Chick Picks for Week One

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Thursday, September 3, 2015 | 5:51 PM


Awww yeah!  Welcome to Week 1 of the high school football season.

Chick’s Picks felt it only proper to kick off the season with a quote from the legendary Deuce Skurcenski, who passed away earlier this month.  Well-known by most around the WPIAL for his stats, his scorekeeping, and of course, his infamous one-liners, Deuce was said to have attended more than 10,000 basketball games and 3,000 football games in his day.

Chick’s Picks reflected upon the first time she met Deuce.  It was a cool, crisp night at Woodland Hills.  Chick’s Picks was nervous to finally meet the legend face to face, but thought, surely he would know of her – the top prognosticator in the WPIAL.  So, she built up the courage and introduced herself.

“Chick’s Picks?!  What kind of a name is that,” asked Deuce, clearly hearing of her for the very first time.  Deuce disregarded her attempt at explaining her prognosticating powers, though, and promptly passed her an autographed copy of his trading card.  Chick’s Picks will forever keep it among her most prized possessions, along with the other several dozen that she had been given over the years.

Deuce’s legend will undoubtedly carry on for many years to come throughout the WPIAL.  As we begin the 2015 season, let us not forget one of his favorite adages: The team with a lot of turnovers is a bakery.

Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS AAAA
#7 Penn Hills at #6 Upper St. Clair

Upper St. Clair opens up Southeastern Conference play by hosting Penn Hills Friday night.  Both the Panthers and the Indians are looking to rebound from early postseason losses.  Upper St. Clair finished with a disappointing (4-6) record after a 24-0 shutout to North Allegheny in the first round.  Penn Hills was upset by Plum in the first round and finished with a (7-3) record.  The Indians have high hopes heading into this season with the return of veteran quarterback Billy Kisner.  The three-year starter passed for 448 yards last season, and led the team in rushing with 1,019 yards.  The Panthers also return their leading rusher in Thomas Vissman, who tallied 855 yards and six touchdowns last season.  When these two met one year ago, the Indians came away with a 31-13 victory.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Panthers will get revenge on their home turf this time around.
Upper St. Clair over Penn Hills

CLASS AAA
#1 Thomas Jefferson at #5 Ringgold

The newly named Big 10 Conference is wasting no time heating things up as perennial power TJ takes on Ringgold Friday night.  The Jaguars claimed the top spot in the MSA Sports Class AAA Preseason Top 10, despite losing Austin Kemp – one of the WPIAL’s leading rushers last season with nearly 2,000 yards.  Returning for TJ however, are Quinton Hill, Ryan Scanlon, and Braden Pahanish, who combined for over 1,600 yards last season.  Since the Rams graduated dual threat quarterback Nico Law, Chacar Berry will be heavily relied upon this season.  Berry managed 1,400 rushing yards alongside Law last season.  When these two met a year ago, TJ rolled over Ringgold, 49-6.  Chick’s Picks predicts a closer score this time around, but the same result.
Thomas Jefferson over Ringgold

CLASS AA
#7 Mount Pleasant at #8 McGuffey

Interstate Conference play opens Friday night as the Highlanders host the Vikings.  McGuffey will seek revenge for last year’s 45-39 opening week loss to Mount Pleasant.  It will be a tall task for the Highlanders, who must replace 4,000-yard rusher James Duchi.  McGuffey will, however, return 5 starters on both sides of the ball.  Mount Pleasant will also return 10 starters, including Jake Adamrovich and Chris Wagner.  Although the Vikings also lost their leading rusher to graduation, Adamrovich and Wagner show a lot of promise.  The duo combined for nearly 1,000 yards last season as the second and third leading rushers.  Chick’s Picks likes the experienced backfield to carry the Vikings.
Mount Pleasant over McGuffey

CLASS A
#5 Greensburg Central Catholic at #10 Monessen

Greensburg Central Catholic hits the road to take on Eastern Conference rival Monessen Friday night.  The Greyhounds are seeking a fresh start with a new coach at the helm after falling short of the playoffs last season.  Standout RB Lavalle Rush has made the move to quarterback this season.  The Centurions return 11 starters from last year’s squad that fell to Neshannock in the first round of the playoffs.  Quarterback Tommy Pellis is at the helm as a third-year starter.  RB Brian Pevarnik returns for GCC after a Week 2 injury ended his season last fall.  Chick’s Picks predicts that Pevarnik will be the difference maker in this one.
Greensburg Central Catholic over Monessen

CLASS AAAA:

Foothills Conference

Plum over Hempfield

Penn-Trafford over Kiski Area

McKeesport over Connellsville

Norwin over Latrobe

Northern Eight Conference

North Hills over Fox Chapel

North Allegheny over Seneca Valley

Pine-Richland over Shaler

Southeastern Conference

Mt. Lebanon over Canon-McMillan

Woodland Hills over Peters Township

Class AAAA Non-Conference

Central Catholic over Bethel Park

Altoona over Butler

CLASS AAA:

Big 10 Conference

Yough over Albert Gallatin

Laurel Highlands over Elizabeth Forward

Thomas Jefferson over Ringgold

Belle Vernon over Trinity

West Mifflin over Uniontown

Greater Allegheny Conference

Gateway over Greensburg Salem

Armstrong over Hollidaysburg

Indiana over Mars

Franklin Regional over Knoch

Parkway Conference

Moon over Blackhawk

Hopewell over Chartiers Valley

Montour over Central Valley

West Allegheny over New Castle

Class AAAA vs Class AAA Non-Conference

Hampton over Allderdice

Baldwin over Ambridge

CLASS AA:

Allegheny Conference

West Shamokin over Deer Lakes

Shady Side Academy over Freeport

Highlands over Summit Academy

Valley over Burrell

Century Conference

Seton-LaSalle over South Park

South Fayette over East Allegheny

Steel Valley over Carlynton

Sto-Rox over South Allegheny

Interstate Conference

Charleroi over Southmoreland

Washington over Derry Area

Waynesburg over Burgettstown

Midwestern Athletic Conference

Beaver Falls over Freedom

Aliquippa over Mohawk

New Brighton over Laurel

Ellwood City over Quaker Valley

Class AA Non-Conference

Beaver over Brownsville

Keystone Oaks over Apollo-Ridge

CLASS A:

Big Seven Conference

Rochester over Union

Shenango over Western Beaver

South Side over Neshannock

Black Hills Conference

Avonworth over Chartiers-Houston

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over Northgate

Our Lady of Sacred Heart over Fort Cherry

Eastern Conference

Springdale over Serra Catholic

Wilkinsburg over Leechburg

Jeannette over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

Carmichaels over Bentworth

Frazier at Avella

Beth-Center over Mapletown

Jefferson-Morgan over West Greene

Class A Non-Conference

Clairton over California

Bishop Canevin over Riverside

Brentwood over Vincentian Academy

CITY LEAGUE

Westinghouse over Carrick

CITY LEAGUE Non-Conference

Non-Conference

Imani Christian over Brashear

Perry over Slippery Rock

Bishop Hartley (OH) over University Prep

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