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Something new, old for Nitros

Football: Glendale High to open and close season against cross-town rival Hoover.

August 23, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

Over the course of a conversation between Glendale High football Coach Alan Eberhart and then-Hoover Coach Chris Long shortly after last season concluded, the two entertained a way for spicing up their team's respective 2011 schedules.

Eberhart and Long found common ground — opening the season against each other.

It was something that piqued Eberhart's interest, from a team and community standpoint.

Since 1930, the cross-town rivals have met during the final week of the season in "The Battle For the Victory Bell." Now, Glendale will meet Hoover twice, beginning at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Glendale High's Moyse Field in a designated nonleague game. The teams will hold their customary meeting during the final week of the season in a Pacific League contest Nov. 10 at the same venue.

Glendale will be the "road" team in week one and will be "home" team in week 10.

"There's always going to be that motivation playing Hoover," said Eberhart, whose team opened the previous two seasons against Cathedral before seeing the two-year agreement expire. "When you rebuild, it's important that your players believe they can win.

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"It's hard when you are going up against strong teams, like Cathedral, to start a season. Hoover just happened to come up. You want to get your confidence going and, at the same time, get [fans] out there out of curiosity."

Glendale finished Eberhart's second season at 1-9 and 1-6 in league for seventh place. Glendale posted a 54-19 win against Hoover to claim the Victory Bell and city bragging rights.

For Eberhart, a Glendale graduate and former Nitros player, there's more than just playing Hoover. The Nitros will find out where they stand with two additional nonleague games before taking part in league.

"It should be about all of the games," Eberhart said. "You want to be getting better with each week and we were so much better by the end of last year.

"I think we had it all figured out. We are super simplistic and we have a lot of guys coming back."

After the first meeting with Hoover, Glendale will hit the road for a pair of nonleague road games.

Glendale will make a short trip to nearby La Cañada on Sept. 17 and South Pasadena on Sept. 24, respectively. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Last season, Glendale suffered a 40-17 loss to La Cañada and followed up with a 28-21 defeat against South Pasadena.

Eberhart said the Nitros will seek better results.

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