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Nitros take new approach

Changes to the offense and fundamental attitude characterize Glendale's second season under Coach Eberhart.

September 07, 2010|By Grant Gordon,
  • The Glendale High football team is looking to bounce back from a 1-9 season.
The Glendale High football team is looking to bounce back… (Tim Berger, Glendale…)

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Never one to shy away from an honest assessment, second-year Glendale football Coach Alan Eberhart has a few ideas as to just what went wrong during a 1-9 season that ended with a winless Pacific League campaign last year.

He doesn't believe many of his seniors bought into the coaching staff's approach.

He doesn't believe the fundamentals were there, much as an aggressive approach was absent.

But as much as anything else, Eberhart puts blame on himself. He blames himself for assuming he was inheriting a team that was brimming with fundamentally-ready players and he blames himself for incorporating a spread offense that was likely too confusing for many of them. And as much as anything else, he blames himself for making allowances, for allowing some players to get away with a bit too much.

"Last year, if you missed a practice, you got suspended. This year, we've taken the approach of if you're not here, you're not here," Eberhart states. "We haven't compromised a lot.


"These kids are at the practices, these kids are working hard. For whatever reason, Iast year, I thought my validation was numbers. Well, we had 55 guys and 25 [real] players."

While the former longtime Crescenta Valley coach is hardly predicting that the Nitros will claim a Pacific League title and challenge for CIF glory, he does believe that despite having in the neighborhood of 32 players that they will be improved. Perhaps, more accurately, they have to be improved.

"I think we're a lot better, we've had a good summer, we've had a good camp," he says. "We need to progress as a football program. We can't go out there and get beat by 40 points. We have to play better football — block and tackle."

With these hopes comes a list of changes. They include forming a foundation of fundamentals, building up a more physical group of players and simplifying the offense.

The simplification of the offense will come with the implementation of the run-first wing-T offense.

"Our goal is to get three-and-a-half yards, just really basic stuff," Eberhart says.

Junior quarterback Alex Yoon is set to start at quarterbacking duties, though incumbent starter Evan Norton, also a junior, seems to have healed up from an arm injury. The injury to Norton, a stronger passer than Yoon, who is seen as a stronger runner, played a part in the offense's change as much as the goal to simplify.

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