Chicks Picks – Week 1

Thursday, September 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Week 1 of the 2010 high school football season. The summer zoomed by for Chick's Picks, as she made her travels around the WPIAL–partaking in everything from autograph sessions for her fans, to scouting two-a-days with her trusty crystal ball. Although these experiences were quite fulfilling, there was one experience that Chick's Picks was pleasantly surprised to be a part of.

We have all seen the national rankings that are released each year for everything from top teams to top players at each position. The latest edition-new this season-was the Top 10 High School Football Prognosticators in the nation. Chick's Picks was honored to be ranked #7 on this list.

Still considered a newcomer to the game by her rivals–most of whom have been at it for decades–Chick's Picks, after only 10 years of prognosticating, was flattered to receive this prestigious accolade. Surely, once her adversaries get word of this, the competition among WPIAL predictors will certainly heat up.

Chick's Picks told The Boss about her most recent recognition, knowing he would not deem this a reason for a raise, but hoping it would earn her just a bit more respect. No such luck. The expert prognosticator, although humbled, went on to deliver her prized picks.

Here are this week's big games:

Class AAAA – Seneca Valley at Norwin

It is groundhog day for the Raiders and the Knights and they spend the season opener in each other's company for the second consecutive year. Last year, Norwin rolled to a 17-7 victory, but went on to finish the season (5-5)–falling short of the postseason. Seneca Valley also finished the year at .500, but snuck into the playoffs before losing to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 35-0, in the first round. This year, the Knights will be under the guidance of legendary coach Art Tragesser, who previously spent over two decades at the helm at Jeannette and Penn-Trafford. Much of this matchup will take place in the air, as both Seneca Valley and Norwin possess quarterbacks who each threw for over 1,000 yards last season. Chick's Picks thinks the Knights will claim their second straight win over the Raiders.
Norwin over Seneca Valley.

Class AAA – Chartiers Valley at Montour

High hopes are had at Montour this fall–and with good reason–after finishing last season at (5-5) and bouncing from the playoffs in the first round. The Spartans return QB Dillon Buechel, a D-1 recruit, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards last season. Montour was also on the receiving end of North Catholic transfer RB Julian Durden, who rushed for nearly 1,00 yards for the Trojans last season. It will not be an easy start to the year for the Spartans, who face Chartiers Valley and Hopewell in back-to-back weeks to open the year. The Colts are anxious for the return of QB Wayne Capers, who missed the majority of last season with a foot injury. Capers had a hand in 18 touchdowns despite playing only five games. Chartiers Valley managed to finish the year (8-2), but fell to Hampton in the first round of the playoffs. Chick's Picks thinks that Capers will quickly get his Colts back into form and make up for lost time.
Chartiers Valley over Montour.

Class AA – Aliquippa at Laurel

Welcome to Class AA, Laurel! Your reward for stepping up from Class A? You will face Class AA perennial powers in each of the first two weeks of the season! The Quips finished last year (11-2), but fell to Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL title game. The Spartans wrapped up their last year in Class A at (10-2) after being routed by eventual champ Clairton in the semifinals. Aliquippa returns the majority of starters from last year's runner-up squad, including QB Mikal Hall, who passed for over 1,000 yards last season. The Quips are a preseason favorite for yet another WPIAL title run. Chick's Picks admires the Spartans for stepping up, but fears it may be a rude welcoming to Class AA.
Aliquippa over Laurel.

Class A – North Catholic at Springdale

North Catholic advanced to the WPIAL semifinals last season, where it fell to Rochester, ending the season at (9-3). Springdale ended its year at (8-3) in the quarterfinals, thanks to North Catholic. The Trojans were responsible for not one, but two of the Dynamos' three losses last season. Since then, however, a lot has changed on both sides. Springdale suffered significant losses to graduation, while North Catholic lost a key player to a transfer. The Trojans' top rusher last season, Julian Durden, transferred to Montour this season. Senior QB Martin Long will be expected to step up to fill the void. Long threw for over 1,200 yards last season. Chick's Picks thinks the Trojans will take advantage of the Dynamos' rebuilding, and make it three in a row.
North Catholic over Springdale.

Class AA – Interstate Conference

Southmoreland over Brownsville

Jeannette over East Allegheny

Greensburg Central Catholic over Waynesburg

Mount Pleasant over Charleroi

Class AA – Midwestern Conference

Riverside over Beaver

Freedom over Ellwood City

Beaver Falls over Mohawk

Class A – Eastern Conference

Avonworth over Bishop Canevin

Northgate over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Class A – Tri-County South Conference

Beth-Center over Frazier

California over Mapletown

Jefferson-Morgan over West Greene

Class AAAA – Non-Conference

North Allegheny over State College

Upper St. Clair over Shaler

Fox Chapel over Baldwin

New Castle over Butler

Erie Cathedral Prep over Erie McDowell

Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt over Gateway

Bethel Park over Kiski Area

Mount Lebanon over Pine-Richland

St. Edwards, Ohio over Penn Hills

Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Akron Buchtel, Ohio

Steubenville, Ohio over McKeesport

Woodland Hills over Manatee, Florida

Class AAAA/AAA – Non-Conference

North Hills over Perry

Canon-McMillan over Trinity

Uniontown over Connellsville

Greensburg Salem over Hempfield

Latrobe over Derry

Franklin Regional over Plum

Class AAA – Non-Conference

West Allegheny over South Park

Hampton over Blackhawk

Ringgold over Elizabeth Forward

Hopewell over Belle Vernon

Mars over Moon

Laurel Highlands over McGuffey

Central Valley over Allderdice

Brashear over Knoch

Cocoa, Florida over Thomas Jefferson

Class AAA/AA – Non-Conference

Steel Valley over Albert Gallatin

Valley over Burrell

South Fayette over West Mifflin

Indiana over Apollo-Ridge

Highlands over Freeport

Keystone Oaks over Ambridge

Ford City over Kittanning

Class AA – Non-Conference

Yough over New Brighton

Seton-LaSalle over Carrick

Schenley over Summit Academy

Shady Side Academy over Oliver

Class AA/A – Non-Conference

South Side Beaver over Burgettstown

Neshannock over West Shamokin

Clairton over Washington

Quaker Valley over Cornell

Deer Lakes over Brentwood

Class A – Non-Conference

Sto-Rox over South Allegheny

Fort Cherry over Western Beaver

Riverview over Wilkinsburg

Monessen over Geibel

Carmichaels over Leechburg

Rochester over Serra Catholic

Shenango over Avella

Westinghouse over Bentworth

Langley over Carlynton

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