Gladiators celebrate homecoming with a 48-0 win over Jaguars

Image: Sky’s the limit — IHS Cheerleaders Cassi Jeffords, Destani Anderson and Mary Tate hoist Morgan Cockerham into the evening air before the Homecoming game kickoff.

After the freshly painted football field had dried, and after the town’s participation in the Italy High School Homecoming Parade, and after the pre-game pep rally and the 18th Annual George Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund Dinner, and after honoring past players and alumni, there was just two things left, to announce the 2010 Homecoming Queen and to play the Homecoming game!

Good luck Gladiators!

Image: B-Wil not stop — Bobby “B-Wil” Wilson(64) will be too much for the Jaguars to slow down.

The intensity has definitely picked up on the Gladiators’ side of the ball this week as Italy prepares to do Homecoming battle against the Hubbard Jaguars. Gladiator practices are no place for the weak. Former players returning for the Friday night festivities would cringe at some of the hits being dished out in preparation for the game.

The Italy Gladiators punish the Palmer Bulldogs 27-7

Image: They’ll never expect it! — Jase Holden(6) gets the play call from head coach Craig Bales during Friday’s game against Palmer.

Palmer — When Italy Gladiators’ fans awoke Saturday morning, the sun was shining brighter, the grass was a bit greener and the old gold had returned some of its luster. After an 0-2 start to their season, the Italy Gladiators(1-2) get into the win column by handing the Palmer Bulldogs(1-2) their second loss of the season, 27-7 in Palmer’s own backyard.

Community Pep Rally Scheduled – “Meet the 2010-2011 Gladiators”


Thursday, August 26, at 4:30pm, there will be a community pep rally held in the dome at the Italy High School Campus. The entire community is invited to come and meet our varsity and JV football players and the varsity cheerleaders. With the Gladiators’ preseason opening this week with games against the Maypearl Panthers it is a perfect time to come together and pump our Gladiators up. Beat Maypearl !!!

Italy receives rude welcome from three-time defending TAPPS Champs

Image: Illegal stiff-arm — Waco Reicher’s quarterback illegally grabs and twists the facemask of Italy’s Justin Buchanan but the referees missed the call. It’s all part of the game.

The Gladiators must recover quickly from a rough outing with three-time defending TAPPS State Champions, the Waco Reicher Catholic Cougars. Italy will be marching into Maypearl to tangle with the Panthers on Friday, August 27, at 7:30 p.m. It may be a pre-season game but the Gladiators will be using their long-time rivals as a gage to measure how good they could be this season.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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’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.

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.

Gladiators take positives from scrimmage with Waco Reicher Cougars

Image: Frazier in coverage — The talented Corrin Frazier tries to catch a Cougar and have it stuffed to hang on the wall back at the Gladiator Field House.

Although the Italy Gladiators were out pointed 2-0 in the Friday scrimmage against 2-time defending TAPPS Division III State Champion Waco Reicher Cougars, you won’t find any gloom around the Gladiator practice facilities. Feeling good about their progress, Italy is ready to meet the Maypearl Panthers head-on, in the first non-district game of the season.

Directions to Waco Reicher

The Gladiators will take on Waco Reicher this evening at 6:00 pm in Waco. This final scrimmage of the preseason will help prepare the Gladiators for their first non-district game next week against the Maypearl Panthers. Take a road trip to Waco and cheer on our boys!