SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 65th year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk’s Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the 10th meeting of the year.
MANY CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER
Since the final whistle blew, first-year Glendale High Coach Rafik Thorossian has received numerous congratulations.
The Nitros recorded their first win of the season Friday with a 35-7 Pacific League victory against cross-town rival Hoover to reclaim the Victory Bell. It marked the first time that Glendale won a game since it topped Hoover in 2005.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been congratulated this much since the end of the game,” Thorossian said. “It was a great game.
“I was kind of nervous in the beginning. Hoover ran the ball well during their opening possession, but our defense played great. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Glendale improved to 46-31-2 against Hoover in the annual “Battle for the Victory Bell.”
VAQUEROS SALUTE THEIR SOPHOMORES
The Glendale Community College football team relied heavily on its core of sophomores to lead the Vaqueros to a winning record this season.
Glendale college Sports Information Director Alex Leon, who filled in for Coach John Cicuto, presented two Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club awards.
The Jim Sartoris Most Valuable Player award was given to defensive lineman Grant Valentine, who has posted 93 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks this season.
The Scholar Athlete award was presented to St. Francis High graduate Ray McDonough, who has a 3.4 grade-point average. McDonough, who was awarded a $500 scholarship by the Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, had eight interceptions at safety in the Vaqueros’ last five contests.
Oscar Vallejo was given the Student-Manager Award.
FALCONS GO DOWN WITH A FIGHT
Technically, Crescenta Valley finished sixth in the Pacific League and fell just short of qualifying for the playoffs. The Falcons had a chance to possibly qualify for the fourth and final playoff spot from the Pacific League, but saw that evaporate Thursday following a 31-24 loss to Arcadia at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.
“Had we won, then we could have gone to the playoffs,” first-year Crescenta Valley Coach Tony Zarrillo said. “We did some good things during the game.
“We moved the ball well up and down the field. Unfortunately, the field was about 20 yards too long. We did things well, but we just didn’t do it often enough. The mistakes we made took place at critical junctures.”
FORMER USC FOOTBALL STAR JACKSON SPEAKS
Ex-USC standout wide receiver John Jackson was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting. Jackson, who played four seasons in the NFL with the Phoenix Cardinals and the Chicago Bears, led the Trojans in 1989 with 62 receptions for 964 yards and five touchdowns and earned All-American status.
Now, he’s got a bird’s-eye view covering high school and college football for FOX Sports. He’s retained the job for about 10 years.
“I’ve seen a lot of high school guys go on to play college football,” said Jackson, who starred at Bishop Amat High and also played baseball at USC. “High school football is the purest form of football that you’ll see.
“You see what athletics do for young men. You represent your school.”
Jackson said life at the collegiate level and NFL are vastly different.
“The NFL is a different animal because it’s 100% business,” Jackson said. “The teams that do well keep that high school passion, and that’s why teams continue to win like the Colts and Patriots.”
Jackson also keeps a close eye on the state of the USC and UCLA programs.
He wasn’t shy to offer some perspective on the two teams.
“With USC, it starts with [Coach] Pete Carroll,” Jackson said. “I think he and his staff have learned a lot.
“Even when you are favored to win, you still have to play the game. They are trying to salvage their season, and they are still BCS bowl eligible.
“It’s been a tough time for UCLA, as well. I think [Coach] Karl Dorrell has learned a lot, too. A lot of people criticize him and say how he should get fired. I think it would be a mistake because his teams play hard and that means they respect the coach. They’ve had a lot of quarterback injuries. I hope he doesn’t lose his job.”