The start of the season means its time for my weekly pigskin picks column — a tradition that is going on for nearly seven years.
Each week I will pick a winner in every game involving a medium or small school squad. As usual, I’m going to try to hit a .900 winning percentage.
This year will be a bit more challenging, because I do not have a master schedule for every team, so I might be missing a few games.
I’m also a bit distracted with pennant fever. For the first time in the history of this column, the Seattle Mariners are in the playoff hunt. I’m pinching myself right now. Enough about baseball, here are my Week 1 picks:
Eielson at Homer — Eielson makes the long bus ride from Fairbanks to Homer to battle the Mariners in Week 1. The trek home will be an easy one … RAVENS 28, MARINERS 21.
Ketchikan at Monroe — I don’t know anything about either of these two teams, so let me go to the coin flip for this one … RAMS 32, KINGS 7.
North Pole at West Valley — North Pole had a successful debut in the medium-school classification last year. In Week 1 the Patriots rekindle their large-school rivalry against West Valley … PATRIOTS 28, WOLFPACK 14.
Thunder Mountain at Nikiski — Nikiski, last year’s small-school state champions, will ground the Falcons … BULLDOGS 28, FALCONS 14.
Houston at Seward — Houston opted to leave the Northern Lights Conference this season to play as an independent. I usually don’t pick against the Seahawks, but I’m going to this week … HAWKS 21, SEAHAWKS 14.
Soldotna at Eagle River — Soldotna enters the 2014 season as the defending medium-schools champions and owners of a 20-game winning streak. Don’t look for the streak to end this week. Eagle River is a large school, but should not pose a problem for the boys from the Kenai Peninsula … STARS 45, WOLVES 17.
Kenai at Juneau — The best game on the medium-school docket this week will take place in the Capital City. Juneau lost only one game last season and that was to Soldotna in the championship game. The Crimson Bears will not lose two in a row, but will get challenged from Kenai, a state qualifer from a year ago … CRIMSON BEARS 35, KARDINALS 24.
Valdez at Barrow — Barrow will hold court on its blue turf … WHALERS 21, BUCCANEERS 13.
Chugiak at Kodiak — Kodiak and Chugiak tangle for the first time on the gridiron Saturday at Joe Floyd Track and Field. The Bears will keep things close earlier, but the Mustangs will eventually pull away … MUSTANGS 45, BEARS 21.
Contact Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.