Chicks Picks – Week 7 – 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015 | 8:08 PM
Welcome to Week 7 of the high school football season.
The 2015 Stretch Run is here – that time of year when the regular season is coming down to the wire with key games and the postseason looming. Chick’s Picks feels that this is a critical time for the MSA Sports Network team to get mentally prepared for the playoffs, just as do the players and coaches around the WPIAL. So, each year, Chick’s Picks takes it upon herself to organize a group exercise activity as a means of building teamwork and mental toughness for this most important time of the season.
The group exercise classes chosen by Chick’s Picks are typically not huge hits among the MSA Sports Network masses, and this year was no exception. Chick’s Picks brought in a Zumba instructor, to deliver the news of this year’s selection. The group was not shy about their disdain for the idea.
“Zumba, shmumba,” said The Boss. “There’s no chance I’m doing any kind of group dance class with you clowns.”
MSA Sports Network personality Sam Hall chimed in, “Chick’s Picks – do you know that Shakira song called ‘Hips Don’t Lie?’ Well these old hips lie, a lot, and there’s no way you’re signing me up for this.”
The instructor said, “But Zumba is the perfect workout for everybody and every body!”
Just then, as the gripes continued, the office door opened. In walked network superstar Mike Azadian and producer Ted Lewczyk – dressed to the nines in their finest matching Zumba outfits. The duo was sporting leopard print MC Hammer-style pants, workout tanks, and classic MSA Sports Network headbands. After a brief moment of silence as the group took in the sight, laughter filled the air, along with a sense of relief knowing that each and every team member could, and would, be a happy participant.
One hour later, the MSA Sports Network team was exhausted on the outside, but focused and ready for the Stretch Run on the inside. Let the countdown to the postseason begin.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 54-11 (83%) record, upping her season total to 310-79 (80%). Here are this week’s big games:
#10 Seneca Valley (3-3) at #5 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (5-1)
The Vikings play host to the Raiders in a Northeastern Conference showdown at Highmark Stadium Friday night. Central Catholic is coming off of a 52-7 rout of North Hills last week, while Seneca Valley fell just short to Pine-Richland, 35-28. The Vikings’ backfield duo of Vinny Emanuele and Ronnie Jones have combined for 1,068 yards and 15 touchdowns so far this season. The Raiders boast one of the top passers in the WPIAL in Jack Cook, who has thrown for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. When these two met last season, Central Catholic blanked Seneca Valley, 45-0. The Vikings defense is solid again this season, allowing less than 10 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts another Vikings victory.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Seneca Valley.
#9 Chartiers Valley (4-2) at #5 Central Valley (5-1)
Chartiers Valley travels to Monaca to take on Central Valley in a Parkway Conference battle between Top 10 teams. Last week, the Colts knocked off Moon, 45-26. The Warriors shutout New Castle, 35-0, but not before a brawl between the two squads that resulted in multiple suspensions, including one Central Valley player. Chartiers Valley is led by quarterback Jake Collins, who has thrown for 740 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Collins is also the Colts top rusher with 512 yards and seven touchdowns. Central Valley quarterback Chris Callaghan broke the 1,000-yard mark last week, and has thrown for six touchdowns on the year. The Colts have been outscored by opponents 156-157 this season. The Warriors have allowed only 92 points in their six games. When these two met last season, Central Valley rolled to a 56-20 win. Chick’s Picks predicts a similar outcome in this edition.
Central Valley over Chartiers Valley.
#10 Deer Lakes (5-1) at #7 Freeport (5-1)
Freeport hosts Deer Lakes in a showdown between Allegheny Conference Top 10 rivals Friday night. The Lancers rolled over Summit Academy last week, 41-16, while the Yellowjackets shutout previously undefeated Highlands, 14-0. This matchup features a few of the top offensive players in the WPIAL. Deer Lakes running back Hunter Burns ranks #2 in the WPIAL with 1,220 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season. Freeport quarterback Ryan Weigold has thrown for 1,035 yards and 12 touchdowns. When these two met last season, the Yellowjackets came away with a 34-14 victory. Chick’s Picks knows the Lancers are much improved from last year’s (1-8) record, but not quite ready to take down the Yellowjackets.
Freeport over Deer Lakes.
#2 Cardinal Weurl North Catholic (6-0) at #5 Avonworth (5-1)
The undefeated Trojans hit the road to take in the Antelopes in a Black Hills Conference battle Friday night. Last week, Cardinal Weurl North Catholic easily rolled over Fort Cherry, 50-7, while Avonworth was upset by Bishop Canevin, 35-28, for its first loss of the season. The Trojans boast a solid defense that is allowing only five points per game. That defense will be tested, however, when facing the top passer in the WPIAL in Avonworth’s Zach Chandler. The senior quarterback has passed for 1,890 yards and 20 touchdowns on the year. These two met twice last season, splitting the difference. Cardinal Wuerl came away with a 28-0 victory in Week 7, but Avonworth had the final say with a 28-21 win in the WPIAL semifinals. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Trojans will seek revenge this time around.
Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over Avonworth.
Kiski Area over Altoona
Hempfield over Latrobe
Norwin over Connellsville
McKeesport over Plum
Northern Eight Conference
North Allegheny over Fox Chapel
Pine-Richland over Butler
Upper St. Clair over Canon-McMillan
Bethel Park over Penn Hills
Peters Township over Baldwin
Mt. Lebanon over North Hills
Penn-Trafford over Shaler
Woodland Hills over West Allegheny
Big 10 Conference
Belle Vernon over Albert Gallatin
Ringgold over Laurel Highlands
Thomas Jefferson over Uniontown
Trinity over Yough
West Mifflin over Elizabeth Forward
Greater Allegheny Conference
Gateway over Indiana
Franklin Regional over Greensburg Salem
Hampton over Hollidaysburg
Mars over Knoch
New Castle over Ambridge
Montour over Blackhawk
Hopewell over Moon
Brashear over Armstrong
Highlands over Burrell
Shady Side Academy over West Shamokin
Apollo-Ridge over Summit Academy
South Allegheny over East Allegheny
Steel Valley over Keystone Oaks
South Park over Carlynton
South Fayette over Sto-Rox
Derry Area over Brownsville
McGuffey over Burgettstown
Mount Pleasant over Charleroi
Southmoreland over Waynesburg
Midwestern Athletic Conference
Beaver over Laurel
Aliquippa over Freedom
Ellwood City over Mohawk
Beaver Falls over Quaker Valley
Seton-LaSalle over Valley
Washington over New Brighton
Big Seven Conference
Neshannock over Rochester
Shenango over Vincentian Academy
South Side over Riverside
Black Hills Conference
Chartiers-Houston over Brentwood
Bishop Canevin over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Jeannette over Monessen
Riverview over Leechburg
Clairton over Serra Catholic
Greensburg Central Catholic over Wilkinsburg
Tri-County South Conference
Beth-Center over Avella
Frazier over Carmichaels
Bentworth over Mapletown
California over West Greene
Union over Fort Cherry
Northgate over Western Beaver
Springdale over Jefferson-Morgan
Perry over Westinghouse
Allderdice over University Prep
CITY LEAGUE Non-Conference
Wheeling Park over Carrick
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