IJH Lady Gladiators compete in Blooming Grove Tournament

Image: IJH Lady Gladiators – 8th grade — (L-R): Jesica Wilkins, Ashley Harper, Ryisha Copeland, Taylor Turner, Bernice Hailey, Kendra Copeland, Monseratt Figeuroa

The 7th and 8th grade Lady Gladiators competed in the Blooming Grove Jr High Basketball Tournament on Saturday, January 16. The 8th grade came away with a 2nd place trophy. The 7th graders were consolation champs. Both teams showcased their athletic prowess and were excellent representatives of Italy both on and off the court.

IYAA hoopsters take the big shots in Week 2

Image: Heart as big as gold — Catie South(2) sets her sights on becoming a Lady Gladiator.

Week 2 of the IYAA basketball season was a day of firsts for many young hoopsters. Whether Saturday marked the first time an aspiring athlete made his or her first basket, of their whole life, or whether it was a team’s first win of the season, the IYAA is where many “first moments” happen for future Gladiators, Bulldogs, Eagles and Polar Bears.

IYAA basketball teams shine bright on opening day

Image: Loving the game — Teammates celebrate a job well done.

The IYAA (Italy Youth Athletic Association) enjoyed Opening Day on Saturday as the 2010 basketball season is underway. Teams from Italy and Hillsboro celebrated the spirit of competition together in what proved to be a fun and exciting day for youth sports.

IJH Boys look strong against Irving North Hills

Image: Roldan pressures — Kevin Roldan(41) pressures the outlet pass.

The Italy 7th and 8th grade boys basketball teams thrilled fans inside the Italy Coliseum on Thursday. The 7th Grade team picked up their second win this season, both wins coming against Irving North Hills, while the 8th grade team lead for three quarters before losing by 2-points in their rematch with Irving North Hills.
Scores and stats from the Italy Jr High Girls’ games against Irving North Hills are also included at the end of this article.

Kiwanis Classic – Championship Finals

Image: Ms. Consistent — Kaitlyn Rossa(3) knocks down two free shots against the Mildred Lady Eagles.

The Italy Lady Gladiators competed for the Kiwanis Classic Consolation Championship against the Mildred Lady Eagles while the Gladiators competed for the Men’s Tournament Championship against the Kerens Bobcats this past Wednesday at the Navarro College campus. There was a blackout, rallies, comebacks and experienced gained as Italy strengthens their armor for District.

Kiwanis Classic – Italy continues pursuit of excellence

Image: Megan for three — Italy’s Megan Richards(22) heats up from the 3-point line.

The Italy Lady Gladiators finished day 2 of the Kiwanis Classic Basketball Tournament with a 1-1 record, earning a spot in the Consolation Championship game against Mildred on Wednesday. The Gladiators defeated Frost on day 2 to post a 2-0 record in the tournament setting up a Kiwanis Tournament Championship rematch with Kerens.

IYAA Basketball Update


The 2010 Basketball season is underway and practices will begin Monday, January 4. The rosters have been created and coaches will be contacting their players with practice schedule information.

Italy’s Lady Gladiators start the Holidays with wins over Aquilla

Image: The Italy Lady Gladiators “SWISH” their fans a Merry Christmas! — Coaches Stacy McDonald and Tina Richards, along with the Italy Lady Gladiators basketball players, would like to wish all their fans a Merry Christmas! Top row: Khadija Davis, Mary Tate, Chante Birdsong, Lacie Lopez, Brianna Burkhalter and Nikki Brashear Middle row: Danyelle Baugher, Coach Stacy McDonald, Destani Anderson, Maria Luna, Coach Tina Richards, Sa’Kendra Norwood Bottom row: Kaitlyn Rossa, Kyonne Birdsong, Alyssa Richards, Jaleecia Fleming, Megan Richards, Jameka Copeland and Jimesha Reed.

Italy’s Varsity and JV Lady Gladiators gift wrap wins for Coaches Stacy McDonald and Tina Richards over the Aquilla Lady Cougars on December 15 inside Italy Coliseum. Like a violently shaken snow globe, the Lady Gladiators created an avalanche inside the dome to bury Aquilla while Italy’s JV girls played Grinch, stealing a Christmas Holiday victory away from Aquilla’s JV girls.

Thanks from Coach Kyle Holley

The three-day, sixteen-team Italy Basketball Tournament, held December 3-5, was a success for the sixth year in a row. As always, there are numerous people to be thanked for their involvement and contributions.

Italy Gladiators receive All-District accolades in football

Image: Jasenio Anderson — District 21-A’s M.V.P., Jasenio “Beast” Anderson(11) is the total package when it comes to football. He can run it, pass it, punt it, kick it, catch it, pitch it, lateral it, recover it, intercept it, tackle anybody holding it and win it! Jasenio was also named 1st Team All-District Punter and 1st Team All-District Kicker.

The 2009 Italy Gladiators football team had 15 players named to the District 21-A All-District list. Junior Jasenio Anderson was named District 21-A’s Most Valuable Player, 1st Team Punter and 1st Team Kicker. Anderson and his teammates helped to restore a winning football tradition in Italy by getting into the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Hampton Prep Pheonix singed nets against Italy’s Junior High Boys

Image: Tyler Vencil pops a jumper against the Hampton Prep defense — Italy 7th grader, Tyler Vencil(50) hits one of his two jump shots.

Christmas did not come early for Italy’s 7th & 8th Grade boys basketball teams after experiencing tough sledding against the Hampton Prep Phoenix on Monday. Hampton Prep won both games but not without a fight from Italy’s scrappy Junior High Gladiators.
Scores and stats from the Italy Jr High Girls’ games against Hampton Prep are also included at the end of this article.

Italy Invitational – Saturday Results

Image: Thinking of Bobby — The Gladiators wore black wristbands with a gold #70 sewn in to remember, #1 Gladiator Fan, Bobby Itson.

The Italy Invitational Tournament wrapped up on Saturday, December 5 but not before Italy’s Varsity teams and the JV Gladiators put on a show for the home town fans. Combined, Italy won 5-out of-9 games and appeared in one Consolation Championship game and two Tournament Championship games.

The IYAA gives a special thank you to our cheerleaders

Image: Lillie and Brooke — A-Team Cheerleaders Lillie Perry and Brooke Deborde having a blast.

Rain, wind, cold, win, lose or draw, the dedicated IYAA Cheerleaders supported their teams through it all in 2009. Often performing on rain-soaked sidelines and having to endure cold temperatures, those glittery gold pom-poms never stopped shaking and spirits never waivered. And for all the sacrifices, the IYAA players and coaches want to say, “Thank You.”

Italy Invitational – Friday results

Image: Bubba answers — Italy JV Gladiator Bubba Itson(5) knocks down 4th quarter free throws to seal the deal against Teague’s Varsity team.

The Lady Gladiators (Varsity), the JV Gladiators and the Italy Gladiators (Varsity), all won on Day 2 of the Italy Invitational Tournament. The Lady Gladiators won by a landslide over Milford, the JV Gladiators won by a nose against Mildred, and the Italy Gladiators brought a confident Venus team back to Earth.

Italy Invitational – Thursday results

Image: Italy Invitational Tournament — Kerens battles Teague during the Italy Invitational Tournament inside the Italy Coliseum. Kerens won 61-37.

Several teams from around the area participated in the Italy Invitational Tournament, held December 3-5, inside the Italy Coliseum. Italy had 3 teams participate including the Lady Gladiators (Varsity), the JV Gladiators and the Italy Gladiators (Varsity). This article summarizes Italy’s overall performance on day 1 of the tournament.

IYAA earns two Superbowl Championships!

Image: Ryder signs game ball

HUBBARD – The IYAA C-Team Gladiators defeat the Palmer Bulldogs to win the NESA “C” Superbowl 18-0. The IYAA B-Team Gladiators hold off the Ferris Yellowjackets for a 19-0 Superbowl win. The 2009 season marks the first time in IYAA history that all three football teams (A,B & C) qualified for the playoffs. Let the celebrations begin starting with the IYAA bonfire party tonight at 6:00 p.m.

IYAA makes history on their way to the playoffs

Image: A-Team takes the field with confidence and beats Palmer 23-7 — The IYAA A-Team won their wildcard game against Palmer earning them a matchup against 1st seed Blooming Grove in the conference championship game later in the day. IYAA’s B & C-Teams won their conference championship games and will compete for Superbowl trophies next Saturday in Hubbard.

The IYAA A-Team won their wildcard game at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning against Palmer to claim the 4th seed in the “A” Division’s Playoff standings. The victory marked the first time in IYAA history that all three football divisions (A, B & C-Teams) and their cheerleaders qualified for the playoffs. By days end, the IYAA B & C-Teams advanced to next Saturday’s Superbowl games to be played in Hubbard.

Italy JH Boys switch from cleats to sneakers

Image: Bailey Walton eyes a three — 8th grader Bailey Walton never saw a 3-pointer he couldn’t make.

The Italy Junior High Boys began their basketball practices this week in preparation for the upcoming 2009-2010 basketball season. Junior High Coaches Kyle Holley, Larry Mayberry and Josh Ward have already started transforming their young grid-iron warriors into graceful hard wood hoopsters.

IHS Cross Country runners compete in Regionals

On Saturday, November 7, 2009 Italy High School sent two students to the Region 3 Class 1A Cross Country meet in Humble, Texas. Heath Clemons and Kaitlyn Rossa earned their spots in this competition with their top ten performance at the District Cross Country Meet in Wortham.

Gladiators gear up for Playoffs, tune-up against Itasca

Image: Here they come… — The Gladiators came back strong after halftime despite being dow 16-8 at the break.

With a trip to the Playoffs guaranteed, the Italy Gladiators traveled to Patton Field in Itasca for one last district battle against their old rivals, the Itasca Wampus Cats. Italy’s sideline looked more like a M.A.S.H. unit before halftime as Itasca added insult to injury by taking a 16-8 lead over the Gladiators into halftime.

IJH and JV football teams wrap up seasons against Itasca

Image: Lee Hamilton tapes it — Chase Hamilton’s father, Lee Hamilton, filmed the JV games from the press box.

The Italy Gladiator Junior High and JV football teams capped off their 2009 seasons with home games against the Itasca Wampus Cats. For the 8th Graders, the night marked their final football game as Junior High Gladiators. For the JV, they were just glad to finally play a game before the sophomores move up to the Varsity level next season.