skip navigation

Gladiator Philosophy

The philosophy of The Grafton Gladiators has always been to attempt to give every player a positive football experience at the youth level.

 The Gladiators have built their reputation on hard work, discipline and commitment to the total team effort. Through that hard work, we have consistently been one of the best programs in the All-American Youth Football League since 1976.
 The coaching staff is committed to maintaining this level of excellence, allowing the players to have fun learning and playing the game of football as well as ensuring our continued success on the field.

Mission Statement

Grafton Gladiators Youth Football strives to introduce football to all youth in our community by developing solid fundamentals of football, and at the same time ingraining discipline, good sportsmanship, strong character and respect  to carry over into all areas of their life. While aiming for success, we promote a positive, fun and safe environment to develop a passion and enthusiasm for football; forming bonds that will last a lifetime.

Gladiator Team History

1976 Grafton Gladiators established by Mr. Ron Heller of Grafton.

1977 Gladiators become members of the All-American Youth Football League.The Gladiators were one of the original 6 team in the league. Currently there are 46 members. The Gladiators started out with 25 players, fielding just an "A" team.

1979 "B" team was added to the Gladiator program.

1982 Coach Heller retires. Coach Bob Kiefer assumes head coach position after being a defensive assistant since the team began.

1982 Team wins second league title.

1982 Team colors change from all black to orange, black, and white.

1994 Coach Kiefer assumes position of President. Chuck Race assumes position of Head Coach after being with the program since 1987.

2001 Coach Race passes away and Bob Kiefer assumes Head Coach position again

2002 Bob Kiefer assumes position of Team Coordinator. Head Coach positions were established for A, B, & C teams.

2006 Coach King passes away with two games remaining.

2010 Gladiator board established to provide additional oversight, guidance, and organization.

2011 Gladiator program expands its program and adds a D team for 5th grade students.

2011 Winner of NE Group 1 Division with 7-1 record

2012 Winner of NE Group 1 Division with 6-2 record

2013 Gladiators partner with Village of Grafton in managing a youth flag football program. 

2014 Winner of NE Group 1 Division with 5-3 record

2014 Flag Football (grades 1 thru 4) become solely owned and managed by the Grafton Gladiators

2015 Winner of NE Group 1, NE Division, North Conference and AAYFL Champion with 8-1 record

2016 Season dedicated to former Gladiator Coach Dee Ward., Winner of NE Group 1, NE Division, North Conference Champions with 8-1 record