Author: The Birdie


Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli (5) and Seth Dunlap (3) embrace after defeating Pine-Richland in the WPIAL semifinals.
While making Westmoreland County finals picks, Birdie sees red on Highway to Heinz
November 24, 2021
Last week: 2-0 (100 %)

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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock runs for a touchdown against McKeesport on Oct. 29.
The Birdie makes Heinz Field plans while picking Westmoreland County playoff games
November 17, 2021
Last week: 3-0 (100%)

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Fox Chapel’s Zidane Thomas reaches out to stiff-arm Franklin Regional’s Logan Donnelly on Sept. 17.
The Birdie learns an important football lesson, picks A-K Valley playoff games
November 10, 2021
Last week: 4-3 (57.1%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Jack Jollie pulls in a pass that was intended for Franklin Regional’s Roman Sarnic on Oct. 22.
‘Tis the season for Westmoreland County playoff picks from The Birdie
Last week: 4-2 (66.7%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli breaks the tackle attempt by Franklin Regional’s Roman Sarnic on the way to a first-quarter touchdown on Oct. 22.
The Birdie hits reset button, makes Westmoreland County playoff picks
November 3, 2021
Last week: 9-4 (69.2%)

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Highlands quarterback Chandler Thimons launches a pass against Greensburg Salem on Oct. 22.
The Birdie gets out his calculator and makes A-K Valley playoff picks
Last week: 8-1 (88.9%)

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Franklin Regional’s Caden Smith drops Penn-Trafford’s Carter Green for a loss last Friday.
There’s no disguising Birdie’s ability to pick Westmoreland County winners
October 27, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Burrell’s Caden DiCaprio scores a third-quarter touchdown ahead of Deer Lakes’ Seth Sciubba on Oct. 8.
The Birdie writes the perfect pregame speech before making A-K Valley Week 9 picks
Last week: 12-1 (92.3%)

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Franklin Regional coach Lance Getsy communicates with his players against Latrobe last Friday.
In the middle of a weird season, Birdie makes Westmoreland County picks
October 20, 2021
Last week: 12-1 (92.3%)

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Freeport’s Colton Otterman wraps up Burrell quarterback Chase Fenner during the first half last Friday.
The Birdie sees a doozy of an A-K Valley playoff tiebreaker on the horizon
Last week: 9-1 (90%)

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Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform at Heinz Field on Oct. 4.
The Birdie ready to rock, roll and pick some Westmoreland County winners
October 13, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Fox Chapel’s Khi’Lee Patterson pulls in a touchdown catch on the first play of the game against Franklin Regional on Sept. 17.
Wait for it, wait for it … OK, it’s time for The Birdie to make his A-K Valley picks
Last week: 5-6 (45.5%)

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Belle Vernon’s Jake Gedekoh carries for a touchdown against Laurel Highlands on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, James Weir Stadium in Rostraver.
While waiting for a lifeguarding gig at Belle Vernon’s ‘Beach,’ The Birdie is picking Westmoreland County winners
October 6, 2021
Last week: 11-2 (84.6%)

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Plum’s Eryck Moore runs against McKeesport last season.
Upsets have Birdie’s feathers ruffled while making A-K Valley picks
Last week: 5-6 (45.5%)

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Greensburg Salem’s Daishaun Alexander kicks to Indiana last Friday.
For Birdie, defining taunting proves daunting in Westmoreland County football
September 29, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Leechburg’s Bryan Lovelace breaks away from Brentwood’s Jackson Vingelen earlier this season.
Birdie eyes up the A-K Valley’s biggest stories to watch in football season’s 2nd half
Last week: 8-2 (80%)

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Norwin’s Aaron Schmook comes down in the end zone for a touchdown against Latrobe on Sept. 3.
The Birdie is running wild while making Week 4 Westmoreland County picks
September 22, 2021
Last week: 9-5 (64.3 %)

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Springdale’s John Utiss attempts to catch a pass as Bishop Canevin’s Azjaun Marshall defends in the first half last Friday.
The Birdie might not be a spring chicken, but he still picks A-K Valley football winners
Last week: 8-3 (72.7%)

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Freeport’s Andrew Sullivan gets a drink during the first game of the 2021 season. “Yellowjackets” is a fine nickname, according to The Birdie.
The Birdie plays the name game, makes Week 3 A-K Valley football picks
September 15, 2021
Last week: 7-3 (70%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Carter Green carries the ball against Belle Vernon on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.
Before watching Westmoreland County football, The Birdie watches what he eats
Last week: 7-4 (63.6 %)

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Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth beats the Lions’ Jalen Reeves-Maybin for the second of his two first-quarter touchdowns in a preseason game Aug. 21 at Heinz Field.
                                Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth beats the Lions’ Jalen Reeves-Maybin for the second of his two first-quarter touchdowns on Saturday Aug. 21, 2021 at Heinz Field.
Birdie hops on Freiermuth bandwagon before picking this week’s A-K Valley matchups
September 8, 2021
Last week: 9-1 (90%)

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Penn-Trafford gets set to play Hempfield on last Friday.
Quoting Confucius and picking Westmoreland winners, The Birdie’s ready for Week 2
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Coach Klein and linebacker Bobby Boucher watch from the sidelines as the South Central Louisiana State Mud Dogs take on the Louisiana Cougars.
Before picking A-K Valley winners, The Birdie investigates Bishop Sycamore
September 1, 2021
Last week: 9-3 (75%)

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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock works out Aug. 11, 2021, at James Weir Stadium.
Birdie hopes he picks Westmoreland County games better than he climbs crates
Last week: 8-3 (72.7 %)

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Hempfield quarterback Keiran Lippmann looks to throw during a 7-on-7 competition in July.
The Birdie cashing in on his Westmoreland County pigskin picking reputation
August 25, 2021
Name. Image. Likeness.

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Plum’s Kade Thomas, right, leads the offensive line in drills during practice Aug. 11.
The Birdie can’t always get what he wants as A-K Valley football kicks off
The Birdie was pecking at his plate from the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday, waiting for a friend to meet him for lunch the other day, when he realized it was way too early in the season to be dealing with a case of writer’s block.

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Plum Mustangs take the field to take on McKeesport Friday. Oct 30, 2020.
High school football’s about to start in the A-K Valley? Sounds good to The Birdie
August 21, 2021
The Birdie

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Norwin receiver Jackson Pons (left) celebrates his touchdown catch during the WCCA 7-on-7 championship game against Franklin Regional on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at Greater Latrobe High School.
The Birdie takes his shot at predicting records for Westmoreland County teams
The Birdie

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Jeannette gets fired up before playing Reynolds in the PIAA Class A semifinals Nov. 20, 2020, at Reynolds High School.
The Birdie thinks Jeannette will do the steamrolling in PIAA finals
November 25, 2020
Last week: 1-0

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Jeannette celebrates after beating Clairton in the WPIAL Class A championship game last Saturday.
Birdie on board as Jeannette bandwagon rolls into Reynolds
November 19, 2020
Last week: 0-1

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Clairton’s Dontae Sanders breaks free for a second-quarter touchdown against Jeannette on Sept. 11.
Everyone’s excited for Jeannette-Clairton rematch, including The Birdie
November 12, 2020
Last week: 3-0 (100.0 %)

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli runs for a 61-yard touchdown against Upper St. Clair during WPIAL playoff action last Friday.
Birdie maps out route to WPIAL title game for Penn-Trafford, Belle Vernon, Jeannette
November 5, 2020
Last week: 4-0 (100%)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon works out during a preseason practice.
Birdie ready to hit the road to follow Plum, Apollo-Ridge in WPIAL playoffs
Last week: 4-1 (80%)

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Mt. Pleasant’s Robbie Labuda breaks a tackle attempt by Elizabeth Forward’s Vernon Settles on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Mt. Pleasant Area High School.
The Birdie treats his readers to Westmoreland County playoff picks
October 29, 2020
Last week: 9-0 (100 %)

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Members of the Apollo-Ridge offensive line warm up before their game against Shady Side Academy on Oct. 9.
‘Tis the season for playoff football in the A-K Valley and the Birdie is psyched
Last week: 10-2 (83%)

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Plum’s Zachary Fields attempts to break up a pass to Highlands’ D.J. Loveland on Oct. 2.
The Birdie volunteers to campaign for A-K Valley bubble teams
October 22, 2020
Last Week: 8-1 (89%)

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Belle Vernon’s Ryan Hamer celebrates a touchdown against Ringgold on Oct. 9.
The Birdie trying to keep his chin up during challenging season
Last week: 10-1 (90.9 %)

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Goats graze amidst the brush covered hillside behind the visitors bleachers at Norwin High School.
The Birdie has questions, lots of questions, about Westmoreland County attendance limits
October 15, 2020
Last week: 11-1 (91.7 %)

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Plum’s Logan Brooks intercepts a pass intended for Highlands’ Jrake Burford on Oct. 2.
Birdie doing his part to keep A-K Valley safe for football
Last Week: 8-2 (80%)

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Southmoreland’s Anthony Govern leads his team on the field before kickoff against rival Mt. Pleasant at Russ Grimm Field on Sept. 25, 2020.
The Birdie wants bowl season to come to Westmoreland County
October 8, 2020
Last week: 8-4 (66.7 %)

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Highlands’ Jeremiah Nelson tackles Plum’s William Guzzi last Friday.
Red-hot Birdie picking A-K Valley games with expert precision
Last Week: 8-1 (89%)

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Springdale’s Logan Dexter breaks into the end zone in the first half against Leechburg last week.
Birdie learns from experience, just like Apollo-Ridge, Plum and Springdale
October 1, 2020
Last Week: 7-3 (70%)

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Norwin’s Ty Bilinsky is surrounded by a host of Hempfield defense as he tries to gain yardage on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at Norwin Senior High School.
Birdie, Westmoreland County teams handling covid era pretty well
Last week: 9-5 (64.3 %)

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Penn-Trafford quarterback Ethan Carr takes part in a preseason practice.
The Birdie: Prognosticator puts pedal to metal for Week 3 in Westmoreland County
September 24, 2020
Last week: 10-4 (71.4%)

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Highlands’ Elijah Coleman intercepts a ball intended for Mars’ Jacob Woodrige Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
The Birdie just wants to see live football in the A-K Valley
Last Week: 10-2 (84%)

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Leechburg and quarterback Dylan Cook made The Birdie look good with their win over Greensburg Central Catholic in Week 1.
The Birdie crowing about perfect start to A-K Valley football season
September 17, 2020
Last week: 8-0 (100%)

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Hempfield’s Tyson Gregory tackles Norwin ball carrier Connor Chrisman during last Friday’s opener.
Birdie off his game as Westmoreland County football teams open in mostly empty stadiums
Last week: 7-6 (53.8 %)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (left) works with Jacob Feilo during practice on Aug. 17, 2020, in Spring Church.
The Birdie happy to be back watching football in the A-K Valley
September 10, 2020
“It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!”

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Jeannette head coach Roy Hall talks with Emilio Huerta during practice on Aug. 13, 2020.
Westmoreland County Week 1 matchups have Birdie grinning from ear to ear
The Birdie went to the dentist earlier this week for his six-month checkup, and, aside from getting his gums poked and prodded, accidentally swallowing some fluoride treatment and pocketing a free toothbrush, he received a boost of confidence.

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Penn-Trafford’s Chase Vecchio pulls in a one-handed catch during workouts Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 at Warrior Stadium.
Westmoreland County coaches give The Birdie the old ‘social distancing’ treatment
September 5, 2020
The Birdie has been asked to social distance before so the concept is not altogether new to the local prep football expert.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Klay Fitzroy intercepts a pass intended for New Brighton’s Jake Francona last season.
The Birdie whistling a happy tune now that football is back in the A-K Valley
The TribLive HSSN high school sports staff logged on to a video conference call for the annual high school football preseason meeting.

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Thomas Jefferson’s James Martinis, Logan Danielson, Mike Huber, Mac Duda and Preston Zandier celebrate advancing to the WPIAL Class 4A finals at Heinz Field.
The Birdie wonders which WPIAL teams will cut the mustard
November 13, 2019
Last week: 3-1 (75.0%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Gabe Dunlap tries to keep a distance between himself and Franklin Regional defender Justin Johns on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
The Birdie gives props to Penn-Trafford’s guts
November 6, 2019
Last week: 8-3 (72.7)

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The Birdie can recite Derry’s Justin Huss’ stats chapter and verse.
The Birdie won’t stop squawking about Westmoreland County teams in WPIAL playoffs
October 30, 2019
Last week: 11-2 (84.6)

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Apollo Ridge’s Klayton Fitzroy pulls in a catch over Avonworth’s Kyros Thorpe on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.
The Birdie spends day begging for seeds as A-K Valley teams learn playoff opponents
Last week: 6-5 (54.5)

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Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake (1) celebrates his third touchdown against Hampton Sept. 27, 2019 at Hampton.
The Birdie is strutting his stuff with A-K Valley picks
October 23, 2019
Last week: 10-3 (76.9)

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The Birdie is planning to do some trick-or-treating at Weir Stadium in Belle Vernon this Friday night.
The Birdie making trick-or-tweet plans in Westmoreland County
Last week: 14-0 (1.000)

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Jeannette’s Imani Sanders (3) picks up seven yards early in the first quarter against Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Carbon.
The Birdie likes what he sees on Westmoreland County gridirons
October 16, 2019
Last week: 10-3 (76.9)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Klay Fitzroy drops back to pass during a 7-on-7 game as head coach John Skiba looks on.
The Birdie needs to bounce back after a week of pitiful prognostications in the A-K Valley
Overall record: 59-27 (69%)

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Deer Lakes’ Isaiah Yoder attempts to pull in a pass during the first half at Freeport Area Athletic Stadium on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.
Muddled Big East playoff picture has The Birdie’s feathers ruffled
October 9, 2019
Overall record: 54-21 (72%)

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The Birdie likes to watch games at Norwin Knights Stadium.
The Birdie picks his favorite Westmoreland County perches
Last week: 11-3 (78.6)

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Burrell’s Mikey Scherer had 33 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns against Deer Lakes on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Like A-K Valley running backs, The Birdie can play through pain
October 2, 2019
Overall record: 48-16 (75%)

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Southmoreland student section cheers as their team takes the field against McGuffey on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 at Southmoreland High School’s Russ Grim Field.
The Birdie keeps his seat on Southmoreland bandwagon
Last week: 12-1 (92.3)

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Burrell quarterback Alex Arledge participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
Birdie fired up for Burrell-Deer Lakes air show
September 25, 2019
Overall Record: 40-14

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North Catholic’s Jaren Thimons bobbles the ball as Derry’s Amari Graham defends during a game Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Mars.
The Birdie doesn’t need a backup to pick Westmoreland County games
Last week: 12-3 (80.0)

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Deer Lakes’ Aris Hasley dives for a touchdown past Burrell’s Jack Henderson on Sept. 28, 2018 at Lancers Stadium.
Deer Lakes offense has The Birdie raising an eyebrow
September 18, 2019
Last week: 8-3

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Southmoreland quarterback Zach Cernuto participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie gets set for a road trip out of Westmoreland County
Last week: 13-1 (92.9 %)

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Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake scores a touchdown against North Hills in the second quarter Friday, Sept 6, 2019, at Kiski Area.
The Birdie goes online to help make A-K Valley football picks
September 11, 2019
A day doesn’t go by where the Birdie isn’t thinking about high school football. He walked into the office Monday with Saturday’s edition of the Valley News Dispatch in hand and was thumbing through it rapidly.

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Derry’s Seth Loughner reaches to stop Freeport ball carrier Isiah Bauman on Friday night, Aug. 30, 2019 at Derry Area High School in WPIAL football.
No clowning around in Westmoreland County for The Birdie
The Birdie

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Southmoreland’s Anthony Govern participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie sets sights on web stardom in Westmoreland County
September 4, 2019
Last week: 12-3 (80 percent)

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Plum High School’s Nic Sluka (8) battles for completion defended by Franklin Regional’s Zac Gordon (40) during their game on Aug. 30, 2019.
The Birdie gets his mojo back while picking A-K Valley games
When the Birdie walked into the office on Monday, he had the biggest smile on his face.

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Norwin’s quarterback Jack Salopek throws a pass against Penn-Trafford during WPIAL football on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 at Penn-Trafford High School.
The Birdie is on the clock picking Westmoreland County football games
August 28, 2019
The Birdie is on the clock.

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Burrell’s Dom Holmes attempts to pull in a pass in the second half against Valley Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at Valley High School.
The Birdie puts his faith in A-K Valley teams
When the Birdie came into the office Monday he was as mad as a fantasy football team owner who had just drafted Andrew Luck with his first-round pick five minutes before he made his retirement announcement.

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Yough’s C.J. Waldier (right) makes a play for the ball against Latrobe during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Greater Latrobe High School.
The Birdie opines on Week Zero, Westmoreland County matchups
August 21, 2019
Four years after its inception, Week Zero remains a confusing proposition, even for Mr. Birdie.

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Leechburg’s Dylan Cook
The Birdie gets ready for Week Zero by picking A-K Valley winners
Unlike past years, The Birdie is unsure about his season-opening picks.

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Penn-Trafford wide receiver Noah Allen catches a pass against Mt. Pleasant in the the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7on7 tournament on Thursday July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School. Norwin defeated Penn Trafford 24-13.
The Birdie predicts records for Westmoreland County football teams
August 17, 2019
Westmoreland County’s high school football expert spent a sizzling summer day at Kennywood Park when the TribLive High School Sports Network recognized its Top 25 preseason team.

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Kiski Areaՠhead coach Sam Albert participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7on7 tournament on Thursday July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie predicts Alle-Kiski Valley football records
The opening week of high school football is right around the corner, and The Birdie is fired up after his return trip to Pittsburgh following a long vacation.

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The Birdie states case as top-flight prognosticator for Westmoreland County
August 22, 2018
Last season: 119-30 (.799) The Birdie sat in a recent meeting about the new andquot;Trib 7andquot; series, which ranks the best WPIAL players of all-time

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli (5) and Seth Dunlap (3) embrace after defeating Pine-Richland in the WPIAL semifinals.
While making Westmoreland County finals picks, Birdie sees red on Highway to Heinz
November 24, 2021
Last week: 2-0 (100 %)

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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock runs for a touchdown against McKeesport on Oct. 29.
The Birdie makes Heinz Field plans while picking Westmoreland County playoff games
November 17, 2021
Last week: 3-0 (100%)

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Fox Chapel’s Zidane Thomas reaches out to stiff-arm Franklin Regional’s Logan Donnelly on Sept. 17.
The Birdie learns an important football lesson, picks A-K Valley playoff games
November 10, 2021
Last week: 4-3 (57.1%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Jack Jollie pulls in a pass that was intended for Franklin Regional’s Roman Sarnic on Oct. 22.
‘Tis the season for Westmoreland County playoff picks from The Birdie
Last week: 4-2 (66.7%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli breaks the tackle attempt by Franklin Regional’s Roman Sarnic on the way to a first-quarter touchdown on Oct. 22.
The Birdie hits reset button, makes Westmoreland County playoff picks
November 3, 2021
Last week: 9-4 (69.2%)

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Highlands quarterback Chandler Thimons launches a pass against Greensburg Salem on Oct. 22.
The Birdie gets out his calculator and makes A-K Valley playoff picks
Last week: 8-1 (88.9%)

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Franklin Regional’s Caden Smith drops Penn-Trafford’s Carter Green for a loss last Friday.
There’s no disguising Birdie’s ability to pick Westmoreland County winners
October 27, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Burrell’s Caden DiCaprio scores a third-quarter touchdown ahead of Deer Lakes’ Seth Sciubba on Oct. 8.
The Birdie writes the perfect pregame speech before making A-K Valley Week 9 picks
Last week: 12-1 (92.3%)

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Franklin Regional coach Lance Getsy communicates with his players against Latrobe last Friday.
In the middle of a weird season, Birdie makes Westmoreland County picks
October 20, 2021
Last week: 12-1 (92.3%)

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Freeport’s Colton Otterman wraps up Burrell quarterback Chase Fenner during the first half last Friday.
The Birdie sees a doozy of an A-K Valley playoff tiebreaker on the horizon
Last week: 9-1 (90%)

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Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform at Heinz Field on Oct. 4.
The Birdie ready to rock, roll and pick some Westmoreland County winners
October 13, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Fox Chapel’s Khi’Lee Patterson pulls in a touchdown catch on the first play of the game against Franklin Regional on Sept. 17.
Wait for it, wait for it … OK, it’s time for The Birdie to make his A-K Valley picks
Last week: 5-6 (45.5%)

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Belle Vernon’s Jake Gedekoh carries for a touchdown against Laurel Highlands on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, James Weir Stadium in Rostraver.
While waiting for a lifeguarding gig at Belle Vernon’s ‘Beach,’ The Birdie is picking Westmoreland County winners
October 6, 2021
Last week: 11-2 (84.6%)

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Plum’s Eryck Moore runs against McKeesport last season.
Upsets have Birdie’s feathers ruffled while making A-K Valley picks
Last week: 5-6 (45.5%)

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Greensburg Salem’s Daishaun Alexander kicks to Indiana last Friday.
For Birdie, defining taunting proves daunting in Westmoreland County football
September 29, 2021
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Leechburg’s Bryan Lovelace breaks away from Brentwood’s Jackson Vingelen earlier this season.
Birdie eyes up the A-K Valley’s biggest stories to watch in football season’s 2nd half
Last week: 8-2 (80%)

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Norwin’s Aaron Schmook comes down in the end zone for a touchdown against Latrobe on Sept. 3.
The Birdie is running wild while making Week 4 Westmoreland County picks
September 22, 2021
Last week: 9-5 (64.3 %)

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Springdale’s John Utiss attempts to catch a pass as Bishop Canevin’s Azjaun Marshall defends in the first half last Friday.
The Birdie might not be a spring chicken, but he still picks A-K Valley football winners
Last week: 8-3 (72.7%)

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Freeport’s Andrew Sullivan gets a drink during the first game of the 2021 season. “Yellowjackets” is a fine nickname, according to The Birdie.
The Birdie plays the name game, makes Week 3 A-K Valley football picks
September 15, 2021
Last week: 7-3 (70%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Carter Green carries the ball against Belle Vernon on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.
Before watching Westmoreland County football, The Birdie watches what he eats
Last week: 7-4 (63.6 %)

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Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth beats the Lions’ Jalen Reeves-Maybin for the second of his two first-quarter touchdowns in a preseason game Aug. 21 at Heinz Field.
                                Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth beats the Lions’ Jalen Reeves-Maybin for the second of his two first-quarter touchdowns on Saturday Aug. 21, 2021 at Heinz Field.
Birdie hops on Freiermuth bandwagon before picking this week’s A-K Valley matchups
September 8, 2021
Last week: 9-1 (90%)

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Penn-Trafford gets set to play Hempfield on last Friday.
Quoting Confucius and picking Westmoreland winners, The Birdie’s ready for Week 2
Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

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Coach Klein and linebacker Bobby Boucher watch from the sidelines as the South Central Louisiana State Mud Dogs take on the Louisiana Cougars.
Before picking A-K Valley winners, The Birdie investigates Bishop Sycamore
September 1, 2021
Last week: 9-3 (75%)

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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock works out Aug. 11, 2021, at James Weir Stadium.
Birdie hopes he picks Westmoreland County games better than he climbs crates
Last week: 8-3 (72.7 %)

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Hempfield quarterback Keiran Lippmann looks to throw during a 7-on-7 competition in July.
The Birdie cashing in on his Westmoreland County pigskin picking reputation
August 25, 2021
Name. Image. Likeness.

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Plum’s Kade Thomas, right, leads the offensive line in drills during practice Aug. 11.
The Birdie can’t always get what he wants as A-K Valley football kicks off
The Birdie was pecking at his plate from the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday, waiting for a friend to meet him for lunch the other day, when he realized it was way too early in the season to be dealing with a case of writer’s block.

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Plum Mustangs take the field to take on McKeesport Friday. Oct 30, 2020.
High school football’s about to start in the A-K Valley? Sounds good to The Birdie
August 21, 2021
The Birdie

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Norwin receiver Jackson Pons (left) celebrates his touchdown catch during the WCCA 7-on-7 championship game against Franklin Regional on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at Greater Latrobe High School.
The Birdie takes his shot at predicting records for Westmoreland County teams
The Birdie

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Jeannette gets fired up before playing Reynolds in the PIAA Class A semifinals Nov. 20, 2020, at Reynolds High School.
The Birdie thinks Jeannette will do the steamrolling in PIAA finals
November 25, 2020
Last week: 1-0

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Jeannette celebrates after beating Clairton in the WPIAL Class A championship game last Saturday.
Birdie on board as Jeannette bandwagon rolls into Reynolds
November 19, 2020
Last week: 0-1

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Clairton’s Dontae Sanders breaks free for a second-quarter touchdown against Jeannette on Sept. 11.
Everyone’s excited for Jeannette-Clairton rematch, including The Birdie
November 12, 2020
Last week: 3-0 (100.0 %)

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli runs for a 61-yard touchdown against Upper St. Clair during WPIAL playoff action last Friday.
Birdie maps out route to WPIAL title game for Penn-Trafford, Belle Vernon, Jeannette
November 5, 2020
Last week: 4-0 (100%)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon works out during a preseason practice.
Birdie ready to hit the road to follow Plum, Apollo-Ridge in WPIAL playoffs
Last week: 4-1 (80%)

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Mt. Pleasant’s Robbie Labuda breaks a tackle attempt by Elizabeth Forward’s Vernon Settles on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Mt. Pleasant Area High School.
The Birdie treats his readers to Westmoreland County playoff picks
October 29, 2020
Last week: 9-0 (100 %)

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Members of the Apollo-Ridge offensive line warm up before their game against Shady Side Academy on Oct. 9.
‘Tis the season for playoff football in the A-K Valley and the Birdie is psyched
Last week: 10-2 (83%)

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Plum’s Zachary Fields attempts to break up a pass to Highlands’ D.J. Loveland on Oct. 2.
The Birdie volunteers to campaign for A-K Valley bubble teams
October 22, 2020
Last Week: 8-1 (89%)

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Belle Vernon’s Ryan Hamer celebrates a touchdown against Ringgold on Oct. 9.
The Birdie trying to keep his chin up during challenging season
Last week: 10-1 (90.9 %)

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Goats graze amidst the brush covered hillside behind the visitors bleachers at Norwin High School.
The Birdie has questions, lots of questions, about Westmoreland County attendance limits
October 15, 2020
Last week: 11-1 (91.7 %)

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Plum’s Logan Brooks intercepts a pass intended for Highlands’ Jrake Burford on Oct. 2.
Birdie doing his part to keep A-K Valley safe for football
Last Week: 8-2 (80%)

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Southmoreland’s Anthony Govern leads his team on the field before kickoff against rival Mt. Pleasant at Russ Grimm Field on Sept. 25, 2020.
The Birdie wants bowl season to come to Westmoreland County
October 8, 2020
Last week: 8-4 (66.7 %)

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Highlands’ Jeremiah Nelson tackles Plum’s William Guzzi last Friday.
Red-hot Birdie picking A-K Valley games with expert precision
Last Week: 8-1 (89%)

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Springdale’s Logan Dexter breaks into the end zone in the first half against Leechburg last week.
Birdie learns from experience, just like Apollo-Ridge, Plum and Springdale
October 1, 2020
Last Week: 7-3 (70%)

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Norwin’s Ty Bilinsky is surrounded by a host of Hempfield defense as he tries to gain yardage on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at Norwin Senior High School.
Birdie, Westmoreland County teams handling covid era pretty well
Last week: 9-5 (64.3 %)

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Penn-Trafford quarterback Ethan Carr takes part in a preseason practice.
The Birdie: Prognosticator puts pedal to metal for Week 3 in Westmoreland County
September 24, 2020
Last week: 10-4 (71.4%)

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Highlands’ Elijah Coleman intercepts a ball intended for Mars’ Jacob Woodrige Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
The Birdie just wants to see live football in the A-K Valley
Last Week: 10-2 (84%)

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Leechburg and quarterback Dylan Cook made The Birdie look good with their win over Greensburg Central Catholic in Week 1.
The Birdie crowing about perfect start to A-K Valley football season
September 17, 2020
Last week: 8-0 (100%)

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Hempfield’s Tyson Gregory tackles Norwin ball carrier Connor Chrisman during last Friday’s opener.
Birdie off his game as Westmoreland County football teams open in mostly empty stadiums
Last week: 7-6 (53.8 %)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (left) works with Jacob Feilo during practice on Aug. 17, 2020, in Spring Church.
The Birdie happy to be back watching football in the A-K Valley
September 10, 2020
“It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!”

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Jeannette head coach Roy Hall talks with Emilio Huerta during practice on Aug. 13, 2020.
Westmoreland County Week 1 matchups have Birdie grinning from ear to ear
The Birdie went to the dentist earlier this week for his six-month checkup, and, aside from getting his gums poked and prodded, accidentally swallowing some fluoride treatment and pocketing a free toothbrush, he received a boost of confidence.

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Penn-Trafford’s Chase Vecchio pulls in a one-handed catch during workouts Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 at Warrior Stadium.
Westmoreland County coaches give The Birdie the old ‘social distancing’ treatment
September 5, 2020
The Birdie has been asked to social distance before so the concept is not altogether new to the local prep football expert.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Klay Fitzroy intercepts a pass intended for New Brighton’s Jake Francona last season.
The Birdie whistling a happy tune now that football is back in the A-K Valley
The TribLive HSSN high school sports staff logged on to a video conference call for the annual high school football preseason meeting.

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Thomas Jefferson’s James Martinis, Logan Danielson, Mike Huber, Mac Duda and Preston Zandier celebrate advancing to the WPIAL Class 4A finals at Heinz Field.
The Birdie wonders which WPIAL teams will cut the mustard
November 13, 2019
Last week: 3-1 (75.0%)

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Penn-Trafford’s Gabe Dunlap tries to keep a distance between himself and Franklin Regional defender Justin Johns on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
The Birdie gives props to Penn-Trafford’s guts
November 6, 2019
Last week: 8-3 (72.7)

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The Birdie can recite Derry’s Justin Huss’ stats chapter and verse.
The Birdie won’t stop squawking about Westmoreland County teams in WPIAL playoffs
October 30, 2019
Last week: 11-2 (84.6)

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Apollo Ridge’s Klayton Fitzroy pulls in a catch over Avonworth’s Kyros Thorpe on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.
The Birdie spends day begging for seeds as A-K Valley teams learn playoff opponents
Last week: 6-5 (54.5)

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Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake (1) celebrates his third touchdown against Hampton Sept. 27, 2019 at Hampton.
The Birdie is strutting his stuff with A-K Valley picks
October 23, 2019
Last week: 10-3 (76.9)

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The Birdie is planning to do some trick-or-treating at Weir Stadium in Belle Vernon this Friday night.
The Birdie making trick-or-tweet plans in Westmoreland County
Last week: 14-0 (1.000)

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Jeannette’s Imani Sanders (3) picks up seven yards early in the first quarter against Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Carbon.
The Birdie likes what he sees on Westmoreland County gridirons
October 16, 2019
Last week: 10-3 (76.9)

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Apollo-Ridge’s Klay Fitzroy drops back to pass during a 7-on-7 game as head coach John Skiba looks on.
The Birdie needs to bounce back after a week of pitiful prognostications in the A-K Valley
Overall record: 59-27 (69%)

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Deer Lakes’ Isaiah Yoder attempts to pull in a pass during the first half at Freeport Area Athletic Stadium on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.
Muddled Big East playoff picture has The Birdie’s feathers ruffled
October 9, 2019
Overall record: 54-21 (72%)

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The Birdie likes to watch games at Norwin Knights Stadium.
The Birdie picks his favorite Westmoreland County perches
Last week: 11-3 (78.6)

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Burrell’s Mikey Scherer had 33 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns against Deer Lakes on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Like A-K Valley running backs, The Birdie can play through pain
October 2, 2019
Overall record: 48-16 (75%)

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Southmoreland student section cheers as their team takes the field against McGuffey on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 at Southmoreland High School’s Russ Grim Field.
The Birdie keeps his seat on Southmoreland bandwagon
Last week: 12-1 (92.3)

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Burrell quarterback Alex Arledge participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
Birdie fired up for Burrell-Deer Lakes air show
September 25, 2019
Overall Record: 40-14

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North Catholic’s Jaren Thimons bobbles the ball as Derry’s Amari Graham defends during a game Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Mars.
The Birdie doesn’t need a backup to pick Westmoreland County games
Last week: 12-3 (80.0)

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Deer Lakes’ Aris Hasley dives for a touchdown past Burrell’s Jack Henderson on Sept. 28, 2018 at Lancers Stadium.
Deer Lakes offense has The Birdie raising an eyebrow
September 18, 2019
Last week: 8-3

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Southmoreland quarterback Zach Cernuto participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie gets set for a road trip out of Westmoreland County
Last week: 13-1 (92.9 %)

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Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake scores a touchdown against North Hills in the second quarter Friday, Sept 6, 2019, at Kiski Area.
The Birdie goes online to help make A-K Valley football picks
September 11, 2019
A day doesn’t go by where the Birdie isn’t thinking about high school football. He walked into the office Monday with Saturday’s edition of the Valley News Dispatch in hand and was thumbing through it rapidly.

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Derry’s Seth Loughner reaches to stop Freeport ball carrier Isiah Bauman on Friday night, Aug. 30, 2019 at Derry Area High School in WPIAL football.
No clowning around in Westmoreland County for The Birdie
The Birdie

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Southmoreland’s Anthony Govern participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie sets sights on web stardom in Westmoreland County
September 4, 2019
Last week: 12-3 (80 percent)

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Plum High School’s Nic Sluka (8) battles for completion defended by Franklin Regional’s Zac Gordon (40) during their game on Aug. 30, 2019.
The Birdie gets his mojo back while picking A-K Valley games
When the Birdie walked into the office on Monday, he had the biggest smile on his face.

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Norwin’s quarterback Jack Salopek throws a pass against Penn-Trafford during WPIAL football on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 at Penn-Trafford High School.
The Birdie is on the clock picking Westmoreland County football games
August 28, 2019
The Birdie is on the clock.

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Burrell’s Dom Holmes attempts to pull in a pass in the second half against Valley Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at Valley High School.
The Birdie puts his faith in A-K Valley teams
When the Birdie came into the office Monday he was as mad as a fantasy football team owner who had just drafted Andrew Luck with his first-round pick five minutes before he made his retirement announcement.

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Yough’s C.J. Waldier (right) makes a play for the ball against Latrobe during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Greater Latrobe High School.
The Birdie opines on Week Zero, Westmoreland County matchups
August 21, 2019
Four years after its inception, Week Zero remains a confusing proposition, even for Mr. Birdie.

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Leechburg’s Dylan Cook
The Birdie gets ready for Week Zero by picking A-K Valley winners
Unlike past years, The Birdie is unsure about his season-opening picks.

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Penn-Trafford wide receiver Noah Allen catches a pass against Mt. Pleasant in the the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7on7 tournament on Thursday July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School. Norwin defeated Penn Trafford 24-13.
The Birdie predicts records for Westmoreland County football teams
August 17, 2019
Westmoreland County’s high school football expert spent a sizzling summer day at Kennywood Park when the TribLive High School Sports Network recognized its Top 25 preseason team.

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Kiski Areaՠhead coach Sam Albert participates in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7on7 tournament on Thursday July 18, 2019 at Latrobe High School.
The Birdie predicts Alle-Kiski Valley football records
The opening week of high school football is right around the corner, and The Birdie is fired up after his return trip to Pittsburgh following a long vacation.

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The Birdie states case as top-flight prognosticator for Westmoreland County
August 22, 2018
Last season: 119-30 (.799) The Birdie sat in a recent meeting about the new andquot;Trib 7andquot; series, which ranks the best WPIAL players of all-time

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