After finishing 0-10 in 2006, Coach Buddy Griffin and the Italy Gladiators looked for a way to turn things around.

Just one win shy of a playoff berth the underdog Gladiators opened some eyes and turned some heads.

Italy was picked to finish in the bottom half of the district race, but that was not satisfactory for the Gladiators. Italy ended the season at 5-5 (3-3), plagued by a couple of injuries the Gladiators were only a victory away from the post season.

Italy landed three Gladiators to the First Team and seven earned Second Team honors.

Freshman, (QB/LB) Jasenio Anderson was named Co-Newcomer of the Year and Second Team punter. Anderson rushed for 300 yards on the season and scored three touchdowns.

He also completed 24 of 56 passes five for touchdowns and only three interceptions. Jasenio had a punting average of 35 yards per punt.

Senior, (RB/DB) Detrick Green was the heart of the Gladiators offense despite only competing in eight games, his numbers were impressive.

Detrick rushed for 1,079 yards and team high 17 touchdowns to earn First Team honors.

Defesively Green was named Second Team defensive back, where he recorded 59 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and an inteception.

Senior, (LB) J.R. Hill led the Gladiator defense with a team high 88 tackles. Hill also had two sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.

Sophomore, (DB) Jake Valdez led the team in inteceptions with three on the season. Valdez also racked up 53 tackles and caused two fumbles.

Senior, (C) Josh Howard and Sophomore, (RT) Jeff Claxton earned Second Team offensive line honors. These two Gladiators led the push up front. Howard recorded 25 knockdowns and Claxton had 20.

Junior, (NG) Evander Holbert anchored the defensive line for the Gladiator defense. Holbert wrapped-up 42 tackles and two fumble recoveries down in the trenches.

Senior, (DE) Jarod Casey was named Second Team defensewith 44 tackles, 3 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries.

Senior, (LB) Sam Norcross was one of the most exciting Gladiators to watch on the defesive side of the ball.

Norcross was always around to make the big play. He recorded 61 tackles, forced a fumble and returned two fumbles for touchdowns.

Senior, (LB) Johnathan Roldan also received Second Team honors. Roldan tallied up 65 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.

20-2A All-District


MVP: Ketrick Harmon, Frankston

Offensive MVP: Dang Nguyen, Mildred

Co-Defensive MVP: Colton Miller, Frankston and Trevor Burnett, Mildred

Utility MVP: Kevin Barlow, Mildred

Co-Newcomer of the Year: Jasenlo Anderson, Italy and Thomas McDonald, Mildred

Coach of the Year: Joe Drennon, Mildred

First Team Offense

K: Juve Sanchez, Blooming Grove

P: Kevin Barlow, Mildred

OL: Eli Heugatter, Mildred; Jason Horn, Mildred; Tyler Freed, Mildred; Oscar Birdow, Frankston; Gaston Wilder, Malakoff

RB: Marcel Ingram, Frankston; Detrick Green, Italy;

Trey Davis, Rice

QB: Bryan Blackwell, Frankston; Pat Faulk, Kerens, Darius Harris, Blooming Grove

WR: Derrick Polk, Kerens, Lee Grounds, Blooming Grove; Andrew Hoffma, Blooming Grove

TE: Luke Foster, Frankston

First Team Defense

DL: Adam Stroder, Mildred; Drew Burnett, Mildred; Josh Fields, Frankston; Justin Graham, Kerens; Breland Fox, Malakoff

DE: Freddie McDonald, Mildred; Juve Sanchez, Blooming Grove; Jordan Watkins, Blooming Grove; Cedrick Freeman, Rice

LB: Preston Stephens, Mildred, Dalton Sevem, Frankston; Michael Walker, Frankston; J.R. Hill, Italy ; Jody Gorden, Kerens

DB: Cory Roper, Mildred; Jake Valdez, Italy; Donnie Crowsey, Malakoff; Lee Grounds, Blooming Grove

Second Team Offense

K: Jansen Allen, Rice

P: Jasenio Anderson , Italy

OL: Justin Aldama, Mildred; Alex Hunt, Frankston; Coby

Coleman, Frankston; Chris McNertney, Frankston; Jeff

Claxton, Italy; Josh Howard, Italy; Cedrick Freeman,

Rice; Tate Haynie, Blooming Grove

RB: Byron Mitchell, Kerens; Jackson Blacketer,

Malakoff; Jordan Tennell, Blooming Grove; Jansen Allen, Rice

QB: Tyler Drennon, Mildred; Bernard Hill, Malakoff

WR: Rudy Luna, Mildred; Cory Roper, Mildred; Stephen

Forson, Frankston; Aaron Gooden, Kerens; Scott Ackley,

Blooming Grove

TE: Casey Russell, Mildred

Second Team Defense

DL: Eli Heugatter, Mildred; Evander Holbert , Italy ;

Eric Fisher, Blooming Grove

DE: Jarod Casey , Italy ; Justin Teague, Malakoff

LB: Kevin Dozier, Mildred; Luke Foster, Frankston; SamNorcross, Italy; Jonathan Roldon, Italy; Trey McGowan, Kerens; Garrett Connally, Blooming Grove; Amonzo Carbajal, Rice

DB: Brent Killingsworth, Mildred; Orlando Hatton, Frankston; Kelton Baxer, Frankston; Detrick Green ,

Italy: Terrance Sayles, Kerens; Andrew Hoffma, Blooming Grove

Honorable Mention

Mildred: Marc Patrick

Blooming Grove: Brandon Ferrer, Jake Adair, Drew Walter, Buster Evans, Trent Harris, Tim Anderson,

Kerens: Justyn Brooks, Billy Littleton, Terry Haynes,

Zak King, Keeton Roch, Cameron Betts

Rice: Geoffrey Hammonds, Blake Lewis, Colton

Richardson, Sam Gunter, Byron Rhodes, Fernando Saucedo