Aside from practice, the members of the Glendale High football team won't see much of their home field during the first month of the season.
After beginning last season with three consecutive home games, the Nitros will shift gears and play their first three games of this season on the road. It doesn't seem to faze Glendale third-year Coach John Tuttle, whose team will play the identical schedule it had with the exception of alternating venues.
"I actually like it because it can really bring the team together," said Tuttle, whose team finished 4-6 and 2-5 in the Pacific League last season. "If you can win all three or at least two, then that can makes things even better before you play your first home game."
At least Glendale won't have to travel too far for its first three games, all nonleague contests.
Glendale will open its season at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 against San Gabriel. Glendale posted a convincing 41-3 win versus San Gabriel last season.
"It will be a good matchup for us," said Tuttle, who will look to lead Glendale to its first winning season since it went 6-4 in 2008. "It's a game where I'm sure we can be competitive."
Glendale will then turn its attention to a pair of Rio Hondo League teams during the second and third weeks.
Glendale will first take on La Cañada at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 and then meet South Pasadena at 7 p.m. Sept. 19. The Nitros suffered a tough 27-20 defeat against La Cañada before bouncing back to register a 23-7 win against South Pasadena last season.
"La Cañada will have a new coach, so it will be interesting to see what they will run," Tuttle said. "Usually, they have some pretty good linemen.
"[South Pasadena Coach] Marty Konrad has done a good job over there. They will probably have a young team, but you know you'll get a good game from them."
The Nitros will then make the jump to league play and will have one less day to prepare for their league and home opener, which will be on a Thursday. Glendale will take on Muir at 7 p.m. Sept. 25.
Tuttle said Glendale will have its hands full with Muir, which recorded a 40-0 win against Glendale en route to capturing the league championship last season.
"We will have two games on Thursdays this year," Tuttle said. "We know it's going to be a tough test against Muir because they get the most out of their players.
"You always find out where you stand when you are playing Muir."
Glendale will then head back out on the road to face Arcadia at 7 p.m. Oct. 3.
The Nitros and Apaches played a close game last season, with Arcadia picking up a 14-6 win.
"That's always a hard place to play for a visiting team," Tuttle said. "They will have a much improved team because they are familiar with the system run there."
Glendale will head back to Moyse Field for a three-game homestand that will feature league games against Crescenta Valley, Burbank and Pasadena.
Glendale will first meet Crescenta Valley, which went 8-2 last season, at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 The Falcons topped Glendale, 27-7, in last season's matchup.
"We stayed with them for a while in last year's game," Tuttle said. "You know you are up for a good test and it's always a fun rivalry."
The Nitros will have a little less time for their next opponent in Burbank, as the game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. Burbank marched to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals last season and has since brought a new coach on board.
Burbank posted a 56-14 win last season against Glendale.
"No matter what, you know going in that Burbank likes to play very physical," Tuttle said. "We will have our hands full trying to stop their running back [James Williams]."
Glendale will wrap up its homestand with a league game against Pasadena at 7 p.m. Oct. 24. The Nitros picked up a 23-20 win against the Bulldogs on the road last season.
"They have a team that mostly likes to spread it out," Tuttle said. "They have a pretty good quarterback and they have a fair amount of speed."
The Nitros will then match up against Burroughs at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at Burroughs. The Indians rolled to a 35-14 win last season against the Nitros.
"Burroughs will be another physical game," Tuttle said. "They always seem to have a lot of depth and good linemen."
Glendale will then finish its regular season with a matchup against cross-town rival Hoover at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Moyse Field in the 'Battle for the Victory Bell." The Nitros have won four consecutive games against the Tornadoes, including a 49-6 victory last season.
Since Glendale and Hoover both use Moyse Field as their home field, Glendale will be the designated road team this season.
"It's a game that's got a long history between the two teams and you get to play in front of a big crowd," Tuttle said. "It's a game that's fun for the kids and the schools really get involved.
"You can feel the energy because of that."