Picks Jr. hopes to clean up
H.S. Picks Jr. feels like the cleaning guy who innocently scrubbed the final bit of grime off the Cathedral of Learning.
Even when Junior tries to make everything tidy, he causes a mess of things.
So, Junior will leave the ugly opening week on his facade, as a tribute to the tougher, dirtier days.
As the slate is wiped clean this week, the grungy, soot-caked wall will remain, so future prognosticators will respect the ultimate sacrifices made by those from an earlier age.
Here are his picks for Week 2 of the high school football season:
Gateway at McKeesport -- In the past 18 years, Gateway is 1-16-1 in season openers. The Gators also have lost their second game five times in the past seven years. That one changes this season. Gateway, 21-14.
Hopewell at West Mifflin -- West Mifflin apparently found a quarterback to replace Leon Green. Mike Neckerman, a converted pitcher, accounted for four touchdowns last week against Allderdice. But West Mifflin can't walk through the rains drops without getting wet. Hopewell, 27-20.
Allderdice at Oliver -- Both teams are coming off lopsided losses to WPIAL teams. Allderdice's Joe Short was the lone bright spot. Oliver, 12-7.
Baldwin at Woodland Hills -- The 2007 version of Deuce Skurcenski's Local Sports Legend trading card is out. Excellent design. Vibrant color. Not quite 1993 Topps Stadium Club, but an impressive effort for the man approaching his 3,000th football game. Woodland Hills, 23-14.
Blackhawk at Trinity -- How does a team with linebackers headed to Penn State and Ohio State allow 327 rushing yards to a team that won one game last season• Trinity, 21-14.
Burrell at Seton-La Salle -- It's not often Seton-La Salle's opponent holds the edge at quarterback. But Burrell's Seth Napierkowski gets the nod. Seton-La Salle, 28-21.
Canon-McMillan at Kiski Area -- A sign of the times• Both of these teams are ranked in the Trib's WPIAL Class AAAA top 10. Woodland Hills and North Hills are not. Canon-McMillan, 20-18.
Central Catholic at Erie Cathedral Prep -- It's a long way off, but this game could be a preview of the PIAA quarterfinals. Central Catholic, 14-7.
Jeannette at Washington: Washington will have to wait to become the fourth WPIAL team to reach 600 all-time victories. The Little Prexies are stuck at 598 -- the number of scholarship offers to Terrelle Pryor -- for one more week. Jeannette, 34-14.
Montour at Chartiers Valley -- Junior wonders if Montour linebacker Christian Wilson wore any Michigan apparel during the Labor Day weekend. Chartiers Valley, 19-13.
Shady Side Academy at Ford City -- Shady Side running back Vince Miller missed last week's game after being involved in a minor car accident. Now, it's a Ford that stops him. Ford City, 19-16.
Springdale at Avonworth -- Avonworth shocked Springdale last year, and that was without speedy running back Khiry Watts. It's payback time. Springdale, 20-14.
West Allegheny at Thomas Jefferson -- West Allegheny coach Bob Palko underwent hip surgery over the summer, so he moves much better on the sidelines. But he still can't block or tackle. His players must do that. Thomas Jefferson, 27-7.
Last week: 7-6 (.538)
Overall: 7-6 (.538)