Italy — The entire community got a kick out of watching Dairyland Donkey Basketball inside Italy Coliseum. The event was sponsored by the Italy Gladiator Band Boosters and had mixture of current Italy High School students and past alumni competing. Although, I’m sure after the first buck off, or two, many alumni were probably doubting they should have came out of retirement for this one…
Also enhancing the games were cheerleaders Larry Eubank (school board president), Mark Stiles (school board), Sal Ramirez (school board), Lee Joffre (principal), Larry Mayberry (coach) and Paul Cockerham (school board) who could flip almost as good as his daughter, and an authentic IHS cheerleader, Taylor Turner who helped guide the rugged bunch of bouncing beauties during their cheers. Whether it was a rousing cheer or dung duty, these “Lady” Gladiators performed their tasks with spirit and gusto!
The Arse-Kickers coached by Gladiator Regiment Band Director Jesus Perez got off to a good start when old school Stevan Varner scored the first bucket of the games. Arse-Kicker teammate Tara Wallis followed with three consecutive baskets to help lead the collection of band members and supporters to an opening win, 8-2 over the Guns-N-Hoses team.
The Guns-N-Hoses team featured local police officers and firefighters. Led by Josh Droll, the team consisted of Jackie Cate, Dennis Perkins Jr., Shawn Martin, Shelbee Landon, Ronda Cockerham, Daniel Pitts, Jasenio Anderson and Colton Campbell.
Former Dallas Cowboy and Italy High School graduate Keith Davis took part in the Dairyland Donkey basketball games as both coach and player for Champs of ’97, members of the Italy High School State Basketball Champions. Members included Davis, Jontae Anderson, Nick Cooper, Jordan Droll, Jason Murray, Sam Owens, M.D. Shelby, Edwin Wallace, Kenneth Wallace, Jason Uehlinger and Jordan Hugghins.
Also participating in the hilarious action were Hollywood’s Heroes which included Coach Jessika Robinson, Coach Josh Ward, Coach Nathan Skelton, Marvin Cox, Cole Hopkins, Jaclynn Lewis, Adrian Reed, Zack Boykin, Reid Jacinto, Caden Jacinto, Alyssa Richards and team leader, Coach Hank Hollywood.
The first 125 students – ages 12 and under — that entered the Coliseum with a ticket and a parent received an additional ticket to ride the donkeys during the halftime breaks. Players and team coaches pitched in to help all the kiddos enjoy safe trips around the half courts. Guests were also treated to a stocked concession stand during intermission.
The Arse-Kickers continued to ride straight into the championship game against Hollywood’s Heroes but the game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. Forced to play an overtime period, the Arse-Kickers pulled out the win with a score of 3-2 to claim the 2013 Dairyland Donkey Basketball Championship.
Congratulations to the entire Arse-Kickers’ team which besides Perez, included Joseph Barrett, pastor of Central Baptist Church; DeeDee Hamilton, Doug Nelson, Brett Kirton, Joe Celis, Devonteh Williams, Madison Washington and Stevan & Kim Varner, owners of Varner Alon of Italy.