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.

The Italy High School pep rally was fun for all

Image: Davis delivers again

The Friday pep rally inside the old gym at Italy High School was a fun time for students, cheerleaders, players, faculty and the community. A speech from NFL great and Italy alum Keith Davis highlighted the event along with the IHS cheerleaders as they performed a dance routine to the song, “Thriller.”

Gladiators blast into Wortham, Bulldogs self-destruct

Image: One cold night — Lexie Miller consoles Ivan while he ices his injury.

The Italy Gladiators blasted into Wortham’s Bulldog Stadium and pounded “Big Blue” into submission. Italy’s high powered offense didn’t rely on it’s air attack in this one, instead the Gladiators defeated the Bulldogs at their own running game. The win puts Italy at 4-0 in District with the Dawson Bulldogs coming to town on Friday.

IYAA posts 3 shutouts against Dawson

Image: Tyvon Gates — Tyvon gets loose at halftime.

Three games against the Dawson Bulldogs on Saturday resulted in three shutout wins for the IYAA Gladiator football teams and their cheerleaders. In the three games combined, Italy totalled 80-points to Dawson’s 0-points. “Ouch!”

7th & 8th try to win in the mud

Image: Kyle and Hank — Kyle Fortenberry(58) and Hank Seabolt(60) come off the field.

ITALY – The undefeated Wortham Bulldogs showed their might against Italy’s Junior High team on Thursday at Willis Field. Amazingly, with less than a minute to go and Wortham in control of the ball, a scoreless Italy team avoided being shutout by the Bulldogs in dramatic fashion.

IYAA Picture Day was a snap

Image: IYAA Picture Day ’09

The IYAA football teams and cheerleaders enjoyed IYAA Picture Day on Tuesday. And even though picture day turned into picture night after the camera crew was delayed in the traffic, the kids were all smiles when it was time to say, “Cheese!”

Gladiators cage the Jaguars 51-12

Image: Grrrr — The Gladiator knows what it takes on the battlefield.

The Italy Gladiators (4-2 overall) battled the Hubbard Jaguars (1-6 overall) Friday night at Willis Field in Italy. Early in the first quarter, the Gladiators gave the Jaguars a taste of what the rest of the game had in store for the spotted cats.

Junior High KO’s Hubbard in 4 rounds, 26-6

Image: Trevon Robertson — He’s got his gloves and his mouthpiece, Trevon’s ready to enter the turf ring and go four rounds with Hubbard.

Reminiscent of Rocky III, when Rocky Balboa was pitted against Mr. T’s Clubber Lang character, the Italy Junior High whipped the Hubbard Jaguars in four rounds of football. Hubbard, with only a tie on their record coming into the game, now have a loss to go with that tie thanks to a surging Italy Junior High team that improved their record to 2-1.

Byers proclaimed IYAA Volunteer of the Year

Image: Byers and the Mayor — Barry Byers was announced as Volunteer of the Year for Italy Youth Athletic Association (IYAA) by Mayor Jackson this week.

October 14, 2009 has been declared by the mayor of Italy to be Italy Youth Athletic Association (IYAA) Day. Mayor Frank Jackson also presented the first Volunteer of Year Award for IYAA to local parent, Barry Byers, on Monday night in a special session before the regular council meeting.

Gladiators Stampede the Longhorns 13-0

Image: Modern-day Gladiator — Gladiator quarterback, Jasenio Anderson, shows what it is like being chased by 11 Longhorns for 48-minutes.

The Italy Gladiators charged into Longhorn country with quarterback Jasenio Anderson at the reins. It wasn’t exactly a shootout at the O.K. Corral as both sides relied on their running games. With pass attempts ricocheting off the mud-slicked surface, Italy did manage to post a shutout in their low-scoring win over Axtell, and that’s O.K. with Gladiator fans.

Italy Athletic Booster Club Meeting October 13

On Tuesday, October 13, immediately following the Italy High School/Jr High Parent meeting, the Italy Athletic Booster Club will meet. Coach Craig Bales, Italy ISD Athletic Director will speak at the meeting. Parents/Guardians who have interest in Italy ISD athletic programs are asked to attend.

IYAA schedule change for Saturday, October 10

IYAA President, Jason Escamilla wishes to inform the IYAA players, cheerleaders and parents that the football games originally scheduled to be played Italy this Saturday have been moved to Ferris. All IYAA football games will be played in Ferris this weekend.

IYAA Gladiators Whomp The Wildcats

Image: Coach Wood’s C-Team — Coach Wood congratulates the C-Team on being 2-0.

The IYAA Gladiators traveled to Scurry-Rosser Saturday to take on the Wildcats. The Wildcats knocked the IYAA C-Team and B-Team out of the playoffs last season setting the stage for some fun yet dramatic football.

Gladiators drum Polar Bears, start district 1-0

Image: A Queen and her court — Queen nominees and class princesses came together for a photo Friday night.

The Italy Gladiators challenged the Frost Polar Bears for the right to be 1-0 in district play during Italy High School’s Homecoming game on Friday. Italy head coach, Craig Bales, had his team ready to play and it did’t take long to realize that the old gold tradition has a new winning style. Once the balloons were filled, the ribbons were tied and the mums were pinned on, the Italy Gladiators got geared up for their championship run.

Jasenio Anderson—1A Texas Football Player of the Week

Image: Jasenio Anderson — 1A Texas Football Player of the Week

Junior Gladiator Quarterback Jasenio Anderson was chosen by the Directors of www.1Atexasfootball.com as this week’s Player of the Week for his outstanding performance in the overtime loss to AA Malakoff. He was selected from a list of unbelievable games played by the most talented players across the State, and his stats and some photos from the Neotribune are featured on their website, which can be reached through the link provided above.

Lady Gladiators work hard on the season

Image: Drew gets it over — Senior Drew Windham hammers the ball over the net.  The Lady Gladiators hosted the Lady Bears from Frost on Saturday morning.

The JV and Varsity Lady Gladiators hosted the Frost Lady Bears on Saturday. The volleyball teams worked hard to keep the scores climbing with some success. The Varsity took two of the five sets from Frost, however, it just wasn’t enough to put a mark in the win column. The JV played well but lost both games to Frost.

Italy and Malakoff decide the game in O.T.

Image: Huddle up — Coach Craig Bales gets his players pumped up.

One For The Ages – The 1A Italy Gladiators traveled to take on the 2A Malakoff Tigers who Italy had beaten last season 33-8. Catching the Gladiators off guard, this wasn’t last years Tiger team. Malakoff brought in a complete new coaching staff for their 2009 campaign.

Gladiators take their chariots mudding against the Malakoff Tigers

Image: Mudscamilla — Quarterback J.T. Escamilla gets a face full of mud against the Malakoff Tigers.

Malakoff made a clean sweep of the Italy 7th Grade, 8th Grade and JV football teams Thurdsay…even if it was muddy. Both Italy Junior High teams only had 11 players on each roster but all 22 players gave a valiant effort defending the home field. Malakoff’s JV Tigers started off slow but eventually slung enough mud into the air to win the game against the JV Gladiators.

Pretty In Pink

Image: Pink is in — The Lady Gladiators gave a good fight on Tuesday against the Lady Eagles.  They earned money for Breast Cancer Research.  The Lady Eagles, however, took the matches, winning 3 out of 4 games.

The coming together of two rivals doesn’t happen often but history was made this week in the Avalon gym. The Lady Eagles hosted the Lady Gladiators to a DIG PINK game.

Thank you from the Wood family

Image: Justin Wood’s teammates won’t give him a break about his injury — Justin Wood is the kind of kid that would give his right arm to play Gladiator football, unfortunately, a break in his left arm will keep Justin out of the lineup during his 8th Grade season. Returning to school on Wednesday, Justin did get to spend time with teammates Zain Byers, Sampson Maldonado and Bailey Walton after practice.

The family of Justin Wood would like to express a sincere thank you to Coach Craig Bales and his Italy High School coaching staff, along with Stafford Elementary nurse Rita Garza, for their effective handling of Justin when he was injured during football practice two weeks ago.

Italy Junior High Plays Milford

Image: Lil’ Ella — Sandy and Larry Eubank’s granddaughter, Ella, cheers for the Lady Gladiators in the cheerleading outfit she got for her birthday.

The Italy 7th and 8th grade girls lead the march in the first Junior High Volleyball games of the season this week. The Lady Bulldogs traveled from Milford to play the Lady Gladiators. The 7th grade won the first sets in the best two games, winning 25-15 and 25-16. Coach Tina Richards said, “I am very proud of the 7th grade. This is a great way to start our season-with a win!”

Pink, Baby! Can you Dig It?

On Tuesday, September 15, the Lady Gladiators and Avalon Lady Eagles will host a Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally at the Avalon gym beginning at 6:00 pm. The teams will promote breast health education in the community as well as raising funds for research. Everyone is invited to attend and help with this worthy cause.

Italy’s 7th Grade football team beat the rain

Image: Takes time for a pose — Jesica Wilkins stops cheering for a Kodak moment.

Although Italy’s 7th Grade football team tied the Palmer Bulldogs 0-0 in their Thursday scrimmage, they did manage to beat the rain. Italy did forgoe it’s last offensive series due to lightning and ultimately rain. However, the 8th Grade and JV teams will have to wait until next Thursday against Malakoff.

Gladiators shipwreck the Pirates 33-27

Image: Taking time for a smile — Cori, Barbara, Sierra and Bianca stop long enough for the camera.

Italy earned their first win on the season with an impressive victory over the Chilton Pirates. Chilton, who upset 1A power Mart (No. 16) last week 39-16, had the air pounded out of their sails Friday night by a determined group of Gladiators 33-27.

Lady Gladiators Take On Palmer

Image: Add a point — The Lady Gladiators played against the Lady Bulldogs from Palmer Tuesday night in a pre-season game.

The Lady Bulldogs of Palmer made a short trip to Italy on Tuesday night to take on the Lady Gladiators for the second time this pre-season. Italy defended the net with enthusiasm but it didn’t take Palmer long to perform the duties at hand. With a four game set, Palmer won 3 out of 4.

Gladiators rally late but Panthers hang on

Image: Half time spirit — Gladiators come back from halftime ready to fire it up.

The Italy Gladiators began their highly anticipated football season by hosting, their long-time rival, the Maypearl Panthers Friday night. 2009 marks the second year Italy has returned to 1A competition where they have enjoyed trophy case after trohy case of success in years past.

Gladiators prepare for Maypearl; Italy Jr. High has first practice

Image: Heath and Jasenio — These two can move the ball in more ways than one.

The Italy Gladiators had one of their best practices Wednesday. There is definitely an energy surrounding Willis Field in anticipation of the upcoming JV and Varsity football games this week against Maypearl. Playing under the Friday night lights will be fun but don’t forget about the JV game that will be played under the Thursday night lights in Maypearl.

IYAA Football is fast and furious

Image: Adrian’s ready to rock — Go for it!

IYAA football for ages kindergarten through 6th grades is in it’s second week of pre-season practices. The Majors (5th & 6th grades), the Minors (3rd and 4th grades) and then Bantam (K-2nd grades) make up the three teams the IYAA will be fielding in 2009.