Though the season doesn't start for another two weeks, the Glendale Community College football schedule has clearly been on the mind of Vaqueros Coach John Rome.
Although the Vaqueros finished 1-9 and 1-5 in the Pacific Conference's American Division last season, five of those losses were decided by a touchdown or less. This season's schedule will remain the same, though the sites will be reversed.
Glendale college's longest road trip will carry it to Santa Barbara in late October. Otherwise, the remainder of the road games will be within 50 miles of Glendale.
"It's the same schedule, and a fine schedule, and we won't have to travel to Allan Hancock," Rome said, referring to the 300-mile round trip that the Vaqueros took for a nonconference contest last season to Santa Maria. "It can be difficult to please everybody, but we have some good nonconference matchups and we will be mostly playing teams close to here."
Glendale will open its season by making a short trek to Pasadena City College for a nonconference game at 6 p.m. Sept. 3. Pasadena posted a 41-20 road win at Sartoris Field last season, but will have a new coaching staff in place for this season.
"That's a game where you don't know what to expect because they have a new staff," Rome said. "Everything that you had prepared for [with the previous coaching staff] goes away because you have to prepare for something new, so we will have to do a little research and see what their coaching staff likes to do."
The Vaqueros will then meet Golden West in a nonconference road game at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. That game will be played at Orange Coast Community College in Costa Mesa. The Vaqueros suffered a 39-22 home loss last season to Golden West.
"The one thing you tend to know about them is that they are always well-coached," Rome said.
Glendale will compete in its first home game at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 with a nonconference contest against East Los Angeles College, which handed the Vaqueros a 33-13 road defeat last season.
Rome said he's hoping the Vaqueros will have made some progress before stepping onto the Sartoris Field turf.
"We will look to see how much improvement we will have made by that time with our fundamentals," Rome said. "We will be glad to finally be playing at home for the first time."
Glendale will close out the nonconference portion of its schedule at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 against visiting Hancock, which posted a 44-28 win against the Vaqueros last season at home.
"It's our last nonconference game and we will be going up against one of the upper teams [in Southern California]," Rome said. "It's always challenging to see how you can do against one of the top teams."
As they will do with nonconference play, the Vaqueros will begin division action with a pair of road games. Both contests will be held in the San Fernando Valley.
Glendale will begin with a game at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 against L.A. Valley College, followed by a contest against L.A. Pierce College at 7 p.m. Oct. 8. The Vaqueros fell to Valley and Pierce, 27-21 and 42-40, respectively, last season.
"The game with Valley will be our first division game and that's where you really start to look at the improvements," Rome said. "Pierce will be a tough game because in recent years they have been tough at home to play against."
The Vaqueros will have a bye Oct. 15, and will close out their regular season with three home games in the final month of the season.
Rome said the bye will probably come at the right time for the Vaqueros, giving them an extra week to recover from possible injuries, as well time to regroup for the remaining division contests.
It will mark the second season in a row in which the Vaqueros will have a bye in the seventh week.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to regroup because some players that are worn down will have some time to recover and we can assess where we are at," Rome said. "If we have to make any kind of changes, that's the time to implement them."
Glendale will then meet West Los Angeles College at Sartoris Field at 7 p.m. Oct. 22. The Vaqueros suffered a 26-24 loss last season to the Wildcats.
"That's another game we will see where we are at coming off the bye," Rome said.
Glendale will then make a 200-mile round trip to face Santa Barbara City College at 6 p.m. Oct. 29. Santa Barbara picked up a 27-21 win last season.
"That's our longest ride and it's not really that bad," Rome said. "That's a great stadium to play in and it's always a good matchup."
The Vaqueros will close out the regular season with two home games. They will battle Santa Monica City College at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 before taking on L.A. Southwest College at 7 p.m. Nov. 12.
Glendale fell to Santa Monica, 28-21, last season on the road before bouncing back to close out with a 42-27 road win against Southwest.
"It's always nice to end the season at home and better when you have the last two at home," Rome said. "Maybe being at home can be to our advantage in that we feel strong about ourselves.
"We will have some returners who know these teams already from having played them last season. It's just a question of what can we do?"
Sept. 3 at Pasadena, 6 p.m.
Sept. 10 at Golden West, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. East L.A., 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. Hancock, 6 p.m.
Oct. 1 at L.A. Valley, 6 p.m.*
Oct. 8 at L.A. Pierce, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 22 vs. West L.A., 7 p.m.*
Oct. 29 at Santa Barbara, 6 p.m.*
Nov. 5 vs. Santa Monica, 7 p.m.*
Nov. 12 vs. L.A. Southwest, 7 p.m.*
*denotes Pacific Conference American Division game
All home games at Sartoris Field