The Birdie predicts Alle-Kiski Valley football records

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Saturday, August 17, 2019 | 11:51 PM


The opening week of high school football is right around the corner, and The Birdie is fired up after his return trip to Pittsburgh following a long vacation.

“There’s nothing better than this time of year. I’m ready for football,” he said. “But man, that trip was hard on these old wings.”

The Birdie knows he’ll have to get into shape this season after seeing all of the youth around the Alle-Kiski Valley this offseason.

He just hopes they take it easy on him this year.

“I’ll tell you what, there are young kids everywhere,” he said. “I don’t know how the coaches keep up with them. I know I’m not going to be able to.”

Knowing the amount of schools looking for new quarterbacks this year, The Birdie spent part of his vacation trying to convince coaches he was their guy.

“I could be a good quarterback. Do you want to see me throw the ball over the Duquesne Incline?” he asked one coach.

“I’m the next Ben Roethlisfeather,” he told another coach.

Luckily, none of the coaches took the bait.

“They don’t know what they are missing out on,” he chirped.

After all, The Birdie is good at what he does, and he decided to return to the office for another exciting year of prognostication.

“Hopefully, there will be more local winners to pick than last year, but I never miss out on an opportunity to anger some fan bases,” he said.

The Birdie’s 2018 preseason predictions were about even. Six of his predictions were right on the money with Burrell, Deer Lakes, Fox Chapel, Kiski Area, Knoch and Riverview. But while he got some right, he also got a few wrong.

He missed wide on his Freeport and Highlands prediction, and Leechburg also exceeded his expectations in 2018.

“Oh I’m sure those pesky Blue Devils won’t let me live it down this year, but I have my eye on them,” he squawked.

Overall, The Birdie picked 82 percent of his games correctly and had a record of 95-20 at season’s end.

“Who can beat that, I’m the best there ever was,” he bragged.

No one’s more confident than The Birdie, and he’s ready to show it again with his preseason predictions.

Apollo-Ridge

The Vikings started off hot last year, but injuries held them back. They’ll employ a group of quarterbacks to keep defenses guessing. But will it be enough?

Record: 4-6

Playoffs: No

Burrell

Shawn Liotta has an experienced quarterback for his high-octane offense. The Bucs are ready to light up the scoreboard. Will their defense have enough to keep teams down?

Record: 6-4

Playoffs: Yes

Deer Lakes

The Lancers are who I thought they were last year. After losing a few key seniors, they might look the same this year. Or will they?

Record: 3-7

Playoffs: No

Fox Chapel

Shane Susnak gives Fox Chapel stability at quarterback. But, they’ll need more than just a quarterback to compete this season.

Record: 3-7

Playoffs: No

Freeport

The Yellowjackets’ 2018 postseason run ended at the hands of the WPIAL and PIAA champion from Aliquippa. They also graduated a ton of talent. This will be a rebuilding year.

Record: 4-6

Playoffs: No

Highlands

I had high expectations for the Golden Rams last year. This year will be a little different because of their youth and the Class 4A Northwest 8 competition.

Record: 4-6

Playoffs: No

Kiski Area

If it wasn’t for injuries, the Cavaliers could’ve made a run last year. They’ll be young and tenacious this year, so don’t expect them to back down from anyone. But will they get their first playoff win in 29 years?

Record: 6-4

Playoffs: Yes

Knoch

The Knights were nearly a playoff team last year with three straight wins to end the season. But with a new quarterback running the triple-option offense, the Knights could take some lumps this season.

Record: 5-5

Playoffs: Yes

Leechburg

Leechburg played above expectations last year and completely proved me wrong. Don’t expect me to underestimate the Blue Devils again after only losing four seniors.

Record: 5-5

Playoffs: No

Plum

Only time will tell how the Mustangs recover from last year. When they take shape, will they have enough to make a run?

Record: 5-5

Playoffs: Yes

Riverview

The Class A Eastern Conference is as tough as they come, and Riverview appears to have a tough road ahead.

Record: 2-8

Playoffs: No

Springdale

With a name like Legend leading the offense, the expectations have to be high in Springdale. But will they be fulfilled?

Record: 4-6

Playoffs: No

Valley

With a new quarterback and skill players all around, the Valley offense might look different this year and lead the Vikings to the playoffs.

Record: 6-4

Playoffs: Yes

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