HomeSportsPICKS COLUMN: Thank you to teams whose seasons end this week

PICKS COLUMN: Thank you to teams whose seasons end this week

The final week of the regular season has some big games on it, and those big games with playoff implications have been adequately covered in other pieces of content in this sports section.

It’s appropriate to take a few inches of column space to say something to the teams who are done after this week.

The main thing to say to each of you is “Thank you.”

For whatever reason, football season is the quickest time of the year.

I don’t know if it’s because it coincides with the beginning of school, and other things on the annual calendar branch of that, so the calendar is packed so full for three or four months that there’s no time to sit and think about how slowly time is moving.

Or if it’s because football is the most predictable of all the sports when it comes to scheduling.

It’s one game a week for each school with the exception of a bye week, and football fans spend all week looking ahead to Friday night, all weekend looking back on Friday night while watching college and NFL and then doing it all over again the next week.

Either way, Week 1 doesn’t seem like it was 10 weeks ago. Maybe three.

But a lot has happened since then.

A lot has happened for each of you – practices, games, losses, a few wins, injuries, team meetings, etc.

While we know most boys on a football field want to be out there and are doing it simply because they love to play the game, don’t think those of us sitting in the stands aren’t appreciative of the work you put in each week and all year to try to make your team as good as possible.

If you’re a senior preparing to play your final game of high school football, you’ve probably gone the past three years of the same annual cycle – offseason conditioning and weight lifting in the winter, spring ball, summer workouts and 7-on-7s and fall camp before getting into the season. Then as soon as the season is done, you repeat the process again.

Except this time, you’re not repeating the process. You may be preparing for possibly playing college ball next year, but for most of you, you’re done after this week.

Thank you for your work and your sacrifice. The same is said to the coaches as well.

A lot of time and effort and sweat and mental and physical work go into having a football season, and we certainly appreciate your work in that.

Now to the picks. Last week, I went 7-0 to improve my season record to 44-11. That’s an 80% rate of correct picks, which isn’t bad considering more than half of those 11 misses happened in Week 1.

This isn’t the final week of picks. We’ll continue to do that as long as there are Madison County teams still playing, but this is the final week with all seven teams playing.

So here they are:

Jackson Christian 28, TCA 23: This game could go either way, and the argument for either team to win would be a logical one. But even with the Lions’ improvement as the season has gone along, they’ve still given up a lot of points at times this year. If the TCA defense bends like that this week, the Eagles’ offense has plenty of options to potentially break that defense.

Bolivar 54, Liberty 22: The Crusaders will score the most points they’ve scored all season, but they’ll give up a lot more to a team that’s scored a ton of points this year.

North Side 30, Chester Co. 27: There’s every reason in the world to believe in either team could come away with this win. Both need the win to make the playoffs. Both have the athleticism and speed to get to the victory. Consistent execution has been a problem for both squads. But North Side will make one more play than Chester County on Friday.

South Gibson 37, South Side 12: The Hornets showed fans from North Side how athletic they can be last week when they pulled away to a big win to clinch region runner-up. The Hawks will play with pride and will try to show South Gibson that they can compete with the best in the region.

JCM 21, Gibson Co. 19: This one won’t be pretty, but it should be a win for the Cougars. The Pioneers have competed well with some of their prior opponents that not many expected them to compete with. If Gibson County can replicate that, it will be a long night for JCM.

Lausanne 42, USJ 21: The Bruins will fight hard, but in the and, the team expected to compete for a state championship will show why people expected them to compete at that level. Lausanne apparently has a talented team that most of Shelby County is having a hard time competing with.

Brandon Shields,

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