Victory Bell becomes center of attention

GLENDALE — The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 71st year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk's Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the ninth meeting of the year.


It’s a cross-town rivalry that began in 1930 and has featured plenty of athletes who would go on to enjoy successful collegiate and professional careers. The setting of a packed Moyse Field and alumni from Glendale High and Hoover returning to their respective sidelines brings back a sense of nostalgia.

While the current cast of players from Glendale and Hoover will not be a part of the postseason, the Nitros and Tornadoes plan to take the game to heart in the next installment of the “Battle for the Victory Bell” at 7 p.m. Friday. Glendale is 3-6, 1-5 in the Pacific League and Hoover is 2-7, 0-6.

For Hoover Coach Matt Andersen, he will be a part of the rivalry for the first time.

“I’m excited about the rivalry and so are our players,” Andersen said. “It means a lot to both teams.

“We are starting to get some players back from injuries. It will be important for us to finish up at 3-7 and move into next season.”

Glendale Coach John Tuttle initially experienced the rivalry first-hand last season, when the Nitros picked up a 44-13 win.

Another victory against the Tornadoes would leave Tuttle satisfied.

“It’s not hard to get up for,” Tuttle said. “It would be great to go out with a win.”

The Nitros have won the past three meetings and own a 49-33-2 mark in the all-time series, one of the oldest in the state.


Things looked particularly good for St. Francis during its Mission League road game against powerful Gardena Serra on Friday. St. Francis built a 21-7 halftime lead before seeing Serra, ranked No. 1 in the latest CIF Southern Section Western Division poll and the defending state champion, rally for a 35-21 win.

St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds called it a lesson learned and will look for the Golden Knights to regroup in what figures to be another tough league matchup against host Chaminade at 7 p.m. Friday. The Golden Knights are 8-1, 3-1 and ranked third in the division. The Eagles are 8-1, 3-1 and second in the division.

Second place is up for grabs when the teams meet.

“If we can win, it would give us a chance at being seeded and getting a home game,” Bonds said. “We got a great effort from our guys [against Serra] and it was a heartbreaker to lose.

“It’s about being able to start fast and finish strong and we’ve done that for most of the season. We’ll need to do that again against Chaminade.”


In winning a share of a national championship and picking up four Rose Bowl victories, John Robinson is considered one of the most successful coaches at USC. Robinson coached two stints with the Trojans (1976-82 and 93-97), leading them to a split of the national title in 1978. He also coached the Los Angeles Rams from 1983-91, compiling a franchise-best 79 victories and leading the Rams to a pair of NFC championship contests in 1985 and 1989.

Robinson, who won 132 games at USC, was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting and drew a standing ovation from the packed house.

An Oregon alum and a member of the NCAA College Football of Fame, he spoke on his coaching experience at both levels and the current state of the USC program after interim coach Ed Orgeron took over the reins. Orgeron succeeded Lane Kiffin, who was fired Sept. 28 after a 62-41 PAC-12 road loss against Arizona State

“I went to USC’s road game last week against Oregon State,” said Robinson, who now serves as a commentator on NFL game broadcasts for the Sports USA Radio Network. “The Trojans are on their way back and Ed has done a magnificent job after the program had been spiraling down.

“He’s really brought life back into the program. He’s a smart guy and is very emotional. He knows how to handle people and lead the way. I think he’s got a chance to keep the job. There’s still a long way to go, but they are beginning to head in the right direction.”

Robinson, who went 8-1 in bowl games, coached a plethora of players who would go on to shine at USC and for the Rams.

Among them were Charles White, Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen at USC and Eric Dickerson with the Rams. White and Allen won the Heisman Trophy in 1979 and 1981, respectively.

“Charles was the toughest individual I ever saw and there was no fear in him,” Robinson said. “Marcus was mentally competitive.

“Ronnie was very smart and competitive and Eric was very gifted. All four of those guys were very ambitious and wanted to keep on learning to make themselves better.”

Allen, Lott and Dickerson are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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