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Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Pigskin Pick’Em: 2021 Week No. 1

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The 2021 high school football season is upon us and it brings with it the VW independent’s weekly Pigskin Pick’Em predictions. This will be the fifth season for Pigskin Pick’Em.

Each and every Thursday through the seven state championship games, I’ll make weekly picks of area high school games and teams from the Northwest Conference, the Western Buckeye League, the Green Meadows Conference, the Midwest Athletic Conference and Lima Sr.

The goal is to correctly pick games at least 80 percent of the time. Last season, I went 158-43, or 78.6 percent.

Admittedly, the first week is usually the toughest and this year is no expection. There are a handful of new coaches, plenty of different players and some new and intriguing matchups, which makes picking games all the more challenging.

In any case, 30 area games are on this week’s slate.

Games of the Week

Crestview at Parkway

This one has the potential to be a very close game.

Parkway is trying to bounce back from last season’s 1-7 record while the Knights have a new head coach in James Lautzenheiser. I’m a firm believer that Parkway is usually better than its record indicates (referring back to 2020) and it’s not always easy to pick against a MAC team at home.

However, I’m going with the Knights in a low scoring contest in the season opener.

The pick: Crestview

Delphos Jefferson vs. Delphos St. John’s

This crosstown game will be played Saturday night on the brand new turf at Stadium Park so it’s technically a home game for both teams.

Both teams are trying to rebound from 2020, when the Wildcats went 0-6 and the Blue Jays went 2-6. If Delphos Jefferson can shore up defensive problems that plagued them last season, it could be a good game.

In a battle of improved teams, I think the Blue Jays will get the win.

The pick: Delphos St. John’s

Lima Central Catholic at Lima Shawnee

This is one of those new and intriguing matchups I mentioned earlier. The game will be played tonight and both teams have a lot of returning talent. It’s not often that I pick a Division VII school to beat a Division III school, but I’m doing it in this case. The Thunderbirds pull away for the win.

The pick: Lima Central Catholic

Marion Local at Wapakoneta

Another new and different opener on this week’s schedule.

As I mentioned above, it’s not easy to pick a Division VII team over a Division III team but Marion Local isn’t your typical small school team.

It’ll definitely be a physical game but I don’t see it turning into a shootout. I’m going with the Flyers in this one. By the way – here are Wapakoneta’s first five games: Marion Local, Ottawa-Glandorf, St. Marys Memorial, Van Wert and Shawnee. A rough schedule indeed.

Ottawa-Glandorf at Eastwood

I’ve gone back and forth this one a lot. I really want to pick the Titans but I’ve noticed the Eagles have won home matchups against O-G in 2019 and 2017. Plus, Eastwood is renaming and dedicating their stadium to former longtime coach Jerry Rutherford.

I’m going with Eastwood but I won’t be at all shocked if Ottawa-Glandorf wins it.

The pick: Eastwood

The pick: Marion Local

Van Wert at Bryan

After an off-year due to a COVID-19 shortened regular season last year, this famed series resumes and the defending Division IV state champions are hoping to make it four consecutive wins over the Golden Bears.
The Cougars are 16-2 in their last 18 games and I like their chances on Friday night. I’m not saying it’ll be easy but Van Wert still has a lot of talented players that present all sorts of matchup problems.

The pick: Van Wert

Best of the rest, in no particular order

Celina at Versailles: Versailles
Kenton at Coldater: Coldwater
St. Marys Memorial at London: London
Bowling Green at Bath: Bowling Green
Spencerville at Elida: Elida

Upper Scioto Valley at Allen East: Allen East
Cory-Rawson at Bluffton: Bluffton
Ada at Waynesfield-Goshen: Waynesfield-Goshen
Columbus Grove at Pandora-Gilboa: Pandora-Gilboa
Perry at Liberty-Benton: Liberty-Benton

Montpelier at Antwerp: Antwerp
Ayersville at Delta: Delta
Edon at Edgerton: Edgerton
Wauseon at Fairview: Wauseon
Patrick Henry at Hicksville: Patrick Henry
Liberty Center at Tinora: Liberty Center
Arlington at Paulding: Arlington
Fort Recovery at Wayne Trace: Fort Recovery

Indian Lake at Anna: Anna
New Bremen at Marion (IN): New Bremen
Covington at St. Henry: St. Henry
Fort Loramie at Minster: Fort Loramie
Lima Sr. at Toledo Bowsher: Lima Sr.

POSTED: 08/19/21 at 3:55 am. FILED UNDER: Sports