SOUTHEAST GLENDALE —- The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 68th year, meets Tuesday’s at the Elk’s Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the 10th meeting of the year.
EBERHART, LONG BREAK
DOWN BIG GAME
With the community still buzzing over the Glendale High football team’s 54-19 win over Hoover in Friday night’s “Battle for the Victory Bell,” both schools’ coaches addressed the club with their thoughts on the game.
Nitros Coach Alan Eberhart was understandably upbeat after his team took back the Bell and avoided going winless on the season.
“There started to be the feeling on our sidelines, not only of joy, but a little sense of relief that we think we finally did this,” said Eberhart of the mood when his team started to pull away in the second half and the end of a 16-game winning streak became a reality. “On Thursday at our practice, I took the kids into the “G” [at midfield] and said after the game we’re going to come here and we’re going to celebrate and we did.”
Tornadoes Coach Chris Long, whose team won the big game last season, said the loss came down to familiar pitfalls, including shaky special teams play that gave the Nitros great field position all night.
“We were just hoping that we would get a couple stops in the third and fourth quarter and then go ahead and win, but that didn’t happen,” Long said. “Hats off to Glendale, they played a great game.”
BONDS LOOKS AHEAD
TO CIF PLAYOFFS
After the St. Francis High football team beat Harvard-Westlake, 34-14, on Friday night to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs, Golden Knights Coach Jim Bonds was the lone member of the club’s coaching panel with an upcoming postseason matchup to discuss.
St. Francis opens the playoffs at No. 2 seed Dominguez at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“I told our guys it’s fun when you shock people,” Bonds said. “Nobody except our team and our coaches really think we have a chance to go down to Compton and beat Dominguez, but after watching film and seeing what they do, we think we have a great game plan.”
Defensive back/receiver Ryan Jenkins played quarterback in the Golden Knights’ Wildcat set against Harvard-Westlake with good results, including a second-half touchdown run. Bonds said the Wildcat could make an encore on Friday.
“We’re thinking about just using that wrinkle a little bit more as we move into the playoffs or just have it as a variation in our offense,” Bonds said.
BAZE TALKS ABOUT
LIFE ON THE TRACK
Santa Anita Park will debut its new dirt track when the Arcadia horse racing park opens its season on Dec. 26, which will also be the same day jockey Tyler Baze makes his return to racing after a gruesome injury suffered in July put him out of action for six months.
Baze was the club’s guest speaker on Wednesday and had plenty of interesting stories, insights and anecdotes about the sport that he was literally born into.
“I was kind of bred to do it, in the same way they breed horses to run,” said Baze, whose parents were both jockeys, as well as his uncle, Gary Baze, and cousin, U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze.
Tyler Baze debuted in Southern California in 1999 and rode 246 winners in 2000 to be voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. Baze has suffered his share of injuries on the job over the last decade, but was involved in a particularly bad one on July 24 at Del Mar.
Before the start of a race, Baze’s horse reared up and smashed into his face, knocking him to the ground. There he suffered further injury on the ground, finally taking a kick to the face and ended up with a shattered eye socket, broken nose and lost four teeth.
“You live with the expectation of never getting through everything alright,” Baze said. “Stuff’s gonna happen, you’re gonna get kicked in the face by a horse, you’re gonna go down a horse, they’re going to break they’re legs. It’s sad and it’s really heart wrenching to me, especially with horses I’ve been on a lot and especially when they’re important horses that get you through the stakes that make your name.”