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A second time around

Football: New offense, new feel mark Eberhart's second season.

May 29, 2010|By Grant Gordon
  • New quarterback Alex Yoon hopes to lead the Nitros to an improved season.
New quarterback Alex Yoon hopes to lead the Nitros to an… (Raul Roa/News-Press )

GLENDALE — In the step-by-step approach that Coach Alan Eberhart is taking in his hopes to rebuild and revitalize the Glendale High football program, one of many changes and improvements from last season to this spring is simply the steps it takes for the coach to get to his Nitros.

"It's much easier, I've felt very at ease. It's nice, my room's right there," said Eberhart, pointing to his classroom right next to Moyse Field. "I just walk right on to the field. It's been a nice transition."

A year ago at this time, Eberhart was still teaching at Crescenta Valley High and scrambling across town to Glendale for spring practices with a cast of players unfamiliar to him, his coaching style and his coaching schemes.

Eberhart admits last season, in every which way, was a more difficult endeavor than he anticipated. But things are vastly improved from then and now.

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"We're a lot farther ahead this year," said Eberhart, whose team limped to a 1-9 record and an 0-7 showing in the Pacific League in his first year with the Nitros. "I really didn't know what I was getting into.

"I didn't understand how much pride needed to be instilled in the program."

Having just wrapped up a second week of spring ball, Eberhart believes his team has started to buy into him and his coaching staff, not to mention has become more disciplined. But he still cautions that improving won't come quickly.

"The problems were deep here. No. 1, you've gotta show up every day," said Eberhart who added that he routinely suspended players last year for missing practices. "We had to fix that."

In addition, he said many of the seniors on last year's squad didn't buy into his system.

That appears to have changed a bit thus far.

"We're starting to understand what Coach Eberhart wants now," said Alex Yoon, who will go into his junior year as the team's starting quarterback. "Now we're starting to develop and understand and we trust what he's doing."

In addition to the many pitfalls accompanying the rebuilding process, Eberhart and his staff are dealing with a bit of an injury bug. Evan Norton, who got some starting experience as quarterback in his sophomore year, will likely miss the entire summer after injuring his arm on just his third pass attempt during Glendale's first-ever Spring Passing Classic passing league on May 21. Norton's injury opened the door for Yoon. Dillon Fuller, a returning starter at defensive back and receiver, also has a nagging shoulder injury that could require surgery.

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