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.


Foothills Conference

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

Southeastern Conference

Upper St. Clair over Canon-McMillan

Bethel Park over Penn Hills

Peters Township over Baldwin

AAAA Non-Conference

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

Parkway Conference

New Castle over Ambridge

Montour over Blackhawk

Hopewell over Moon

AAA Non-Conference

Brashear over Armstrong


Allegheny Conference

Highlands over Burrell

Shady Side Academy over West Shamokin

Apollo-Ridge over Summit Academy

Century Conference

South Allegheny over East Allegheny

Steel Valley over Keystone Oaks

South Park over Carlynton

South Fayette over Sto-Rox

Interstate Conference

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

AA Non-Conference

Seton-LaSalle over Valley

Washington over New Brighton


Big Seven Conference

Neshannock over Rochester

Shenango over Vincentian Academy

South Side Beaver over Riverside

Black Hills Conference

Chartiers-Houston over Brentwood

Bishop Canevin over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Eastern Conference

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

A Non-Conference

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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