Goorman’s Gridiron Picks: After a miserable 8-8 start, I’m ready to make some intelligent picks this week

By Jason Goorman
LocalSportsJournal.com

I understand exactly how the Muskegon Catholic football team felt last Friday.

You get ready to open your season with a bang, and instead you come out with a thud.LSJ Logo incert

The Crusaders had their rough start against Oakridge, which jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead and never looked back against MCC.Sport clips 2015 football sponsor logo

I had my rough start against all the teams I picked to lose and they turned around and won, and vice-versa.

I posted a career worst 8-8 record last week. That’s right. I chose the wrong team to win in eight high school football games.

That’s inexcusable. A .500 record is considered so-so in any sport, but way below par when it comes to picking winners.

But I deserve a little mercy. I mean, who really thought Oakridge was going to beat mighty Muskegon Catholic, the winner of 26 straight games? Everyone is saying “I told you so” this week, but I don’t recall hearing much of that talk before the game.

And it’s never a good idea to predict a Muskegon loss, particularly in the season opener. But lose is exactly what the Big Reds did.

Montague was coming off a 2-7 season, and everybody is expecting Orchard View to be pretty good this year. So what happens? Montague beats the Cardinals in a cakewalk.

I really thought Fruitport would find a way to beat Grand Haven this year, but the Bucs looked a lot better than the team that lost its last five games in 2014.

Who would have expected Sparta, 0-9 last season, to rise up and beat Fremont?

Oh well, that ugly week is over, and it’s time to get back on the horse. There are some pretty interesting matchups to choose from this week, including Ravenna at Montague, Whitehall at North Muskegon, Muskegon at Grand Rapids Christian, Mona Shores at Fruitport and Detroit Loyola at Oakridge.

I predict that I will pick more than eight games correctly this week.

MONA SHORES at Fruitport – Our apologies to Jarod Wierengo, the Fruitport quarterback whose name we apparently misspell quite often. He’s a good athlete and deserves to be properly recognized. Unfortunately his name may not be published too much this week, because Mona Shores has too many weapons for Fruitport, and most other teams on its schedule, as well.

MUSKEGON at GR Christian – I wouldn’t want to be the Big Reds in practice this week, following the disappointing loss to Detroit Catholic Central. Coach Shane Fairfield will make sure his players are ready, and they will get their first victory of 2015.

Fremont at REETHS-PUFFER – Puffer struggled and had to rally past Holland. No rally will be necessary this week.

MUSKEGON CATHOLIC at Muskegon Heights – The Crusaders looked a lot better in the second half against Oakridge, cranking up their potent running game, albeit too late. The thought here is that MCC will take out out its Week 1 frustrations on the hard-working but overmatched Tigers.

River Valley at HOLTON – I don’t know much about the visitors, but I do know the Red Devils have some talent, and they weren’t happy about losing at home to North Muskegon last week. Holton gets a W.

RAVENNA at Montague – Montague was wildly impressive in a surprisingly easy win over Orchard View last week. The temptation is to think that the Wildcats are back. This is a great chance for them to prove it against a very tough Ravenna squad. This could be a great game, but the Bulldogs remain the favorites until the Wildcats prove they are truly contenders.

WHITEHALL at North Muskegon – This is a good matchup, but the Vikings are probably a bit too explosive for the Norse, who seem to be struggling with the injury bug again.

Detroit Loyola at OAKRIDGE – The Eagles are not impressed with defending state champions. They demonstrated that last week against MCC, the Division 8 state champ, and there’s no reason why they can’t repeat that performance against Loyola, the Division 7 state champ.

Shelby at MASON COUNTY CENTRAL – Shelby really has me scratching my head. I thought for sure the Tigers would beat Grant last week and begin a turnaround season, but it didn’t happen. The Tigers have something to prove, and I can’t pick them again until they win a game.

HESPERIA at Ludington – The Panthers exploded all over Montabella last week, scoring 64 points. They may be too hot for the Orioles to handle, as well.

Spring Lake at HOLLAND – The young Lakers are still in their learning curve. I like the Dutch in a close one.

GRAND HAVEN at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central – The Bucs demonstrated that they can throw and avoid playing anyone two ways. That should be a recipe for success for the second week in a row.

Manistee at ORCHARD VIEW – A good matchup between future Lakes 8 rivals. Manistee stuffed Ludington last week while OV stumbled against Montague. The Cardinals want to prove all the preseason predictions right and they will start against the Chips.

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