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No place like home for Hoover

gnp-hooverfbsked31TextP928P7U5hoover high football scheduleNews-Press GLENDALEFootball: Five-game homestand to kick off season could be a boon for Tornadoes.2007 SCHEDULE

  • 9/7 vs. Golden Valley 7 p.m.
  • 9/14 vs. South Pasadena 7 p.m.
  • 9/20 vs. Blair 7 p.m.
  • 9/27 vs. Muir 7 p.m.
  • 10/05 vs. Arcadia 7 p.m.
  • 10/12 at Pasadena (PCC) 7 p.m.
  • 10/18 at Burroughs 7 p.m.
  • 10/26 vs. Cres. Valley 7 p.m.
  • 11/01 vs. Burbank 7 p.m.
  • 11/09 at Glendale 7 p.m.
  • GLENDALE — When working in the offseason to assemble his team’s nonleague schedule, Hoover High football Coach Dennis Hughes says he has a simple objective in mind — to engage opponents against whom the Tornadoes can be most competitive.

    Hughes doesn’t have the option of being discerning about who the Tornadoes play once Pacific League play begins in Week 4, but a favorable home schedule may go a long way toward easing the team’s passage through its challenging league and helping it improve upon its 1-10 record of 2006.

    As it was for the first time last year, the league season will be upon the Tornadoes much earlier in the year than it traditionally has.

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    “I liked it better [when we had five nonleague games], to be honest,” Hughes said of the truncated nonleague schedule, which was shortened to three games when the arrival of Burbank and Burroughs added two more league contests. “You don’t have a choice, though, you’ve got to go with what’s dealt to you.”

    Beginning Sept. 7, when the Tornadoes host Golden Valley, Hoover will play its first five games at its home site, Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

    The last two games of that stretch are the Sept. 27 league opener against Muir and an Oct. 5 meeting with Arcadia.

    Before those dates, however, Hoover will reunite with some familiar foes in South Pasadena on Sept. 14 and Blair on Sept. 20.

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    “It seems like Hoover’s been playing South Pas since I was in high school,” said Hughes, a Hoover High grad, of the rivalry between the schools that has become an annual tradition. “It’s just a good matchup, and the schools tend to be physically similar. It’s been a good game for us year in and year out.”

    Hoover last defeated the Tigers in the 2005 season at South Pasadena, 14-9, but was defeated by them at home, 34-0, last year.

    This year’s matchup was due to be played at South Pasadena, but since the Tigers are installing new field turf at that time, Hoover will host.

    The Tornadoes have also had varied success against Blair, as their 38-30 home win in 2005 is sandwiched by 2004’s 19-0 loss and a 34-0 defeat last season — with both losses coming on the road.

    Mountain View, the team which Hoover has opened its season against in recent years, has been replaced on this year’s schedule by Golden Valley of the Foothill League.

    Hoover has never played Golden Valley, a school which is only in its third year of varsity football and went 0-10 last season.

    “The reason I went with [Golden Valley] is I wanted a home opener and if we had stayed with Mountain View, we wouldn’t have been able to have that,” Hughes said. “The past few years, we’ve had to open at Hoover [High] and it just doesn’t feel like a real game when we play on our own field.

    “We want to be under the lights at Glendale High when we start our season.”

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    That’s where the Tornadoes will be until they play their first road game, Oct. 12 against Pasadena.

    On Oct. 18, Hoover travels to face defending league-champion Burroughs, before returning to Moyse Field to host Crescenta Valley on Oct. 26 and Burbank on Nov. 1.

    Hoover will be the visiting team for the season finale against Glendale on Nov. 9.

    Last season, the Tornadoes defeated the Nitros, 22-15, to end the campaign with a win.

    Hughes downplays any possible advantage inherent in having four out of seven league games as the home team, particularly in light of the fact that Crescenta Valley, and of course Glendale, also call Moyse Field home.

    Not having to travel to Pasadena to play Muir or to Arcadia, however, certainly could help the Tornadoes in both games.

    “Our league is tough, and the teams we have to play, I don’t think they have trouble with playing on the road,” Hughes said. “It is good for us, in the sense our kids are in familiar surroundings, and we tend to play better at Glendale High.”


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  • GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or by e-mail at gabriel.rizk@latimes.com.

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