"After one of the most disappointing football years ever gone through by a Dynamiter team, the Glendale Blasters climaxed their season by going down to glorious defeat at the hands of the Hoover Purple Tornado." --1931 Glendale High yearbook
And the rivalry was born.
The annual game between Hoover and Glendale high schools, one of the oldest rivalries in Southern Section history, will be played on Friday night at Glendale High at 7:30. The stage is set for a repeat performance of the teams' initial encounter. Hoover (4-5, 2-2) has earned a berth in the Coastal Conference playoffs. Glendale (1-6-2, 0-3-1) was victorious last year but has one less win than it had in the season of '31. Its only victory this season came on a forfeit.
But with nearly 9,000 people in the stands and area bragging rights at stake, the teams' past performance will carry little weight.
"Guys may not hit hard all year," Hoover Coach Dennis Hughes said. "But they get into this game and they all think they're Dick Butkus out there. It's another Oklahoma-Nebraska thing.
"And if you've had a down year, it's a way to salvage your season."
Glendale is counting on it.
The Dynamiters have been plagued with injuries all season. Eight starters have been sidelined at various times and four will miss Friday's game. Mark Reeve, a returning All-Pacific League linebacker, has been hurt since the beginning of the season. Center Eric Giden and tight end Rod Cassidy were injured three weeks ago. But the biggest loss might have been last weekend when senior quarterback Rick Callister suffered a broken collarbone on the last play of the game.
Glendale will likely platoon quarterbacks Jeff Winsor and Rick Kownack against Hoover. Winsor, a senior, only recently recovered from a broken collarbone.
"Kownack has exceptional speed and is a little more of a running threat," Glendale co-coach Don Shoemaker said. "Jeff is a senior and he's got a little more leadership experience. He's been out there a little bit longer."
Hoover will be led by quarterback Erik Messal, running back Kyle Bell and offensive lineman Joe Ferguson.
"This is the game of games for us," Bell said. "I'm really looking forward to it. Our season is ending up on a pretty good note. Joe Ferguson is ready to play, and once he's ready, we're set."
Shoemaker was a wide receiver and defensive back on the 1975 Glendale team that defeated Hoover, 15-13. The game was decided with less than a minute left to play when the Dynamiters returned a punt for the winning touchdown.
"Hoover must have had 240 yards and we had about 50," Shoemaker said. "We got a couple of breaks and won the game. It's kind of typical of the Glendale-Hoover game."
Hughes would have to agree. He played for Glendale from 1971-73 and never defeated Hoover. In his senior season, the Dynamiters lost, 7-6.
"I cried for about an hour," Hughes said. "It's a very personal thing."
Glendale assistant coach Wendell Berghuis was also on the field in 1973. On the Glendale side. Last season, Berghuis assisted Hughes at Hoover and the two played together at Texas El-Paso.
"I remember Skip Woodcock," Berghuis said. "We couldn't tackle him that night because he was so muddy that he was like a greased pig.
"I think playing Hoover is a little added incentive. But I think it's important that we just try to win a football game."
Said Glendale Co-Coach Tim Butler: "Last year we ended up being selected as a wild card team and went to the playoffs. I think the kids were much more excited about the Hoover game than the first playoff game. And it was the first time we've been to the playoffs since 1980."
But the rivalry goes beyond the game.
First there is the bell. The winning team is awarded the bell after the game, paints its school colors on the dolly and keeps it for a year.
An added attraction this year is that the game is a double homecoming. Two bands, two halftime shows and two homecoming queens.
Said Berghuis: "We don't get large crowds anymore but when it comes to Glendale-Hoover, we fill it up."
The commotion can be distracting, particularly for high school teams that usually play for as many spectators as you'd expect to find at a mid-week bowling league.
"You get pumped because you get such a good crowd out there," Hoover middle linebacker Steve Nazarians said. "Last year it was so loud that you couldn't even hear the cadence out there."
For the players it is a game not to be forgotten.
"It's the kind of game that you remember for the rest of your life," Butler said. "I don't remember a lot of the other games from high school, but I always remember the Glendale-Hoover game. I think the kids are the same way."