Pacific League and look ahead to the CIF Southern Section Division III
playoffs, which begin next week? CV has at least two players that are
worth the price of admission alone in quarterback Hudson Gossard and
running back/wide receiver Jason Hogan.
Gossard is the area's leading passer, throwing for 2,155 yards and 29 touchdowns. Hogan is the area's leading receiver, catching 63 passes for
650 yards and 11 touchdowns, besides rushing for 409 yards and six
Glendale's leading passer, Armen Dembekjian, has passed for 555 yards
and five touchdowns. Hoover is led by quarterback Robert Kurtz, who has
passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
Do the good citizens of Glendale just want to see the Nitros face off
against the Tornadoes because this will be the 72nd time the teams meet?
Anyone who has ever attended Glendale or Hoover high, that's who.
Sure, everyone knows these teams have struggled for the past few
years. Glendale High hasn't earned a playoff berth since 1991 and Hoover
High's last taste of the postseason came in the early 1980s.
That's doesn't matter. For the students and alumni of the schools, a
successful season is determined by one game. A win against the crosstown
rival is all the glory that the players, coaches, students, parents and
Thousands attend the game, and many more read the papers and search
the Internet to find out if their alma mater was victorious.
Historically, Glendale has dominated the contest, 40-29-2. The Nitros
had their way in the 1990's, winning eight games in the decade.
Hoover, however, defeated Glendale last year, 21-10. Before that, the
Tornadoes hadn't beaten the Nitros since 1995.
Say what you will about the importance of having a winning tradition,
multiple league and CIF championships and strong players all getting
ready to commit to Division I college programs.
For Hoover and Glendale, every game this season was a preseason
contest. Tonight is the regular season, league championship and playoff
final, all in one. The winner tonight has no hopes of a wild-card entry
into the CIF playoffs. Tonight's winner will determine which school is
the best in Glendale.