Well, I would hope somebody! Kidding aside, and thanks to Thomas Lawrence of the Record Searchlight for the high school football picks header suggestion after using Mike Singletary and “The Natural” for previous headlines. Without further ado, let’s get to the picks.
Here’s how I’ve done:
Week Zero: 3-0
Week 1: 6-6
Week 2 Picks: I went 7-4. Better, but not quite enough to start fist-pumping a la Tiger Woods.
The right stuff: Pleasant Valley over Las Plumas, Corning over Oroville, Durham over Lower Lake, Biggs over Williams, Hamilton over Mount Shasta, Willows over Winters (wouldn’t have thought 28-27, though), Butte Valley over Princeton,
Didn’t see these coming: Lassen over Chico, Paradise over Sonora, Central Valley over Orland, Bonus: Enterprise over West Valley.
So on the season: 16-10. Not bad. Not bad. But let’s see what we can do in Week 3 with several rivalry games on the schedule and a pair of games Saturday.
Oroville at Pleasant Valley. Winner: Pleasant Valley. Vikings beat the other Harrison Stadium tenants 41-0 last week. PV goes to 2-1 before meat part of its season starts with Paradise, which is off this week. Oroville looks to find some consistency, and get ready for its rivalry game next week against the T’birds.
Las Plumas at Anderson. Winner: Anderson. This game was close last year, and the Thunderbirds nearly won. I’ll take the home team.
Hamilton at Durham. Winner: Hamilton. This is the game I’ll be covering and updating on Twitter @JShufelberger. Braves beat up on Durham 20-0 last year as the injury-marred season truly began to take hold and catch up to the Trojans. The difference will be the top-level Braves in Andrew Shippelhoute, who might be the Division III MVP when all is said and done, Tim Bekendam, Austin Burbank, Ricky Pompa and Theron Fumasi. But this game will be closer than the previous matchup. Should be a good one as the Trojans finally found solid footing last week in their home opener.
Willows at Orland. Winner: Orland. The 90th meeting in the series history, known as the Battle for the Ax. The Trojans, who lead Willows all-time at 45-43-1, have chopped down their rival ever since coach Mike McDonald took over the program in 2009, winning four straight by a combined score of 123-30. Much of that stems from a 52-0 shellacking in 2011, the Trojans’ section title-winning season. Willows won a squeaker over Winters 28-27 last week. Perhaps, the Honkers were preoccupied with this game in their minds. Orland had its fill with a 21-19 loss at home to Central Valley. I expect the really good Division II team (Orland) to beat the really good Division III team (Willows). This is a game I would prefer to see in person one of these times.
Red Bluff at Corning. Winner: Red Bluff. The smaller-school Cardinals have won their share of the Tehama County Shootout, but the Spartans have righted things in the past couple of years and will flex their muscles like a Division I team should against a D-II team. There will be no shame in this setback to the Cardinals. Both teams have romped to a 2-0 start with Cardinals hosting Las Plumas then Oroville and Red Bluff besting Oroville and Anderson in succession.
Live Oak at Gridley. Winner: Live Oak. Live Oak gets the win over the Bulldogs, who are trying to find some consistency after renovations of the Bone Yard, their stadium, led to a forfeiture against Monterey a week ago.
Biggs at East Nicolaus. Winner: East Nicolaus. Tempted to take the Wolverines after their 2-0 start, but Spartans play in Division III and Biggs is a D-IV program. East Nicolaus also has nearly double the players on its roster 41-22. That will come in handy as the game progresses.
Princeton at Herlong. Winner: Princeton. Eagles have had brutal schedule to start the season even with three home games. That’s just toughened them up for a team that’s already had a forfeit loss and a forfeit win.
Nevada Union at Chico. Winner: Chico. Home cooking helps. These teams are winless, but that’s not all that telling. Chico went to Center in Antelope and nearly tied a ranked team with a late 2-point conversion. Then Chico had the Susanville trip to Lassen. And that’s rarely fun or fruitful. The Panthers finally get going with their first home date of the season on Saturday. Nevada Union, though, has played McQueen of Reno, Nev., Grant, the Sacramento power that Paradise hosted in Week Zero, and Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove, which is well thought of as well. The Grass Valley team fell to Grant 46-6, and then 62-7 to Pleasant Grove. The Miners might be too beat up for this one considering that schedule. Still, this game will be close and competitive. I’ll be at this one as well and updating @JShufelberger on Twitter as will be the esteemed E-R photographer Jason Halley @JasonHalley_ER.
Bonus: Central Valley at Enterprise. Winner: Enterprise. There’s not a singular section game out of the area that has all the hoopla of last week’s West Valley-Enterprise tilt had. So this is it. Don’t know if the Falcons are in the Hornets’ class despite a 21-19 victory at Orland last week. Hornets probably will have some let-down factor in them, and they might be banged up. Still have to like them for what they have shown including a 28-3 throttling of the Eagles.
Feel free to throw some picks of your own in the comments section.