Grounded guru promises to rise to usual status
Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:00 pm
So says the Hitman.
The life lesson most often associated with football — it’s doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up — applies directly to the suddenly slumping sideline soothsayer.
Blindsided by an array of upsets and close calls that did not go his way, the normally-fabulous Friday football finals forecaster saw his usual sterling standards drop slightly below the accustomed .800 status with the season approaching the halfway point.
Currently sporting an 86-23 (.788) slate, the unabashed usually all-knowing augur points to his 25 consecutive seasons of surpassing said high-water mark as proof he’ll neither remain down, nor roll over.
Vowing to dust himself off and immediately return to the front of the prep pigskin prognosticators’ huddle, the Hitman hopes to avoid another unforeseen hit with these calls.
See you at the game.
UNION CITY @ DRESDEN— The preliminaries are over for these two who’ll each encounter a much more difficult road the second half of the season. UC, which has beaten four teams with a combined 5-14 record, bombed on its only true test to-date against Huntingdon and embarks on a three-week stretch against its toughest competition that includes Peabody and Lake County after the Lions with reigning 14A champion Humboldt still to come, too. The Tornadoes have bullied overmatched foes so far, but will rightfully be measured on how they fare against teams that “hit back” over the next few Fridays. Dresden has proven that last year’s state runnerup finish in 2A was no fluke and that the Lions are building a program and not simply a team under the direction of the Hodge boys, who strike a perfect balance between brains and brawn on the Black and Gold sidelines. DHS has already weathered some adversity with early injuries to its starting QB and best receiver, with diminutive Devan Raymer proving tougher than a $2 steak while shouldering the majority of the offensive load in a single-wing set. The Lions, though, have admittedly played a somewhat-soft slate, too, only Westview with a winning record and the combined mark of their first five foes being 6-18. And with state-ranked Huntingdon and West Carroll still left along with always-gritty Riverside, this will be the start of a stretch that provides proof that Dresden is worthy of its No. 2 state ranking — or not. Though plenty good, the belief here is “not.” — UNION CITY.
MONTGOMERY CENTRAL @ OBION CENTRAL — The sky’s a little bluer, the grass a little greener and the overall mood considerably better when you win. The Rebels have enjoyed that disposition change after extending the long drought of Gibson County to nearly four full seasons and getting a considerably-smaller monkey off their back in the process. The confidence boost Obion Central got from breaking into the victory column should come with a little extra aplomb as the Rebs won despite three turnovers and without playing a perfect game. OC’s schedule has provided another just-what-the-doctor-ordered foe in MC, which has struggled miserably on offense while failing to win any of its first games — the closest of those setbacks 21 points. And while everyone involved acknowledges that another triumph won’t necessarily right the county locals’ ship, it will provide some hope that the season can be salvaged heading into a run of games that features two unbeaten state-ranked district opponents and two others who rank in the “pretty good” category. Before then, a ready-made win for — OBION CENTRAL.
GLEASON AT SOUTH FULTON — Speaking of moods, the overall demeanor coming into this one is foul and of disappointment from two teams that have underachieved through the first five weeks. Gleason’s seemingly on-again, off-again nature from a year ago has bled over into the current campaign, with the Bulldogs alternating good and bad performances while splitting their first four games. SF, meanwhile, has largely underachieved in the basics — blocking and tackling — but was dealt a big blow last week when it was considerably better in those areas and beat Halls handily everywhere except the scoreboard. Whether due to the ’Dawgs’ flip-flop nature that would apparently signal time for the “good” team to show or an attempt to motivate his homeboys who have done their share to damage the Hitman’s usual stellar slate, the pick here is — GLEASON.
In other games, it’ll be — Bruceton over Greenfield, TCA over Halls, Lake Co. over Fulton, Humboldt over McKenzie, Dyersburg over Trenton, Huntingdon over Camden, West Carroll over Gibson Co., Milan over Crockett Co., Haywood over Fayette-Ware, USJ over SBEC, Northside over Liberty, Hardin Co. over McNairy Co. Adamsville over Collinwood, Lexington over Scotts Hill, ECS over JCS, Riverside over Waverly, Henry Co. over West Creek, Tilghman over Heath and Mayfield over Marshall Co. Published in The Messenger 9.20.12