No matter if it is scheduled to play a game at home or on the road, the Hoover High football team can count on boarding a bus to reach its destination.
That’s life for the Tornadoes, who get to practice on their campus. However, all of their home contests are across town at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.
“It would be nice to suit up in our own locker room and then play a home game, but we are used to getting on a bus,” said Hoover second-year Coach Matt Andersen, whose team will play virtually the same schedule it had last season in going 2-9, 0-7 in the Pacific League. “But, we’ll be ready to play on the road or at Glendale High.
“We like the schedule that we have because we’ll be seeing a lot of different things.”
The Tornadoes will have one different opponent this season compared to last year and that will be a zero week home game against Hollywood at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Hoover opened last season with a 65-0 nonleague victory against Blair, but Andersen said the Tornadoes wanted to go in a different direction and match up against an L.A. City Section foe.
Hoover will look to snap an eight-game losing streak when they face the Sheiks, who finished 3-7 last season.
“I always like to play a zero week game because you can jump right into it and you get a bye a little later in the season,” Andersen said. “You can see where you are as a team following the spring and summer.
“We will see where we are at and you can always make adjustments.”
Hoover will then play nine straight games against teams it faced in 2013, beginning with a home game against Sotomayor from the City Section. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 5.
Sotomayor, now a second-year program, topped Hoover, 39-26 at home last season. However, Sotomayor had to forfeit because it used an ineligible player.
“That was a good game we had against them,” Andersen said. “We stayed with them and we could have easily have folded.
“We are looking to see what they have in store this next time around.”
Hoover will then wrap up nonleague at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 against visiting South Pasadena, which posted a 21-7 win last season against the Tornadoes.
Andersen said he expects to see South Pasadena run a wing-T offense, similar to what Arcadia runs.
“It’s why you play a team like that in South Pasadena because you’ll see that down the road in league,” Andersen said.
Hoover will then have its bye before beginning league action on the road against Arcadia at 7 p.m. Sept. 26.
“Having the bye that weeks comes at a great time,” Andersen said. “It will give us a chance for the bumps and bruises to heal and we can clean things up because the season is a grind because we don’t have an incredibly deep team.”
Arcadia will be the first league test for the Tornadoes, who saw the Apaches register a 53-21 win in last season’s matchup, which will once again see the Tornadoes square off against coach Andrew Policky, who now leads Arcadia following his tenure coaching Hoover.
Hoover will then meet Pasadena at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Moyse Field. Pasadena notched a 33-13 victory in 2013.
“You know that you have to come out prepared when going up against Arcadia,” Andersen said. “Pasadena has got a lot of great athletes and they have some speed.”
Hoover will play a pair of Tuesday contests. The first will come at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 against visiting Burroughs, which posted a 9-0 win against Hoover last season.
The Tornadoes will have one less day to prepare against the Indians, who will likely feature plenty of depth and are known to be physical.
“You would always like to have an extra day to prepare for a team like Burroughs,” Andersen said. “They wore us down last time and we had something like 11 guys going both ways for us.
“The one thing about Burroughs is that they will always have numbers and they are always big.”
Hoover will then turn its attention to rival Crescenta Valley. The Tornadoes and Falcons will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Moyse Field with Hoover serving as the road team.
Crescenta Valley recorded a 56-19 win last season against Hoover.
“It’s two schools from the school district who will be coming after each other,” Andersen aid.
The Tornadoes will then face another big challenge when they take on Burbank at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Burroughs High’s Memorial Field. The Bulldogs came away with a 49-0 win against Hoover last season and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals.
The Bulldogs will turn to new coach Richard Broussard, who replaces Hector Valencia.
“That should be an interesting game because they have a new coach and maybe some new things to run,” Andersen said. “We know we have to go there and not shy away from anybody.”
Up next for Hoover will be Muir at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. Muir posted a 35-3 win last season en route to winning the league championship.
“Muir went out there and had a tremendous year,” Andersen said. “They had some of the best athletes that we saw the whole season.”
Hoover will wrap up the regular season at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 against cross-town rival Glendale in the “Battle for the Victory Bell.” Hoover will serve as the home team.
The Nitros finished with a 49-6 win and retained possession of the bell.
“You get a lot of chills and you always get fired up playing against your main rival,” Andersen said. “It was a great experience to be a part of the rivalry for the first time.
“There’s that history and passion when the two teams get together. that’s something you got to love.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .