The Glendale College football team will open its season Saturday night at Pasadena City College with renewed hopes.
The Vaqueros, under second-year Coach John Cicuto, tuned up for their opener by scrimmaging Cerritos College last Saturday.
Fielding a team at all could have been considered a victory of sorts for Glendale, which had canceled an intrasquad scrimmage because of injuries. But the fact that Glendale played well against Cerritos gave Cicuto hope for improvement over last season's 5-4-1 finish.
"We were real concerned because we have so many new kids in the program, especially the offensive and defensive lines," Cicuto said. "But the way they performed against Cerritos was excellent."
Cicuto also was impressed with the play of the Vaquero defense, which was the team's weakness last season when it allowed 26.8 points a game.
"The kids played with a real intensity," Cicuto said. "Cerritos did not score against our first or second teams."
Glendale's opener at Pasadena will be at 7 p.m.
Sent Packing: Former Crescenta Valley High quarterback Mike Norseth was waived by the Green Bay Packers this week as the NFL team reduced its roster to the 47-player regular-season limit.
Norseth completed seven of 21 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown in exhibition play.
This is the second consecutive season Norseth has been dropped in the final cut. Norseth, 26, was released by the Cleveland Browns last season.
Starting over: Occidental College, the three-time defending champion of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, opens its football season with a nonconference game Saturday at the University of San Diego.
Brady Dargan, Occidental's All-SCIAC defensive lineman, said the Tigers will miss graduated All-American linebacker David Hodges, but added that his absence might create new weapons.
"Last year, the defense was designed for him (Hodges) to take care of lots of things and teams would just key on him," Dargan said. "Now, the responsibilities have been spread out. I think it's made us more deceptive and we'll be able to do a lot of different things."
Weighty matters: Occidental has not been to the NCAA Division III playoffs since 1985 and senior linebacker Larry Schatz believes it's not a matter of strength of schedule. It's simply been a lack of strength.
Toward that end, Schatz and a group of players convinced Coach Dale Widolff to allow them to continue weight training throughout the season rather than stopping once school and the season begin.
"We want to maintain what we've gained over the summer as opposed to coming into camp, getting into great shape and losing the muscle during the season," said Schatz. "This may do the trick."
Reunion: When the East Los Angeles College football team takes the field at Pierce on Saturday, former Franklin High standout Santiago Alvarez and Armando Gonzalez, his coach at Franklin, will be in familiar positions.
Alvarez will be at quarterback for East L.A. and Gonzalez will be on the sidelines in his debut as Huskie offensive coordinator.
Under Gonzalez, Alvarez led Franklin to the City Section 3-A Division championship, passing for 313 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-6 win over Garfield.
Alvarez also became the first quarterback in state history to surpass 4,000 yards passing in a season, finishing with 4,019. He also set state records for touchdown passes (52), attempts (512) and completions (324).
Gonzalez guided Franklin to four City 3-A titles in eight years, compiling an 86-16-3 record.
Kirby Lee and staff writer Steven Herbert contributed to this notebook.