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Glendale Tornados ready to roll into new season

Though there will be one less team within the Glendale Tornados organization this season, there’s plenty of positives to look ahead to for the third-year Pop Warner program.

President Robert Clarizio said there’s ample time for the program to grow and drum up future interest.

“We are still a fairly new program, so we know it’s going to take some time to grow,” said Clarizio, who is also the program’s Cub Division head coach. “We started from scratch a couple of years ago and we will get things up to speed.

“We will expand at some point and we’ll see the fruit of our work become complete when feeding our players to Hoover High.”

The Tornados, who attract participants from Glendale, La Crescenta and Burbank and are a member of the Los Angeles County League, kicked off their season Saturday on the road against the host Pasadena Trojans, will field teams in Cub (5-7 years old) and Junior Pee Wee (8-11) divisions. The Cub team is a flag football squad and will have about 16 athletes. The Junior Pee Wee program, which qualified for the playoffs last season, will consist of 26 players and is coached by Russell Duckett.

The Tornados had a Mighty Mite (7-9) squad last year, but scrapped it for this season.

“It’s something we hope to get back next year, so we’ll see,” said Clarizio, a Hoover graduate. “With the Cub team, you look to get the players to have fun.

“In all our groups, we look for the coaches to be positive role models and teach them about discipline.”

Clarizio said to ensure participation for all players, each athlete is guaranteed at least 10 downs per contest.

All home contests will be played at Hoover High. Glendale’s first home game will be held Sept. 6 against the Santa Clarita Purple Vikings.

The regular season, which will consist of eight games, will finish in November.

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Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .

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