Keeping up with the Nitros

This is the third of eight editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2010-11 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.

There proved to be quite a few intriguing storylines throughout the past season for Glendale High. Some resulted in teams reaching the playoffs and individuals turning in fine efforts on the track and courts. Seven programs qualified for the CIF playoffs, including the boys' and girls' basketball and boys' and girls' water polo teams.

The football team regained possession of the "Victory Bell" by posting a lopsided win against cross-town rival Hoover. The track and field teams retained the "Bronze Bowl" after they bested Hoover for the 12th straight season. Sophomore boys' sprinter Mike Davis proved to be the best in the 100- and 200-meter races, capturing Pacific League championships in both races.

Here is a recap of some of the Nitros' athletic highlights and events that unfolded during the past year:

Sept. 10, 2010 — The football team kicks off its season with a 21-10 nonleague loss against visiting Cathedral. Glendale drives down field but commits a turnover late in the contest.

"If we can keep that ball and go down, we've got a chance late in the fourth quarter," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "It was 14-10 in the last minute of the game. We wanted to win the game. But we wanted to come out and play hard. We wanted to prove that we could be better."

Oct. 1, 2010 — The Nitros begin the Pacific League portion of their schedule with a 35-14 loss to rival Crescenta Valley. Glendale gets a rushing touchdown from Alejandro Maravilla.

Oct. 27, 2010 — Glendale's boys' water polo team gets two goals in overtime from David Grigorian to net a 13-12 Pacific League road win against rival Hoover.

Martin Narinyan, who collects a match-best seven goals, scores with 1:53 left in the first overtime to give Glendale a 10-9 lead. Hoover takes an 11-10 lead before Narinyan tallies again with 14 seconds left to knot the match at 11. In the second overtime, Grigorian scores with 2:16 left to make it 12-11 and closes out the scoring minutes later to help Glendale prevail. Grigorian finishes with four goals.

"We hung on barely," Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said. "It was a tight game.

"The plan for us was to be patient and see if we could make something happen late on offense."

Nov. 2, 2010 — In a semifinal match of the Pacific League Tournament at Burbank High, Glendale's boys' water polo team nets a 15-12 victory against Hoover.

David Grigorian scores six goals to pace the Nitros, who get a strong defensive effort from Cole Veloz. Glendale scores three goals in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

Nov. 4, 2010 — At the Pacific League cross-country finals at Crescenta Valley Park, Glendale's girls' team takes sixth with 171 points. Glendale's Fabiola Naranjo finishes 24th in 22 minutes 9.09 seconds.

In the boys' portion of the race, Glendale finishes sixth with 166 points. Chris Canlas shines in the meet, as he takes 13th (16:57.33).

The girls' volleyball team wraps up its season with a 25-23, 20-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-5 Pacific League win against cross-town rival Hoover in a Pacific League road match.

"We had faith that we could come back and win," said Glendale middle blocker April Reed, who finishes with 11 kills. "We had that energy in the fourth and fifth games and we were able to work well together.

"We had to cover for each other."

Glendale finishes 5-13, 3-11 in league for fifth place.

The boys' water polo team falls to Crescenta Valley, 11-7, in the Pacific League Tournament's title match at Burbank High.

Glendale gets a team-best four goals from Martin Narinyan.

Nov. 9, 2010 — The girls' tennis team has its season come to a close with an 11-7 loss to Flintridge Prep in a CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card playoff match at Scholl Canyon Park.

The Nitros, who finish 6-9, 6-6 in league for third place, receive doubles victories from Hana Jang and Mariam Khachtryan and Arpi Arutyunyan and Emily Levin.

"I'm pleased with how we did [this season]," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "We had only four girls back from last year's team and we've improved all year in singles and I think our doubles have been as good as they can do all year. That's all I can ask for."

Nov. 10, 2010 — Glendale's boys' water polo team gets a goal from Martin Narinyan with 15 seconds left in regulation to net a 10-9 win against Chadwick in a CIF Southern Section Division V first-round match at Burbank High.

"I was surprised because my shots weren't going in," said Narinyan, who leads his team with three goals and four assists.

Nov. 12, 2010 — In "The Battle For the Victory Bell," Glendale picks up a convincing 54-19 Pacific League victory against cross-town rival Hoover at Moyse Field.

"This was the biggest game," said running back Chan Kim, who rushes for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns. "It's the best feeling ever. We broke them."

Glendale, which snaps a 16-game losing skid, finishes 1-9, 1-6 in league for seventh place. The Nitros score the most points in the history of the "Battle for the Victory Bell," which dates to 1930. It's also their biggest margin of victory since a 51-0 win in 1991 and gives Glendale a 47-33-2 advantage in the all-time series.

"This game was the biggest game of the season," said quarterback Alex Yoon, who rushes for a game-high 123 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries. "There was a lot of pressure on all of us to show up and play hard for ourselves and for our school."

Yoon score on runs of 24, 22 and 49 yards.

"We knew we could run the ball and we did," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "We also got breaks."

The boys' water polo team is handed a 16-5 loss by La Serna in a CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal playoff match at Burbank High and finishes 17-8 and 6-2 in league for second place.

Martin Narinyan scores three goals for Glendale.

"It's tough, our team's one of the top teams in the area, but you get down five goals and it's hard not for them to [get discouraged]," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook.

Nov. 30, 2010 — The girls' soccer team kicks off its season with a 2-2 nonleague tie against Alverno.

Glendale freshman goalkeeper Ashley Hermosillo finishes with nine saves.

"I was nervous at first, but then I got used to it," Hermosillo said. "It was a little scary playing against the big players and then I got the hang of it."

Dec. 13, 2010 — The boys' basketball team receives a big performance from center David Yetenikyan, who finishes with 13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and a pair of blocks to help rally Glendale to a 61-53 victory against St. Francis in a pool-play game of the La Cañada Holiday Classic at La Canada High.

The Nitros trailed, 13-0, midway through the first quarter and 19-4 after the opening stanza.

Jan. 5 — The girls' water polo team gets a team-high four goals from senior driver Alique Berberian to net a 10-7 Pacific League victory against host Burbank.

Jan. 7 — Glendale's girls' basketball team receives a game-high 28 points from Serah Mirzaeian and 20 from Stella Ghazarian to pick up a 61-49 home Pacific League victory against Arcadia.

Jan. 12 — Glendale boys' soccer sophomore goalkeeper Aris Yeghiazaryan grabs the spotlight for the Nitros, who record a 1-0 Pacific League road win against Muir.

Yeghiazaryan stops a penalty shot with about 10 minutes left to preserve Glendale's victory. Yeghiazaryan stops the shot moments after Levon Sargsyan scores to give the Nitros a 1-0 lead.

"My heart was pounding and it feels great to make the save and get a big win like this," Yeghiazaryan said. "I knew when I came in for the second half that I had to be ready. I thought I would have to make a big save or two."

The boys' basketball team picks up arguably one of its biggest wins of the season. Glendale overcomes a slow start and rallies for a 65-56 Pacific League road victory against Muir, then top ranked in CIF Southern Section Division V-AA.

"We finally finished out a game in which we played four quarters and we were aggressive," Glendale Coach Steve Snodgress said. "This is a tough way to do it. We beat a very good team in Muir."

Glendale receives 20 points from senior guard Steven Gasparian, 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks from junior center David Yetenikyan and 16 points and eight rebounds from senior guard Anthony Tahmazian.

The girls' basketball team posts a 42-30 Pacific League home win against Muir. It marks the first time Glendale beats Muir since 2000. Stella Ghazarian leads the Nitros with 17 points.

"If they're ready to play, they're ready to play," Glendale Coach Tania Adary said. "[The win] was humongous."

Jan. 26 — Glendale's boys' soccer team receives a season-best four goals from forward Levon Sargsyan and goalkeeper Aris Yeghiazaryan stops a penalty shot en route to a 6-0 Pacific League home win against Pasadena.

Jan. 27 — The girls' water polo team comes from behind to earn a 13-10 Pacific league home victory against Pasadena. Things don't look good for the Nitros, who then catch a break with a Pasadena turnover in the closing seconds before tying the match with one second left in regulation on a goal by Milene Minassians. Desiree Garcia-Solano adds two key goals in overtime to spark Glendale.

"We didn't have much time and the man-advantage situation helped us a lot," said Minassians, who finishes with three goals. "I saw a lane where I thought I could shoot after Desiree gave me a perfect pass.

"We got that goal and I think we had the advantage [going into overtime]. We played with confidence at the end."

Feb. 2 — Glendale's girls' water polo team cruises to a 13-0 Pacific League win against rival Hoover and clinches second place in the league tournament at Burbank High. Kristina Terzyan finishes with a match-best five goals.

Feb. 8 — The girls' water polo team suffers a 7-5 loss to Pasadena in a semifinal match of the Pacific League Tournament at Burbank High.

The girls' basketball team nets a 57-50 Pacific League home win against Crescenta Valley. The Nitros are led by Serah Mirzaeian, who collects a team-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Stella Ghazarian finishes with 12 points and six rebounds for the Nitros, who receive 10 fourth-quarter points from Nina Sahakian.

Feb. 10 — The girls' soccer team ends its season with a 3-0 Pacific League victory against Hoover.

"There was too much emotion in the first half, everyone wanted to score," Glendale Coach Victor Aquino said. "We had a talk at halftime, and you saw what happened."

Ashley Aquino, Alex Udarbe and Isabella Montano each score a goal for the Nitros, who finish 4-12-4, 3-9-2 in league for sixth place.

The boys' soccer team ends the regular season with a 1-1 Pacific League tie against Hoover. The team wraps up third place in league and advances to the playoffs.

The boys' basketball team finishes the regular season with a 59-46 victory against rival Hoover. The Nitros get 16 points from Anthony Tahmazian and 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks from David Yetenikyan.

The girls' basketball team ends the regular season with a convincing 59-34 Pacific League victory against Hoover. The Nitros get a game-high 25 points from Serah Mirzaeian.

Feb. 16 — Glendale's girls' water polo team begins the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs on the road with a 10-6 win against La Sierra at Arlington High in Riverside. Glendale goalkeeper Mariquita Lopez makes 15 saves and Desiree Garcia-Solano scores a match-high five goals.

The boys' soccer team rallies from a 2-0 deficit late in the second half to earn a 2-2 (5-4) home victory against Culver City in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card match. Glendale starting goalkeeper James Mizuki injures his ankle early in the first half, forcing Glendale Coach Tulio Marroquin to bring in Aris Yeghiazaryan, who stops three penalty shots.

"It took [all of] the boys to finally get us back in the game in the second half," Marroquin said. "We knew Aris had it. He's made big saves for us against Muir and Pasadena. He's done it before, he guesses right. I knew he was going to be able to stop one or two, I didn't know he was going to stop that many."

Alan Ghazarians scores both regulation goals for the Nitros.

The boys' basketball season comes to a close with a 61-44 road loss to 12th-seeded Simi Valley in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs. Anthony Tahmazian, Linden Anderson and David Yetenikyan all collect 10 points for the Nitros, who finish 12-15, 7-7 in league to tie for third place.

Feb. 17 — The girls' basketball team's postseason run is a short one, as it suffers a 78-34 road loss against second-seeded Buena in an opening round game of the CIF Southern Section Division II-A playoffs. The Nitros, who finish 14-13 and 6-8 in the Pacific League to tie for fourth place, get 17 points from Stella Ghazarian.

Feb. 18 — The girls' water polo team finishes its season with a 13-5 loss to top-seeded Redlands East Valley in a second-round game of the CIF Southern Section Division playoffs at Burbank High.

"It's tough when we're one of the top teams in our division and in our second [playoff] game, we have to play the No. 1 seed," Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said. "It's a tough draw, but I thought our girls were able to rise up and play at that level, though."

Kristina Terzyan scores two goals for Glendale in the fourth quarter. The Nitros finish 17-10 and 5-2 in league for second place.

The boys' soccer season finishes with a 3-1 road loss against Bonita in a CIF Southern Section Division IV first-round playoff match.

Glendale, which finishes 11-3-8 and 6-2-6 in the Pacific League for third place, gets its lone goal from Kelby Hernandez.

Feb. 28 — The boys' tennis team opens its season with a 13-5 nonleague home win against Alhambra.

March 8 — The baseball team picks up a 4-3 nonleague home win against La Cañada. Mark Garcia scores on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap the victory.

March 16 — At the Burbank High Schools' Invitational at De Bell Golf Club in Burbank, Glendale's Evan Norton cards an 18-over-par 89 to place sixth in the C Flight competition.

March 17 — The boys' tennis team has a strong all-around effort in posting a 12-6 Pacific League win against Hoover. Glendale wins five sets in the third round.

"We knew that it would be a close match and we needed to win seven or eight sets in doubles," Davidson said. "I felt like we had to count on our senior doubles guys for us to win and we were able to get those three doubles wins."

Glendale's No. 1 doubles team of Jeff Asano and Sam Sarian sweeps, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Elliot Kim works with Rene Glandian to win two sets (6-3, 6-2) for the Nitros, who also received a pair of wins from Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan (6-3, 6-2). The Nitros also get a sweep from No. 1 singles player Mike Unanian (7-5, 6-3, 6-2). Glendale's Nick Shamma wins two sets (7-5, 6-1).

March 22 — The Nitros' boys' tennis team nets an important 10-8 Pacific League victory against host Burroughs to move into sole possession of second place.

Glendale receives a huge 6-4 win from No. 3 freshman singles player Nick Shamma against Calvin Fox in the final set to clinch the win.

"I figured that if we were to win this match, we would have to do just about everything right," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "And I knew if we wanted to defeat Burroughs, we were probably going to have to play our best match of the season."

Glendale captures eight doubles sets. Glendale receives a sweep from the No. 2 doubles duo of Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. The No. 1 team of Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan wins, 7-5, 7-5, as did the team of Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian, 6-1, 6-4.

April 20 — The boys' volleyball team gets six kills and two aces from Regan Ornopia, but visiting Crescenta Valley prevails, 25-17, 25-14, 25-16, in a Pacific League match. Glendale finishes the season 2-11, 0-8 in league for fifth place.

April 26 — In the 12th installment of the Bronze Bowl, given to the school with the most total points at the Glendale-Hoover Pacific League track and field meet, Glendale notches a 173-95 victory. Glendale improves to 12-0 in the rivalry after the girls' team gets an 81-55 win and the boys' team prevails, 92-40.

Freshman Kenya Gaskin wins the 100- and 200-meter races with personal-best marks and helps win two relay events to propel the Nitros. Gaskin wins the 100 in 13 seconds and takes the 200 in 27.6 seconds. Gaskin begins the meet by working with Shannon Cruz, Phien Le and Sophia Amodia to take the 4x100 relay in 52.1 seconds. She also groups with Amodia, Lauren Hansen and Le to capture the 4x400 relay in 4 minutes 17.7 seconds.

The Nitros (3-7, 3-4 in league) receive first-place efforts from Amodia in the long jump with a mark of 16 feet 8 inches and the 300 hurdles (46.5), Linda Perez in the discus (71-4), Jessica Kim in the pole vault (6-6) and Le in the triple jump (34-3).

In the boys' portion of the meet, Glendale (3-7, 3-4) has its share of first-place finishes. Tristan Pacba wins the 110 hurdles (16.5) and the 300 hurdles (44.5) for the Nitros, who get a pair of victories from Mike Davis in the 100 (10.7) and the 200 (22.0).

Also earning first-place marks for the Nitros are Chris Canlas in the 800 (2:02.6), Marco Mendoza in the shot put (36-9), Alex Sanchez in the discus (103-7), Mike Williams in the pole vault (8-6), Dillon Fuller in the long jump (20-11) and Hrair Oganesyan in the triple jump (40-2).

Jeff Massin works with Fuller, Paul Archer and Davis to take the 4x100 relay (43.2). The quartet also finishes first in the 4x400 relay (3:29).

April 27 — The boys' and girls' swimming team complete the regular season portion of season with lopsided Pacific League road victories against rival Hoover. The girls' team sweeps all 11 events to post a 111-38 victory and the boys' squad captures 10 races to earn a 114-45 win.

"You always are trying to peak toward the end of the season," Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said. "You want to have good results going into prelims and finals because it's a super-competitive league.

"Hopefully, their times will continue to drop."

In the girls' competition, Glendale (1-5 overall and in league) turns to Maddie Corpuz, who wins two individual races and helps win a pair of relays.

Corpuz captures the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes 39.63 seconds and then wins the 100 backstroke (1:10.41). She opens the meet by teaming with Melissa Gonzalez, Biyouregh Boghozian and Jacqueline Jones to win the 200 medley relay (2:11.06). Corpuz finishes the meet by working with Gonzalez, Jones and Alique Berberian to take the 400 freestyle relay (4:33.94).

The Nitros receive two first-place finishes from Jones in the 50 freestyle (22.84 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (1:05.97). Also picking up first-place finishes for Glendale are Sara Kamiya in the 200 freestyle (2:30.72), Gonzalez in the 100 butterfly (1:12.01), Berberian in the 500 freestyle (7:00.44) and Boghozian in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.51).

Boghozian works with Kamiya, Claudia Somma and Venus Payandeh to capture the 200 freestyle relay (2:07.56).

In the boys' competition, Glendale (1-5) gets two first-place individual performances from Mickey Mowry and Trevor Fritz. Mowry wins the 100 butterfly (51.90) and the 100 backstroke (56.62). Fritz finishes first in the 200 individual medley (2:24.72) and the 100 freestyle (55.96). Also taking first for the Nitros are Cole Veloz in the 200 freestyle (2:04.75), Manuk Hakobyan in the 50 freestyle (34.06) and Emmanuel Manukyan in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.38).

The Nitros win all three relays, beginning with Mowry, Manukyan, Martin Narinyan and Hakobyan taking the 200 medley (1:53.16). In the 200 freestyle relay, David Papazian, Mehr Boghozian, Andrew Driffill and Paul Kan combine to win in 1:54.19. Bijan Rezvani, Fritz, Hakobyan and Veloz work together to take the 400 freestyle relay (3:49.34).

April 28 — The boys' tennis team closes out the regular season with a 14-4 Pacific League road victory against Hoover. The Nitros jump out to an 8-1 lead at the halfway point and never look back.

Glendale clinches third place in league behind Arcadia and Burroughs, as Nick Shamma sweeps, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

Leading the way for the Nitros in doubles is the No. 1 squad of Jeff Asano and Sam Sarian, which sweeps, 6-0, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, and the No. 2 tandem of Elliot Kim and Rene Glandian, which posts a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 line.

Glendale's Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan win a pair of doubles sets, 6-1, 6-0.

"It's always an important match when we play Hoover," said Glendale Coach Bob Davidson, who gets singles wins from Mike Unanian, 6-3, 6-4, and John Azizian, 7-6 (7-4). "When Glendale and Hoover play in anything there's a little extra incentive there, I think. I thought we really came out strong in the first round. We got up, 5-1, which I think kind of set the tone for the day."

May 5 — At the Pacific League finals at Burbank High, boys' swimmer Mickey Mowry has an impressive day. Mowry places second in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.04 seconds and third in the 100 backstroke (56.40).

May 6 — Glendale boys' track and field standout Mike Davis steals the spotlight at the Pacific League finals at Arcadia High, as he captures the 100- and 200-meter races.

Davis wins the 100 in 10.79 seconds before coming back to take the 200 in 21.82. He closes out the meet by working with Jeff Massin, Paul Archer and Dillon Fuller to take the 4x400 relay in 3 minutes 23.88 seconds.

"I wanted to win both [individual] events last season, but I didn't," Davis said. "I had a lot of incentive to go out there and win both.

"In the 100, I just wanted it that much more after coming so close last time. In the 200, I had a fast start and just concentrated. It's pretty good right now for me."

On the girls' side, Sophia Amodia of Glendale wins the 300 hurdles (45.78).

May 11 — The boys' tennis team begins its playoff run with a 10-8 win against host Arroyo Grande in a CIF Southern Section Division II win against Arroyo Grande.

Having to make a 300-mile round trip, Glendale shrugs off the effects of the long bus ride and wins eight doubles sets against the defending PAC-7 League champion.

"It's the biggest win of the year for us," Davidson said. "I felt all along that our doubles were the key. I thought our doubles played as well as they have all year. They were awesome."

Leading the way in doubles was the No. 1 tandem of Jeff Asano and Elliott Kim, which sweep, 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

May 12 — The softball team finishes its season, besting cross-town rival Hoover, 9-5, in a Pacific League road game.

Glendale pitcher Casey Ramirez tosses a complete-game win in her final high school contest and Kristi Cabana collects two hits and drives in three runs.

"It goes to show how hard they worked and [that they] came together," said Glendale Coach Christine Paknik, whose team winds up 6-8 in league to take fifth place. "[It's] good for Casey. Her last game on the mound, it was a little bit emotional there."

May 13 — Glendale's boys' tennis team suffers a 14-4 loss to visiting Walnut in a CIF Southern Section Division II first-round match. Glendale loses two doubles sets in tiebreakers in the first two rounds.

In doubles, the Nitros get wins from Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim, 7-5, 6-1, Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan, 7-5, and Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian, 6-3. Glendale finishes 13-6, 8-4 in the Pacific League for third place.

The baseball team finishes its season with a 6-1 Pacific League road loss against rival Hoover. Dillon Howard drives in Zach Fields with the lone run for the Nitros, who go 4-13, 3-11 in league for sixth place.

"That's something we've been struggling with," said Osuna, whose team strands nine runners. "We have runners in scoring position, but we can't execute. A lot of the time the kids get nervous. We were just trying to do too much."

May 14 — At the CIF Southern Section Division II finals at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach, Mowry is fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (50.24 seconds) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (52.08).

May 21 — At the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Divisional Championships at Cerritos College, Mike Davis places seventh and eighth in the Division I 200 (22.01 seconds) and 100 (10.92), respectively. The boys' 4x400 relay team of Davis, Paul Archer, Dillon Fuller and Jeffrey Massin finished sixth in 3 minutes 23.10 seconds.

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