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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Italy Gladiators

By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports

Write it in stone: The Italy Gladiators will be in the postseason. 

We’ve gone against the fine folks at DCTF with his postseason pick, but it comes warranted — head coach Craig Horn is a proven flipper of programs. 

Entering the second season under Horn, the Gladiators will benefit from a full offseason under his guidance as well as the 19 returning lettermen from 2018. That number includes four returning starters on each side of the football from the team that finished as bi-district finalists with a 4-6 overall record (3-3 in 8-2A) this past season. 

The Gladiators backfield will be paced by Jaiden Barr and Jacob Kimmons, while 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback Jayden Saxon will spearhead the offense. Saxon accounted for 672 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air in 2018, while also adding 580 yards and eight scores on the ground. 

Cahl Horn returns as the Gladiators leading receiver and also one of the leaders on defense (72 tackles, 4 INTs). 

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football predicts District 8-2A Division I to finish:  

1. Bosqueville

2. Riesel

3. Bruceville-Eddy

4. Axtell


5. Italy

6. Itasca

7. Moody

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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