer coordinator Dana Hamby, also performed during the pep rally that immediately followed the parade. All 26 cheerleaders sparkled in gold, white and black, with some homecoming mums almost as tall as their girls, as they lined up in formation to show their skills and everyone associated with the IYAA Sports family was truly proud.

On Saturday, the IYAA Gladiators welcomed the Hubbard Jaguars to Willis Field for three fun-filled games. After charging thru the air tunnel setup by Gary Wood and his crew, the IYAA C-Team, head coached by Mark Souder. Jr., needed just one more divisional win in order to advance into the playoffs. Tailback John Hall rose to the occasion scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half, capped off by a 67 yard run to give the C-Team Gladiators an 18-0 lead at the break.

Defensive coordinator, Bobby Wooldridge, kept the pressure on the Jaguars using Kevin Magness and Bryce Ballard to control the line-of-scrimmage while Jaylon Wallace, Dustyn Duke, Damien Wooldridge, Tayor Sparks, Hall and Gabe Martinez kept the Jaguars contained. Martinez also added one final touchdown in the second half to wrap up the C-Team Gladiators’ 24-0 homecoming victory as Souder’s grid-iron soldiers prepare for the conference championship to be played in Hubbard on November 3rd — TBA.

The IYAA B-Team, head coached by Andy Saxon, played the second game of the day. Bryce DeBorde gave his squad an early lead after sprinting the Jags sideline 72-yards to put Italy up 6-0. Already up 12-0 in the second-quarter, DeBorde strikes again from 15-yards out to push the Italy advantage to 18-0. DeBorde added the conversion run to make the score 19-0 at halftime.

The Jaguars would score a touchdown of their on in the second half but the B-Team Gladiators would finish strong to end their season with a win, 32-6.

The A-Team Gladiators, coached by Aaron Itson and Jasenio Anderson, trailed 7-6 in the second-quarter when quarterback Ethan Itson ran left to draw the defense close. Just before the Jaguar defenders could converge on the savvy 6th grader, E. Itson lobbed a pass into the end zone to a wide open Miguel Martinez who makes the toughest catch in football to give the A-Team Gladiators a 12-7 advantage. Big Jonathan Salas ran in for the conversion to make the halftime score 13-7 in favor of Italy.

At halftime, NEH (Navarro Ellis Hills) Football and Cheerleading president Janie Adair joined the A-Team Cheerleaders’ cheer line while performing their halftime routine to the song, Cupid Shuffle. Adair busted a move with cheerleaders Taylor Boyd, Sha’Niaya Johnson Johnson, Madison Chambers, Hannah Carr, Courtney Riddle.

After leading 19-7 in the second half, E. Itson ran in from 45-yards out and carried in the extra-point as well, sealing the A-Team Gladiators’ homecoming win over Hubbard, 26-7. Italy’s A-Team will advance in to the playoffs and challenge for the Conference Championship to be played in Hubbard on November 3rd — TBA.

Congratulations to all the players, cheerleaders, coaches, fans and volunteers that helped make IYAA Homecoming 2012 a huge success. Special thanks to John Hall on the clock, IYAA president Charles Hyles, IYAA Volunteers of the Year Michele Riddle and Misty Escamilla, Ervin Green inside the ticket booth, IJH Cheerleader Halee Turner who worked with the A-Team Cheerleaders this season, Patrick Anderson, Deonna and Chad Padilla of Bling-n-Blooms, our chain crew consisting of Randy Boyd, JV Gladiator Cody Boyd and IJH Gladiator Cade Roberts and last, but not least, Larry Mayberry, Sr. A personal thanks to Beck Boyd who assisted with this article.

Also, a special thanks to our IYAA cheerleaders who always do an outstanding job representing the organization on game day and during special events. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are probably the only cheer squad in Texas that has made more public appearances than the IYAA cheerleaders this season. The cheer rosters are listed below:

C-Team Cheer Squad:

  • Rosa Rodriguez
  • Justice Shelby
  • Kascie Shifflett
  • Mayson Souder
  • Taylor Souder
  • McKenzie Clark
  • Itzayanna De La Hoya
  • Xiomara De La Hoya
  • Ana Hernandez
  • Taeja Anderson
  • Mia Droll
  • Sicily Johnson
  • Hannah Krusen
  • Ashlyn Mathews
  • Cheer Coach: Eva De La Hoya
  • Assistant Cheer Coach: Melissa Souder

B-Team Cheer Squad:

  • Renee’ Brewer
  • Morgan Chambers
  • Jaliyah Hall
  • Brianna Hall
  • Kinzie Whatley
  • Farrah Eglich
  • Karley Sigler
  • Cheer Coach: Rachal Hall

A-Team Cheer Squad:

  • Taylor Boyd
  • Sha’Niaya Johnson
  • Madelyn Chambers
  • Hannah Carr
  • Courtney Riddle
  • Cheer Coach: Becky Boyd
  • Assistant Cheer Coach: Nelda Carr

IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”

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