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Hard homecoming for Hoover’s <b>Andrew Policky</b>Tornadoes coach takes tough loss against alma mater on the road.

Hard homecoming for Hoover’s <b>Andrew Policky</b>Tornadoes coach takes tough loss against alma mater on the road.
Hoover High football Coach Andrew Policky and Arcadia High graduate was disappointed his team fell to the Apaches, 49-6, last week.
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE —- The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 70th year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk’s Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the fifth meeting of the year.



It was with great anticipation that Andrew Policky approached Friday’s Pacific League game at Arcadia, as the second-year Hoover coach graduated from Arcadia, where he was formerly a player and assistant coach.


“It was their homecoming and my alma mater, so I guess it was kind of my homecoming, too,” said Policky, who was also taking on former colleague and Apaches Coach Chris Long, whom Policky replaced at Hoover when Long went back to Arcadia last season. “You always want to go back where you played and put on a good show.”

Unfortunately for Policky and the Tornadoes, it turned out to be a night neither will care to remember, as Hoover suffered its worst defeat of the season, 49-6.

“We kind of laid an egg there,” Policky said.




St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds was quick to point out that although his team allowed a season-high 42 points in losing to Cathedral, 42-40, in a Mission League game on Friday night the Golden Knights’ defense shouldn’t bear the blame alone.

“Our defense didn’t play that poorly, our offense was probably just as guilty for a lot of those points [because] we turned the ball over four times,” said Bonds, whose team lost three fumbles, including one in the end zone for a safety. “We were up, 28-14, in the third quarter and had some momentum going.”



Los Angeles Times prep sports columnist Eric Sondheimer has covered high school football in Southern California inside and out over a career that has ranged across five decades.

The landscape of the sport has certainly gone through changes since Sondheimer first hit the beat as a Daily News staff writer in 1976 and the veteran newspaper scribe related some of his thoughts on just how much the game, as well as how it’s covered by the media, has changed.

Citing the almost nightly appearances he now makes on various local television programs devoted to high school football, Sondheimer marveled at how the popularity of the sport has exploded over recent years with the increased depth and breadth of coverage afforded by online and new media.


“I’m a newspaper reporter and I’m on more television than Brian Williams sometimes, so this is where we’re at,” he said. “People have discovered high school sports. ...There are so many cable outlets now and the Internet has created so many opportunities for high school games to be shown.

“What does this all mean? I’m trying to figure out if it’s good for all these high school kids and coaches to be getting all the exposure. I think it is, it gives them the opportunity to prepare for college. A lot of these people will neve be in the situation that they are now, so it’s a good experience and they’ll be able to show it to their grandchildren. But in other ways it’s difficult because they’re going to have to deal with certain things.”

One of those, according to Sondheimer, is the proliferation of athletically-motivated transfers as aspiring college athletes seek out the most high profile stage on which to shine in high school and coaches assemble super teams through recruiting.

“This is what’s going on right now,” Sondheimer said, “Sports has gotten so big the private schools are battling for athletes, the public schools are battling to keep their athletes and here we are. I’m trying to be the arbitrator and observer of what’s going on and I’ve always been someone who’s written about transfers. I don’t like them, but I know sometimes parents have to move and in fact there’s nothing wrong with that if they do it for academic reasons and maybe even a little bit of a sports reason. What I don’t like to see is people moving for their senior year just to try to win a championship.”

Sondheimer said that one of the most interesting things about his job is watching the athletes he’s covered grow up and make their way in the world. Two of those included Bonds and Village Christian Coach Jay Schroeder, who shared the dais with Sondheimer on Tuesday.

“It’s amazing to me that I’m sitting next to two people that I actually covered when they were in high school, Jay Schroeder at Palisades High and Jim Bonds at Hart High School,” Sondheimer said. “I knew they were great kids in high school and they’ve proven to be even better people when they’ve grown up and become great coaches.

“That’s one of the reasons why I’ve stuck with this for so long. You meet so many interesting people and then you see how they grow up.”