And we’re back!
It was a perfect weekend for me with last week’s edition, 11-0. Don’t ask me how I did it because I have no clue. I’ve always been really good at guessing, check any of my tests from high school as a reference point.
I want to thank everybody that read last week’s article and donated on the GoFundMe pages for Lucas Oberkiser and Derek Padilla. Those were the two DeKalb students tragically killed in a car wreck a few weeks back. The web pages are set up to help cover funeral costs. Derek’s page has totally eclipsed its goal but Lucas’ still has some fund raising to do. I obviously have no idea if Derek’s goal being met was due in part to anyone donating from this county. But, if you did donate, awesome. Thank you. If you didn’t give last week and want to now, follow this link for Lucas’ page.
I’d like to tell you that I have some amazing anecdote for you this week, but I don’t. The most interesting thing to happen to me in the past seven days was standing mere feet away from two-time gold medalist Lilly King. You know, the finger-wag girl.
I was on the sidelines at the Indiana game last weekend and I turned to my left to see Ms. King standing there.
Oh my gosh, it’s Lilly freaking King. I’m going to meet Lilly freaking King.
Yes, I actually said “freaking.” I have a PG-13 mind, people.
So, with all my courage, I managed to snap a terrible photo. Yeah, me, the sports writer, the talkative guy, Mr. Personable. That guy was frozen.
I played basketball with Shanna Zolman once. I’ve had a conversation with NBA legend David Robinson and World Series champion Carl Erskine. I told Heisman winner Eric Crouch, in person, that my dad hated him. I’ve met Tom Crean, Ryan Grigson and even Al Hrabosky, the Mad Hungarian! (None of the high school kids know what I’m talking about anymore.) Meeting all of those famous sports people have been great memories for me. But, I couldn’t utter a word to this 19-year old girl. It was freshman orientation all over again.
I stood there for about two minutes debating what to say to her and, while I wish this story ended with me telling you that I took a selfie with her because she was super friendly and I wasn’t starstruck by her, it doesn’t. She was super friendly, I saw her take pictures with tons of people for the next 20 minutes. But instead of being one of those people, I took this photo:
So, I could be typing out a story about how I met Lilly King and now we’re best friends forever and she’s coming to do an autograph signing at a local swim meet this winter just because we’re that tight. But, no. I have instead brought shame upon my county and just given you that photo. I know, I suck.
So, that’s my very frustrating and sad story. I hope you enjoyed it. If not, try this on for size:
I was making my weekly video for the fantasy football league I run and in the middle of it my leg cramped up and I fell to the ground in pain. This all happened on my lunch break earlier this week while I was in my office. So, envision that debacle and have a nice laugh.
Last Week: 11-0
High School Football Week Five 9/16
Warsaw (2-2, 1-1) at Northridge (1-3, 1-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: A 14-7 loss in 2015 is surely still on the minds of Northridge players as the Tigers used a stout defensive effort to top the Raiders last season. Warsaw enters this week’s game coming off a 49-6 throttling of Memorial. Ridge, meanwhile, enters after picking up its first win of the year, a 22-14 triumph over Plymouth.
Tigers fans certainly remember Plymouth, an ugly performance left Warsaw with a 17-10 loss at the Rock Pile two weeks ago and helped to fuel an excellent effort last week. I look for a similar effort out of the Tigers tonight, but I don’t expect a similar type of result. Northridge is much better than Memorial, so this won’t be a 43-point blowout, but I do think Warsaw is going to come in feeling good and being focused for this one.
Ridge surrenders 29.5 points per game on defense, more than what Warsaw will need to win this contest.
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 24, Northridge 10.
NorthWood (4-0, 2-0) at Wawasee (3-1, 1-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Panthers roll into town boasting a No. 3 ranking in the Class 4-A media poll, a No. 1 ranking in the class’ Sagarin ratings and averaging 46 points per game on offense. So, just to be clear, NorthWood is good.
However, it’s starting to become clear that Wawasee is also good. I keep waiting for this Wawasee team to be Wawasee but that hasn’t happened yet. There hasn’t been a huge disappointment or let down. This team is different. This team isn’t happy with a 49-40 loss at Concord. This team isn’t about moral victories in a community that settles for that result more often than not. Tonight’s game will be good. How good will be determined on whether or not the weather shows up.
NorthWood spreads teams out and they do it very well. The Panther make teams pay for every mistake. Wawasee runs, runs and runs. There is a passing game this year, but this team loves to run and running teams love to get down and dirty. With the forecast showing possible showers in Syracuse tonight, Warrior fans should be excited. A wet and muddy affair will play right into the hands of Wawasee. Hey cheer block, do a rain dance or two. This is Wawasee’s biggest test yet and I think they’ll respond well. But, just like last week, this is a “prove it” opportunity. John Harrell has this as a 10-point spread, 38-28 in favor of the Panthers, I’m right in line with that. But, if it rains, the Panthers might be more purr than roar. Also, NorthWood alum Keith is running his mouth again this week.
Nick’s Pick: NorthWood 36, Wawasee 24.
Keith’s Pick: NorthWood 55, Wawasee 20.
Culver (3-1, 3-0) at Triton (0-4, 0-3), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Trojans sort of catch a break this week. When you look at it on paper, Triton seems completely over matched again, but Culver is not on par with recent Trojan opponents LaVille, Pioneer and Bremen. The Cavaliers enter outscoring opponents 26-17, on average. Triton, meanwhile, is scoring around three points per game and giving up nearly 40. This week will be another uphill climb.
The Trojans have had good moments this season, but have yet to put together a complete game. Culver presents an opportunity to finally do just that, but it won’t be easy. The Cavs topped Triton 19-0 last season and have returned a good group of players, including tailback Josh Krsek. If Triton finds a way to stop the running game, they’ll win. But Krsek is not easily stopped. The senior scored three touchdowns in last week’s win over West Central.
Nick’s Pick: Culver 27, Triton 13.
Whitko (4-0, 2-0) at Tippecanoe Valley (0-4, 0-2), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Whitko is absolutely steamrolling teams right now and Valley is not. That’s really about all you need to know going into this game. The Wildcats have not played any real competition yet, their opponents have a combined 1-15 record. But, as you would expect a good team to do, the Wildcats are absolutely destroying those teams. They’re outscoring opponents 36-10 and have yet to give up more than 14 points in a game. Last week Whitko crushed Rochester 57-14. Valley has yet to score more than 14 points and is giving up more than 51 points per game. This is not a recipe for a good game, rivalry or not. Whitko is too good right now. Assuming the ‘Cats don’t overlook Valley (don’t ever overlook any opponent, let alone a rival) this will be a big win for the visiting team. Valley will figure it out, but tonight is not that night.
Nick’s Pick: Whitko 59, Valley 21.
College Football 9/17
Eastern Kentucky (1-1) at Ball State (1-1), 3 p.m.
The Scoop: I’m not spending time on this.
Nick’s Pick: Ball State 41, EKU 17.
No. 12 Michigan State (1-0) at No. 18 Notre Dame (1-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Michigan State is not a top-12 team. Sparty might have a top-12 defense, but that offense is boring. I really don’t have much doubt about ND winning this game. However, I would like to see the Spartans win so IU can savor the glory of beating them in Bloomington on October 1. I’m usually very high on MSU but, I’m just not feeling it this year. That probably means Sparty is due for a win in the Bend. ND is an 8-point favorite, I’ll take that.
Nick’s Pick: Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 20.
NFL Week Two 9/18-9/19
Indianapolis (0-1) at Denver (1-0), 4:25 p.m.
The Scoop: Colts fans gave me crap for picking against my team last week. But I knew what would happen then and I know what will happen Sunday. Denver’s defense will be too good for the Colts to capitalize in this one. Another 0-2 start. Fantastic.
Nick’s Pick: Broncos 23, Colts 17.
Philadelphia (1-0) at Chicago (0-1), 8:30 p.m. Monday Night Football
The Scoop: This game is a toss up no matter how I look at it. I like the Bears chances at home, but I never like picking them on MNF. But, I think the Eagles win last week was more luck than anything. I’ll go with the Bears in what should be a big night for Jay Cutler.
Nick’s Pick: Bears 34, Eagles 31.