I want to start out by again thanking everyone that read last week’s article. The past two weeks I’ve been given such awesome feedback on what I’ve been writing about.
Two weeks ago it was my encounter with Nick Soley, which people really enjoyed. Last week it was pulling an old football memory out to be shared which, again, had a ton of positive feedback. In fact one of the assistant coaches from that staff messaged me. That’s a guy I haven’t talked to in years. That was great to hear from him and know that he’s doing well.
I’m seriously overwhelmed knowing that people are taking the time to read whatever happens to fall out of my mouth on a weekly basis.
This week I’m going in a direction that is probably too predictable. I want to briefly touch on the topic of the two DeKalb football players that were tragically killed in a car wreck last Friday.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there is plenty of information online about this incident. In short, on their way to the game Friday night, DeKalb’s Lucas Oberkiser and Derek Padilla were involved in a horrible car wreck. Padilla was killed at the scene and Oberkiser died several days later at Parkview’s ICU.
Since the wreck, there has been a huge amount of support given from local communities and a large amount of attention nationally as well.
I want people to feel humbled by learning from what happened to the DeKalb community. These kids were on their way to play football. It was a routine Friday night and now they’re gone. Tragedies like this should put things into perspective. They should make us respect the sanctity of life and stop us for taking so much for granted. We should want to slow down and enjoy life a little more because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. In fact, as it’s been said many times before, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
GoFundMe pages have been set up for both Lucas and Derek to help their families pay for medical bills and funeral costs. I encourage you to at least check the pages out and consider donating. Derek’s goal is nearly completed. I didn’t know these boys, I won’t act like I did and I certainly won’t act like I know what those families or that community is going through. But I do feel saddened by their loss and am trying to bring awareness using the best tool I have.
A hashtag on a social media account won’t change anything, but it does show support and that’s better than nothing in times like these. We’re all #BaronStrong for the DeKalb community this weekend.
Be safe tonight and remember to be thankful for every day you’re given.
Last Week: 5-4
High School Football Week Four 9/9
Elkhart Memorial (1-2, 0-2) at Warsaw (1-2, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Roll out the red carpet, Fisher Field, Nicky G is coming to town.
Yes, that’s right, I will be covering a Warsaw football game for the first time ever…sort of. I covered the second half of last season’s game with Northridge that was postponed to Saturday. So, this is the first time that I will be covering a full Tigers gridiron contest. I’m excited, you should be excited as well.
I’ve picked Warsaw to win every game to this point and that has obviously not worked out in my favor. But the Tigers are motivated this week. Motivated by frustration from the past two weeks and motivated by revenge. Memorial topped Warsaw 42-33 a year ago in the RV Capital of the World. This year’s game is being played in the Orthopedic Capital of the World and the Tigers have a bone to pick. (I’m…I’m sorry. I don’t feel good about that.)
Memorial’s defense has struggled mightily this season and I look for the Tigers to take advantage of that. Plus, the student section is going with a patriotic theme for tonight’s game and you do not pick against America!
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 36, Memorial 14.
Wawasee (3-0, 1-0) at Concord (2-1, 1-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Warriors are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2006 and I’m starting to think that Wawasee really is more bite than bark. This defense is legit and the offense keeps evolving weekly. But, we’ve been here before. The first three weeks can look as good or bad as possible and it doesn’t really matter until you play Concord. The Minutemen will show you right where you are, and that’s the same logic for any team in the conference. “Yeah, but how’d they look against Concord?”
The Warriors have not beaten Concord since 2004, a sectional win. They haven’t picked up a regular season win over the Minutemen since 2003. Before that, you’d have to go back to 1997…then 1992…then 1987…1986…it doesn’t get much prettier after that, save for a six-game winning streak in the 70’s. So, through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, Wawasee beat Concord twice in each decade. We’re now in the 2010’s and there’s been no victory chicken for the Warriors yet. I’m confident Wawasee gets its standard two wins before the next decade starts, but I can’t tell you win they will come. It could be tonight. This is Wawasee’s first road game and by far the toughest opponent the Warriors will have played to date. It’s a simple pick for me because I don’t pick teams against the likes of Concord until they earn it. But I do like this game to be close before the Minutemen ultimately get the win. Like I say every year, prove me wrong.
Nick’s Pick: Concord 33, Wawasee 17
Nick’s Picks Bonus! NorthWood (3-0, 1-0) at Goshen (3-0, 1-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: This is dumb. I had not intention of picking this game and the late publication of this article can be placed solely on the shoulders of Keith Knepp. Keith is a coworker and a NorthWood grad and demanded his pick be put in print.
The Panthers rolled by Concord last week, a result that surprised many (but not me, I picked the Panthers). Goshen seems to be Goshen again after starting 3-0 for the second year in a row. The RedHawks upset NorthWood to move to 4-0 last year but I don’t see that happening again. Keith has the Panthers and so do I.
Nick’s Pick: NorthWood 45, Goshen 20.
Keith’s Pick: NorthWood 38, Goshen 27.
Triton (0-3) at Bremen (3-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The road gets no easier for the Trojans as they take on another ranked opponent, that makes three in a row for Triton. Hardly an ideal situation for Triton, but you have to roll with the punches. This Triton team is not as bad as 0-3 might indicate. In fact, I believe this 0-3 squad is better than last year’s team that was 1-2 at this point, this schedule is just brutal. It’s a rivalry game and I refuse to throw anything out when to rivals get together, besides records. Anything can happen tonight. This is an uphill climb for Triton, but not an impossible one. This game will be about clock control and limiting mistakes.
It’s hard to pick Triton to snap a losing streak against the Lions that dates back to 2009, but I really want to do it. I have a good feeling about tonight for the Trojans. Go ahead, call me crazy for that. I’m going with the Lions, but I’m not as comfortable with that as I should be.
Nick’s Pick: Bremen 20, Triton 7.
Tippecanoe Valley (0-3, 0-1) at Northfield (2-1, 1-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: It’s an adjustment period for the Vikings as head coach Darin Holsopple resigned earlier this week. Former coach Jeff Shriver takes over a team that is definitely struggling to find an identity entering the second third of the season. The Vikings have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball these first three weeks. Northfield enters much more pedestrian than it did at this time last year. The Norsemen are averaging 24 points per game on offense this season, as opposed to the 39 points it averaged in 2015. But, the home team is still the favorite in this one as Valley is surrendering 55 points on average to opposing offenses this year.
Valley will figure things out, but the schedule is doing the Vikings no favors at the moment with Northfield this week and Whitko next Friday.
Nick’s Pick: Northfield 45, Valley 22.
Rochester (0-3, 0-1) at Whitko (3-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: The Wildcats continue to roll through this season and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Whitko hosts Rochester this week in a game that would usually be a marquee matchup, but not this season. The Zebras are struggling across the board this year, they’ve scored a total of six points in three games.. On average Rochester is getting beat 51-2. That’s just bad and there’s no other way to look at it. The key for Whitko here is to respect the fact that Rochester is probably better than 51-2 and take care of business early. Don’t let an inferior opponent hang around.
This looks like another big night in the making for Garrett Elder, I’ll call his shot for him: three scores and 150 yards.
Fans, the students are wearing green to show support for the two DeKalb players, join in!
Nick’s Pick: Whitko 46, Rochester 7.
College Football 9/10
Cincinnati (1-0) at Purdue (1-0), noon.
The Scoop: For the 11th year in a row the Boilermakers won a season-opening contest. Purdue beat Eastern Kentucky 45-24 last weekend and will welcome in a much tougher opponent this week in Cincinnati. The Bearcats were 28-7 winners over Tennessee-Martin. Hardly impressive performances by either team in games that should’ve been total blowouts.
The Bearcats enter Ross-Ade Stadium as 5.5-point favorites. I’m taking the visitors to cover.
Nick’s Pick: Cincinnati 27, Purdue 17.
Nevada (1-0) at No. 18 Notre Dame (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Step back from the ledge, Irish fans. There’s no reason to be upset over last week’s loss. Everyone has already ended ND’s season, Brian Kelly was fired by Twitter six times in the third quarter alone. But, it’s not that bad. Defensive adjustments can be made, Kizer has already been named the starter for this week. If ND is bad for giving up 50 points at Texas, then Texas is bad for giving up 47 points at home. One is not exclusive from the other. This team was never going to be 12-0 anyway.
Irish are 26.5-point favorites. I’ll take it.
Nick’s Pick: Notre Dame 45, Nevada 10.
Ball State (1-0) at Indiana (1-0), 4 p.m.
The Scoop: Oh how Cardinal Nation loves to hate me. I picked the Cardinals and first-year head coach Mike Neu to lose to Georgia State in the Georgia Dome last week. I was wrong and boy did I hear about it. I had at least four BSU alums give me crap about my incorrect pick the following day. One guy even told me he hopes I pick against them this week so they can prove me wrong again. WELL GUESS WHAT?
I’m picking the Hoosiers. Indiana will have my back and put the Cardinals back in their rightful spot, the loser’s column. Indiana is favored by 17.5 and I hate that. That’s way too many points. Ball State has four wins over power conference schools, three of them are against Indiana. This will be a good game and, honestly, one of the better games going on this afternoon. I mean, would you really rather watch UCF v. Michigan? No.
Nick’s Pick: Indiana 38, Ball State 27.
NFL Week One 9/11
Chicago at Houston, 1 p.m.
The Scoop: The stars at night are big and bright *clap, clap, clap* DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS.
That’s it, that’s all I’m giving you. Song lyrics and a pick. Bears bad. Texans good.
Nick’s Pick: Texans 27, Bears 17.
Detroit at Indianapolis, 4:15 p.m.
The Scoop: Get up!
Everybody’s gonna move their feet…
Everybody’s gonna leave their seat…
You gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City!
Again, lyrics and a pick. I’m not feeling good about my Colts this week…or season.
Nick’s Pick: Lions 41, Colts 35.