It was a season well played for the Italy Gladiators with first-year athletic director and football head coach, Charles Tindol, guiding his players to a 6-5 winning record. In addition, Italy went 5-0 in district play to claim the championship outright and earned an automatic bi-district championship for their efforts.
Along the way, the Gladiators provided us with many memorable moments. Remember how Italy defeated their arch rival, the Maypearl Panthers, in the season opener? Senior defensive lineman, Bailey Walton, had a standout game and senior safety, Trevon Robertson, picked off the pass to preserve Italy’s 13-7 victory. And what a special night it was for senior QB TaMarcus Sheppard who defeated his old team, the Itasca Wampus Cats, on their own field to begin district play, 46-6. Sheppard emerged victorious with help from junior linebacker Coby Bland, senior receiver Trevon Robertson and senior fullback Shad Newman who scored his first touchdown ever. Sophomore Clayton Miller had an interception to punctuate the win.
How great was it when Italy shocked the district with a resounding 42-14 homecoming victory over the visiting Cayuga Wildcats. Cayuga entered the fray undefeated but limped all the way home after the _cat_astrophe at Willis Field. Senior defensive end Zain Byers highlighted the win with a fumble recovery which he returned 20-yards. And not soon to be forgotten, Italy’s 28-24 comeback win over Dallas Gateway after trailing 24-7 at halftime. Sophomore Levi McBride was the savior in that one, thanks to his two fourth-quarter touchdown receptions and the second one with less than a minute to play.
And how ‘bout that 275 yard rushing night by sophomore Hunter Merimon to help Italy hold off Crossroads, 41-30. Oh, and when Italy won the mud fight 33-7 against Kerens to claim the district title outright, classic! Our JV players even got dirty that night. Senior special teams ace, Cody Medrano, even recovered an on-side kick that night thanks to kicker Kevin “The Toe” Roldan. Fun stuff! The combination of Roldan, holder Tyler Anderson and snapper Kyle Fortenberry had a streak of 13 made point-after kicks during Italy’s undefeated district run.
And the victory bath given to Coach Tindol after the win over Kerens to seal the championship for Italy. Darol Mayberry, Robertson and Sheppard timed the sneak attack perfectly to douse their head honcho with the water jug.
There was Just so many wonderful moments and lasting memories that this year’s team provided for their fans and, as a result, the Gladiators dominated the all-district voting earning a staggering 32 awards in all, 8 more than Cayuga:
District 6-1A-D1 – 2013 Football Honors
- Italy (5-0) — 32 All-District selections
- Cayuga (1-4) — 24 All-District selections
- Kerens (3-2) — 21 All-District selections
- Crossroads (2-3) — 15 All-District selections
- Dallas Gateway (1-4) — 11 All-District selections
- Itasca (0-5) — 11 All-District selections
Most Valuable Player:
- , Italy, #10, SR, QB/OLB
Offensive Most Valuable Player:
- Keshawn Jackson, Cayuga
Defensive Most Valuable Player:
- , Italy, #50, SR, DE
Newcomer of the Year:
- Wayne Arellano, Itasca
Coach of the Year:
- / Staff: Wayne Rowe, Bobby Campbell, Brandon Ganske, Jon Cady, Larry Mayberry, Sr.
1st Team Offensive Awards:
1st Team Quarterback:
1st Team Running Back:
1st Team Tight End:
1st Team Receivers:
1st Team Linemen:
1st Team Kicker:
1st Team Punter:
2nd Team Offensive Awards:
2nd Team Quarterback:
2nd Team Running Back:
|Chaylon Bowman||Dallas Gateway|
2nd Team Tight End:
2nd Team Receivers:
2nd Team Linemen:
|Avery Harris||Dallas Gateway|
2nd Team Kicker:
1st Team Defensive Awards:
1st Team Defensive Linemen:
1st Team Inside Linebacker:
1st Team Outside Linebackers:
1st Team Defensive Backs:
|Jaquin Bluitt||Dallas Gateway|
2nd Team Defensive Awards:
2nd Team Defensive Lineman:
|Jovan Toni||Dallas Gateway|
2nd Team Inside Linebacker:
|Kevin Williams||Dallas Gateway|
2nd Team Outside Linebacker:
2nd Team Defensive Backs:
2nd Team Punter:
|Japuivon Bluitt||Dallas Gateway|
Honorable Mention All-District:
|Dakota Deheart||50||JR||Deep Snap|
Congratulations to Coach Tindol, his staff, players and especially our seniors who put everything they had into this season and were well deserving of the all-district honors bestowed them.