Maybe I should try my hand at something else, say swimming across Mobile Bay or running — no, forget running, not a good idea. Just something else besides trying to correctly pick the outcome of high school football games.
Last week I actually felt pretty good about my picks. Then Fairhope beat Theodore, Mobile Christian beat St. Michael, Pine Forest beat Baker, and Murphy beat Alma Bryant, and, well, things didn’t go as well as I had hoped.
But we’re back, ready to take on another slate of games and to see what happens. The games are gaining importance as the regular season has just three more weeks to go. The top four teams in each region will qualify for the playoffs. The teams that don’t make the playoffs will look toward spring practice and the 2022 season. While some teams are locks to make the playoffs already, others are still fighting for a position. That will make the pressure to win the next few games strong for some teams.
Last week I went 14-5 overall and that puts me at an even 100-40 for the year. Let’s see what happens with the following picks this week:
Alma Bryant vs. Davidson (at Baker): Both of these teams have struggled of late and are looking to pick up some wins
in the closing weeks of the regular season. Both are out of the playoff chase, so producing a good finish is the goal. Which team will play the best this week? The pick: Alma Bryant.
Baker at Fairhope: By knocking off Theodore last week, Fairhope moved into first place in the Class 7A, Region 1 standings. But if Baker tops the Pirates this week, that will throw the lead into a three-way tie, and should it remain that way by the end of the regular season, tiebreakers will have to be used to determine the top three spots in the region. So, to say this week’s matchup holds great importance would be more than accurate. Baker has had good moments all season long and Fairhope is on a six-game win streak. The pick: Fairhope.
Baldwin County at Gulf Shores: Here’s another important game, this one in Class 6A, Region 1, and with a spot in the playoffs possibly in the balance. Both BCHS and Gulf Shores are 2-3 in the Region 1 standings and right now that ties them along with Blount for the fourth and final spot in the playoffs. So, yes, there’s a lot at stake in Friday’s game. The pick: Bald- win County.
Williamson at Vigor: The Wolves remain unbeaten and
in first place in Class 4A, Region 1, but Williamson is close behind with just one region loss, tied for second with Mobile Christian. Again, this is a matchup that could carry a lot of weight in the final region standings. It’s hard to pick against Vigor right now. They won a big game against Faith Academy last week and demonstrated strength on both sides of the foot- ball. Until someone knocks them off, I’ll go with the Wolves. The pick: Vigor.
Mobile Christian at Jackson: The Leopards are also facing a big region game this week. Tied with Williamson for second, a loss would place Jackson and St. Michael (which plays a non-region game this week) in a tie for third, pushing the Leopards out of the top four spots. Based on Mobile Christian’s performance in defeat- ing St. Michael last week, I’ll go with the Leopards. The pick: Mobile Christian.
Bayside Academy at Chickasaw: The Chieftains picked up
a big win last week and Bayside Academy is playing well of late. Both teams have some momentum heading into this week’s game. As to which team has the most momentum right now, I’d have to lean toward the Admirals. Jay Loper and his teammates can score from anywhere on the field and the defensive unit is strong. Ryan Little is building the Chickasaw program, which is young. Bayside gets the edge. The pick: Bayside Academy.
Blount at McGill-Toolen: Here’s another interesting matchup, and one that will have an impact in the 6A, Region 1 standings. A loss by Blount would likely push the Leopards out of the playoff picture. A loss by McGill would drop the Yellow Jackets to 4-2 in region games, which still keeps them in play for the playoffs, and four wins may be all they need to qualify. The pressure is on the Leopards. The pick: McGill-Toolen.
Other games: Theodore over LeFlore, St. Michael over Light- house Christian, UMS-Wright over B.C. Rain, Spanish Fort over Citronelle, St. Paul’s over Elberta, Excel over Cottage Hill Chris- tian, St. Luke’s over Fruitdale, Foley over MGM, Daphne over Murphy, Saraland over Robertsdale, Faith Academy over Satsuma, Orange Beach over J.U. Blacksher.
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