Homecoming festivities surrounded last Saturday's football game between Glendale College and Pierce, so John Cicuto decided to take advantage of the alumni.
About 50 former Glendale players were in attendance, a few whom Cicuto selected to deliver a pregame address.
The strategy apparently worked as the Vaqueros blitzed Pierce, 43-15, to earn their first victory of the season. It was the first career victory for Cicuto, who succeeded Jim Sartoris as coach.
"All the guys that talked played on those championship teams that didn't care what the score was, they always played hard regardless of how far ahead they were," Cicuto said. "I think our kids saw that players in the past still believe in the things we taught.
"So when we were ahead 21-0 at halftime, our team continued to play hard. The intensity level wasn't too much different from the first half."
Sweet revenge: Saturday's game against Pierce was more than just another Western State Conference game for four Glendale players. It was a chance to perform against their former team.
Quarterback Ronnie Lopez, running back Wes Bender, center Mark Overstreet and defensive end Eric Fiori of Glendale all played at Pierce last season.
"They were real excited about playing against (Pierce) because I guess they didn't have a great experience," Cicuto said. "There also, apparently, were some comments from Pierce about their ability. So they were pleased with the way things turned out."
Lopez completed seven of eight passes for 131 yards, including a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. Bender had seven carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Flying high: The Eagle Rock High football team, unbeaten after two games, is off to a great start under second-year coach Dennis Arnett. The Eagles, who finished 1-8 last season, have allowed only one touchdown in defeating Poly and University.
"We probably do have a little better talented team this year, but most of it has been just getting everything organized," said Arnett, who succeeded Dennis Shaw.
Eagle Rock meets Marshall this week.
"I think we have a good opportunity of going close to undefeated," Arnett said. "With our good defense we're going to hold teams to a low amount of points."
Spartan effort: La Canada is another team enjoying a turnaround under a second-year coach.
The Spartans, 4-6 last season, are off to a 3-1 start under Nick Larez. La Canada's only loss came in its season-opener against Crescenta Valley.
La Canada has been led by senior fullback Paul Traughber, who has rushed for 336 yards behind a line led by senior tackle Jeff Yale.
Senior quarterback Jim Chambliss has completed 25 of 40 passes to seven receivers for 302 yards.
The Spartans meet Hoover this week before opening Rio Hondo League play next week against Temple City.
Off and running: The Crescenta Valley football team is off to its best start in Jim Beckenhauer's five seasons as coach.
The Falcons (3-1) have already equaled last season's victory total with wins over La Canada, Burbank and South Pasadena. Crescenta Valley's only loss was to powerful Los Altos.
But can the success continue?
"I think so as long as the players keep it in perspective and understand what it takes to win," Beckenhauer said. "We're not very big, so to win they really have to play together as a group."
Crescenta Valley meets Burroughs this week before opening Pacific League play next week against Hoover.
Flu the coop: The Hoover football team, slowed by the flu the last two weeks, is hoping to get healthy this week against La Canada.
Hoover (2-2) lost to San Marino, 33-7, last week with a depleted roster.
"It's tough enough to win as it is," Hughes said. "but when half the kids are coughing and hacking away, it really makes it tough."