Don’t be alarmed when the Birdie makes his Westmoreland County Week 7 picks

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | 6:35 PM

Last week: 10-3 (76.9%)

Season: 63-23 (73.3%)

It was around 2:20 in the afternoon last Wednesday when the Birdie almost made an eagle.

He was playing in a rare, midweek golf scramble. “An elite corporate thing with some other influencers,” he said, feathering his hair back with his fingers.

He was lining up a putt for eagle on a par-5 hole.

(His foursome buddies never use his weak drives. Or his second shots, for that matter. But man, that bird can putt.)

The eagle never landed, though. Here’s why:

The Birdie, in his haste and hustle and bustle to sneak out of work for a quick morning at the course, forgot to mute his flip phone in his pocket, and the emergency alert drill came on, just as he was taking the putter back.

The alarm sounded and panic set in.

“I got Noonan-ed,” Birdie said, shaking his head. “I hear this screeching, world-ending buzz like the devil’s alarm clock going off just as I’m about to strike the putt. I hit it so hard, the ball rolled off the green and into a sand trap. Hey, it wasn’t my fault. But yes, this was an actual emergency. We made a stinking six.”

At first, Birdie thought he was getting a notification that Mrs. Birdie hit the lottery, Matt Canada had been fired or Phil Jurkovec was moving to punter or something.

“Scared the bejeezus out of me,” Birdie said. “I was shaking, and I needed some liquid refreshment at the turn to calm my nerves. But I’ll have you know: I made it back in time to file my picks column.”

Now for the Birdie’s Week 7 picks. This is not a test.

Franklin Regional (5-2, 2-1) at Hempfield (1-6, 0-2): The Franklin Regional ground game keeps improving, and it has given the Panthers a ground-and-pound mentality. Hempfield won’t be able to stop it. Franklin Regional, 38-14

Penn-Trafford (3-4, 2-1) at Plum (2-5, 0-3): This could be a stumbling block for Penn-Trafford if the Warriors are not careful. Although Plum has not been very good at home. Penn-Trafford, 30-23

Connellsville (4-3, 1-2) at Latrobe (5-2, 3-1): Connellsville has a 410-pound lineman. Latrobe will run around him and his teammates for a fun home win. Latrobe, 31-6

Belle Vernon (5-1, 2-0) at Mt. Pleasant (5-2, 1-1): While the Birdie thinks Belle Vernon could struggle in this one, he thinks the Leopards will recover to pull away for the win. Free candy in the press box. Belle Vernon, 36-19

Southmoreland (4-3, 1-1) at Greensburg Salem (1-6, 0-2): Up-and-down Southmoreland takes the elevator back up, despite some sass from the Golden Lions. Southmoreland, 27-17

Imani Christian (4-2, 2-1) at Derry (3-4, 2-2): Derry can hang in this game if it cuts down on penalties and makes some stops. The challenge will be the latter. Imani Christian, 31-14

Ligonier Valley (2-5, 1-3) at Serra Catholic (2-4, 2-1): Ligonier Valley’s inconsistencies have the Birdie scratching his head every week. Which Rams team will show up this time? Serra Catholic, 22-10

Yough (2-5, 1-3) at Apollo-Ridge (1-6, 0-4): Yough let the Birdie down last week, leaving him with egg on his face. He’s giving the Cougars another shot. Yough, 23-21

Greensburg Central Catholic (4-3, 2-1) at Jeannette (6-1, 3-0): These programs have started middle school teams, but this game is for the big boys. Buckle up for the renewal of a rivalry. Greensburg Central Catholic, 34-28

Monessen (2-5, 1-3) at Jefferson-Morgan (4-3, 3-1): Jefferson-Morgan will break some big plays and force the Greyhounds to come back in a wild one. Jefferson-Morgan, 33-28

Norwin (2-5) at North Allegheny (6-1): Norwin might have night sweats thinking back to life in 6A. What an upset this would be, but it’s not happening. North Allegheny, 35-14

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