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The Birdie throws out opening week picks

| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 1:16 a.m.

The Birdie was at PNC Park recently to watch a co-worker throw out the first pitch at a Pirates game.

“I was there for support, but nobody told me I wasn't allowed on the field,” Birdie said. “I did a low fly-by to get a better view of the opening pitch and nearly got Randy Johnson-ed.

“We lost a good bird that day in a poof of feathers.”

This pitch missed the Birdie and he was not injured, but security escorted him off the field and told him not to come back for awhile.

He is disappointed that he can't watch the Pirates, but he is done thinking about baseball. Football finally is back and he is ready to fire off winning picks.

Friday

Apollo-Ridge at N. Catholic

This is like the Eastern Conference Super Bowl. Expect offensive fireworks.

Apollo-Ridge, 28-26

Plum at Bethel Park

Plum and its new coach will have a tough time against a huge offensive line.

Bethel Park, 28-7

Kiski Area at Connellsville

Kiski Area is primed to put together its first winning season since 2003 and should be able to out-run the Falcons.

Kiski Area, 17-7

Pine-Richland at Fox Chapel

Pine-Richland's new coach is an offensive thinker and will have a game plan whipped up for the injury-plagued Foxes.

Pine-Richland, 21-13

Hollidaysburg at Highlands

Highlands will have plenty of emotion behind it and will come out hits-a-blazing.

Highlands, 25-12

Knoch at Greensburg Salem

Both teams were shaken by graduation losses, and inexperience will show.

Greensburg Salem, 21-17

Kittanning at Freeport

Fans won't recognize these new-look teams, but both have experience on the lines and that will be what decides a winner.

Freeport, 14-12

S.S. Academy at Ford City

It's always tough to pick against the Sabers at home, but few teams will be able to slow down SSA's runners.

Shady Side Academy, 28-14

Valley at Deer Lakes

Everything is new at Deer Lakes, but Valley has a new attitude and believes it belongs among Allegheny favorites.

Valley, 27-15

W. Shamokin at Springdale

Springdale wants to keep its long playoff streak alive, and an early conference win will get things started.

Springdale, 21-14

Brownsville at Burrell

Burrell didn't have much trouble in last year's opener, and the Bucs should roll again.

Burrell, 27-7

Saturday

Leechburg at Wilkinsburg

Leechburg will look to rev up its running game in the opener and should have success.

Leechburg, 13-9

Northgate at Riverview

Key graduation losses at Northgate give Riverview hope that it can start 1-0.

Riverview, 15-8

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