GLENDALE — This is the fourth of eight consecutive editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2009-10 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.
The sports landscape at Glendale High had many memorable moments throughout the 2009-10 season. While none of the teams won a Pacific League championship, some advanced to the postseason.
The boys' water polo team, for instance, came within two minutes of advancing to the program's first CIF championship match shortly after nearly winning a league crown. It marked the first time since 2000 that the Nitros reached the semifinals.
The girls' tennis team had a doubles team win a league championship for the second season in a row and a sophomore on the boys' track and field team sprinted to a league championship on his home turf.
For the first time in three seasons, the football team was forced to surrender the bell in the aftermath of losing to cross-town rival Hoover in "The Battle For the Victory Bell."
Here is a recap of some of the Nitros' athletic highlights and events that unfolded during the past year:
•Sept. 10, 2009 — The girls' tennis team begins its season with a 14-4 nonleague road victory against Mark Keppel. Singles players Sevana Zargarian and Samantha Sismundo each sweep their three sets.
•Sept. 11, 2009 — Under the guidance of first-year football Coach Alan Eberhart, the Nitros open their season with a 52-13 road loss to powerful Cathedral. Quarterback Moises Chavez completes six of 13 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
•Sept. 15, 2009 — The boys' water polo team gets five goals from Gor Asryan to earn a 9-7 nonleague road win against San Marino.
•Sept. 24, 2009 — The football team squanders a fourth-quarter lead before besting visiting South Pasadena, 28-21, in overtime.
Behind a diving five-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Moises Chavez and a subsequent defensive stand, the Nitros give Eberhart his first victory at his alma mater.
Glendale starts fast to the tune of a 21-0 first-half lead, but falters mightily, as South Pasadena scores the game's next 21 points, including 14 in the second half, to send the game into overtime.
"All the mistakes, it doesn't matter," Eberhart said. "It matters that we won the game and we've got that feeling."
•Oct. 29, 2009 — The girls' tennis team wraps up Pacific League play with a 13-5 loss to Burbank. The Nitros place fourth in league and advance to the postseason.
•Nov. 3, 2009 — The boys' water polo squad rallies from five goals down to post a 13-11 victory against Hoover in a Pacific League tournament semifinal match at Burbank High.
•Nov. 4, 2009 — For the second season in a row, the doubles team of Sismundo and Zargarian win the Pacific League doubles championship. The duo teams up to post a 6-1, 6-1 win against second-seeded Ani Ebrahimian and Audri Pardo of Crescenta Valley in the title match.
•Nov. 5, 2009 — The girls' volleyball squad receives 10 kills from April Reed to earn a 25-12, 22-25, 26-24, 25-14 road victory against Hoover in a Pacific League match. The Nitros, who sweep the two-match season series, finish at 5-10 and 4-10 in league for fifth place.
At the Pacific League cross-country finals at Griffith Park, Glendale takes fifth as Chris Canlas places 13th in 16 minutes 25 seconds to earn all-league honors.
In the girls' portion of the meet, Frances Pasamba of Glendale finishes ninth in 19:45. The Nitros place sixth.
The boys' water polo team suffers a tough 14-12 overtime loss to Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League Tournament's championship match at Burbank High.
•Nov. 10, 2009 — The girls' tennis team sees its season finish with a 13-5 loss to Villa Park in a CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card match. The Nitros finish at 8-8 and 6-6 in league.
•Nov. 13, 2009 — In "The Battle For the Victory Bell," Glendale surrenders a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 15-7 Pacific League against cross-town rival Hoover. Glendale had won the previous two meetings.
Chavez tosses a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Fuller early in the second quarter for Glendale's lone score.
"I feel like we played a great game, we just couldn't come up with enough breaks to get it done," said Glendale's Linden Anderson, who has three first-half interceptions. "I'm happy with the way we played."
Glendale finishes 1-9 and 0-8 in league.
•Nov. 14, 2009 — Under the tutelage of first-year Coach Forest Holbrook, the boys' water polo team advances to the semifinals for the first time since 2000 with an 11-9 upset victory against fourth-seeded Walnut in a Division VI quarterfinal match at Burbank High. The Nitros get a 14-save performance by goalkeeper Haik Chatalyan and four goals apiece from Gor Asryan and Martin Narinyan.
"We had a decent game, but not a good one," Holbrook said. "Luckily, we were able to advance with Gor having an off day.
"The rest of the guys stood out and helped. We got a huge lift from the bench and Martin played incredibly well. It's good to get to the semifinals."
•Nov. 18, 2009 — On the cusp of reaching the Division VI championship, Glendale's boys' water polo team holds a 13-10 lead with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter against top-seeded Webb in a semifinal match in Irvine. However, Webb scores three late goals to force overtime and then goes on to earn an 18-14 victory.
"It was nerve-wracking," said Asryan, who scored the lone goal in overtime for the Nitros. "We made some mistakes on defense in the last two minutes.
"We thought we could pull it off in overtime. Overtime is where it counts the most."
•Nov. 20, 2009 — Sismundo and Zargarian advance to the third round of the CIF Individual Tournament at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in El Monte. After winning their first two rounds, Sismundo and Zargarian fall to Chadwick's Madeleine Sung and Anna Han, who team up for a 6-3, 5-7, 10-1 win.
•Jan. 28, 2010 — The girls' soccer teams holds on for a 3-2 Pacific League victory against cross-town rival Hoover in a Pacific League match.
"It always [gets scary at the end] with [Hoover]," Glendale Coach Dino Barbiera said. "Momentum definitely shifted over, but I was proud [the Nitros] kept their composure and I like the way they played through it."
•Feb. 3 — The Nitro girls' water polo team finishes Pacific League play with a 16-4 win against rival Hoover.
•Feb. 11 — The boys' soccer squad clinches a playoff spot after earning a 2-0 Pacific League victory against visiting Hoover.
The Glendale boys' basketball teams finishes up its season with a 51-42 Pacific League home loss against Hoover. The Nitros go 7-19 and 2-12 in league for eighth place.
Cynthia Garcia scores 10 points to lead the visiting Nitros to a 42-30 Pacific League victory against Hoover in a season finale. The Nitros go 6-18, 2-12 in league to place seventh.
•Feb. 16 — The boys' soccer season comes to an end following a 6-0 road loss against Rio Mesa in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card match. The Nitros finish up at 15-9-2 and 7-6-1 in the Pacific League for fourth place.
The girls' water polo team begins its playoff run with a 14-5 road victory against Santa Ynez in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card match. Glendale receives a team-high five goals from Kristina Terzyan and four from Katren Ter-Oganesyan at Lompoc Aquatic Center.
•Feb. 18 — The girls' water polo team sees its season come to an end with a 17-4 road loss against second-seeded Rio Mesa in a CIF Southern Section Division IV first-round playoff match. The Nitros finish at 16-13 and 3-3 in the Pacific League.
•March 17 — The boys' golf team cards a 383 to place 16th at the 46th installment of the Burbank High Schools' Invitational at De Bell Golf Club in Burbank.
•March 23 — The baseball team, led by first-year Coach Jesus Osuna, begins its season with a 16-3 Pacific League victory against host Muir. Glendale goes 4-13 and 3-11 in league for seventh place.
•April 27 — In the 11th rendition of the Bronze Bowl, given to the school with the most total points at the Glendale-Hoover track and field meet, Glendale earns a 141-131 victory in the Pacific League dual meet at Hoover. Glendale's girls' team posts a 73-63 victory and the boys' team finishes tied at 68.
In the girls' competition, Glendale receives first-place finishes from Gabriella Kovarik, who takes the high jump in 4 feet eight inches and the triple jump (31-7) and the long jump (13-11). Also netting first-place finishes for the Nitros are Frances Pasamba in the 1,600-meter race in 5 minutes 39.73 seconds, the 800 (2:31) and the 3,200 (12:34). Teammate Kathy Nguyen wins the discus (88-6).
In the boys' portion of the meet, Chris Canlas wins the 1,600 (4:47) and the 3,200 (10:49) for the Nitros, who also got victories from Mike Davis in the 100 (10.9) and the 200 (23.82). Also securing first-place finishes for Glendale were John Canlas in the 800 (2:06.95), Jesvier Alaniz in the high jump (5-2), Christian Tom in the triple jump (37 feet) and Alejandro Sanchez in the discus (97-6).
Glendale wins both relays. Justin Belen, Jeffrey Massin, Julian Rios and Davis work together to take the 4x100 (46.95). Massin, Rios, John Canlas and Davis team up to win the 4x400 (3:36).
•May 5 — Boys' junior doubles tennis players Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim advance to the Pacific League finals for the second season in a row. However, their bid to win the title is dashed after it falls to top-seeded George Chiu and Hardy Lou of Arcadia.
•May 6 — The boys' volleyball team ends its season on a high note with a 25-15, 25-11, 25-8 Pacific League win against visiting Hoover. The Nitros go 2-8 in league for fifth place.
At the Pacific League swimming finals at Burbank High, Katalina Sher wins the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute 55.42 seconds and takes the 100 freestyle in 53.57 to lead the Nitros to a sixth-place finish with 178 points.
In the boys' competition, Mickey Mowry wins the 100 butterfly (53.08) to help the Nitros finish fifth with 142 points.
•May 7 — At the Pacific League Track and Field finals at Glendale High's Moyse Field, Davis clocks 22.16 seconds to capture the 200-meter race.
•May 11 — The Nitro boys' tennis team begins the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs with a 15-3 home wild-card victory against Righetti.
•May 12 — The boys' tennis team sees its season wind up with a 17-1 loss to top-seeded Palm Desert in a first-round road match. The Nitros go 8-10 and 5-7 in the Pacific League for fourth place.
•May 13 — The softball team finishes up its season with a 2-1 Pacific League win against visiting Hoover. Pitcher Casey Ramirez scatters five hits in going the distance and notching the victory in the circle.
"I was really, really nervous, but I knew we would pull through," said Ramirez, whose team finished 5-9 in league for sixth place. "I knew we could get [the last] out."
•May 15 — Mickey Mowry takes sixth in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.84 seconds and seventh in the 100 backstroke (53.61) at the CIF Southern Section Division II final at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach.
Katalina Sher represents Glendale, as well, in the 200- and 100 freestyle. Sher places sixth (1:54.30) in the 200 freestyle, and seventh in the 100 freestyle in 53.36.
"I felt like I did well to end my four years of high school swimming," Sher said. "It was really exciting to race, the competition just gets tougher and tougher."
•May 18 — At the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach, Mowry is third in his heat and 14th overall in the 100 butterfly in 51.98 seconds and finishes 12th in the 100 backstroke in 53.64.
•May 21 — Asano and Kim advance to the second round of the CIF Individual Tournament at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center. After posting a 6-2, 6-0 win against Michael Hisu and Jeff Nagasawa of Wilson Hacienda Heights, the duo suffers a 7-5, 6-1 loss to John Jason and Drew Frieman of Beverly Hills.