LC Gladiators, cheerleaders honored with $1,000 awards

The San Gabriel Valley Junior All American Football Conference honored four former La Cañada Gladiator football players and two former cheerleaders with $1,000 scholarships at ceremonies on May 17.

The scholarship program, which is unique among youth sports, was founded in 1972. Since that date, the program has awarded more that $218,750 to more than 250 college-bound students. To be considered for a scholarship, the graduating high school student must have participated in the conference as either a player or cheerleader for at least two seasons.

While attending high school, the scholarship applicant must have achieved an overall grade point average of 3.5 or better and must score at least 1,000 on SAT scores.

The San Gabriel Valley Jr. All American Football Conference was founded in 1968 for boys and girls ages 6-14 years of age. It is composed of 26 city organizations from throughout the San Gabriel Valley. In 2003, there were 44 flag football teams, 114 tackle football teams and 118 cheer squads.

The Gladiators have been members of the San Gabriel Valley Junior All American Football Conference since its inception in 1968. Former Gladiators over the years have received more scholarships than any other city in the Conference. Of the 253 scholarships, 65 have been awarded to former Gladiators. This is the largest percentage of any other city in the Conference.

This year, six of the eight scholarship recipients were former Gladiators. Sarah E. Maxwell was a former Gladiator cheerleader who attends Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. She plans a career in the fashion Industry. Leanne C. Turner was also a former Gladiator cheerleader who attends Flintridge Sacred Heart. Turner will attend Northern Arizona University.

Blake K. Gantney, who played for the Gladiators and returned last year as an assistant coach, will graduate from La Cañada High. Gantney plans to attend San Diego State University and will major in economics. Thomas C. Dodson, played football for the Gladiators and will soon be a graduate of La Cañada High. Dodson will attend U.S.C. and wants to make a career in the film industry.

Enrique R. Hernandez III, played football for the Gladiators and Loyola High School. Hernandez will attend Harvard this fall where he hopes to build a career in business law. Greg C. Sherman played football for the Gladiators and was the quarterback for Flintridge Prep's C.I.F. championship team. Sherman is planning a legal career.

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