By Jim Moyes
Local Sports Journal

This week’s slate of games is loaded with some blockbuster lineups that will certainly challenge the prognosticating abilities of this ‘ole announcer.  My only blip with my fearless picks last week was not picking those playoff bound Sailors against Caledonia.  I’m not making that same mistake this week as I’m boarding the Sailors’ ship.

w Grand Haven @ Mona Shores:  This year’s Sailor team has created the most excitement since Mosley and Taylor coached Mona Shores to eight wins way back in 1968. The two biggest crowds in recent memory will fill up Sailor stadium in the next couple of weeks. The Sailors go by air instead of by sea to bust the Bucs.

l Muskegon @ Lowell: This will undoubtedly be the first of two traditional meetings between these two playoff power teams. The importance of this game means the winner will likely have the home field advantage when they meet again. Can Muskegon make it four in a row over powerful opponents again in 2013?  I think so.

w East Kentwood @ Reeths Puffer:  I admire the way that Kyle Jewitt has defied the popular trend of the spread run & gun offense to implement the old fashion grind it out football that he inherited from his MCC days. Jewitt is a young coach with old ideas that are working. Who would have thought Puffer would rate a favorite over East Kentwood?

l Orchard View @ Fremont:  This game is your basic toss-up. I just think that OV has more firepower on offense than the Packers.

w Howard City Tri Co @ Fruitport:  After losing a game, as well as a paddle last week in Spring Lake, Howard City is a welcome site for Trojan followers. Fruitport climbs back to .500 against winless Howard City.

w Spring Lake @ Grant:  The Lakers must regroup and come back down to earth after their emotional victory over Fruitport last week. Coach Rabideau and his Lakers will be pumped to avenge last year’s narrow two-point loss to the Tigers, a defeat that deprived Spring Lake of a berth in the playoffs.

w Cheboygan @ Ludington: The Orioles are off to their best start in 25 years but a noted foe looms ahead.  Can anybody remember when Cheboygan once won 43 games in a row from 1977 to 1982 yet never qualified for the playoffs in any of those years? I see Ludington stunning the Chiefs as the Orioles return home for the first time this season.

w Ravenna @ Hart: One has to go back 21 years to find a Hart team posting a win over the Bulldogs. The Pirates came relatively close to pulling off the upset last season and with a couple of breaks could pull of the shocker, but that may be wishful thinking.

l Mason Co. Central @ Whitehall: Both teams are looking for their first conference win. This game could be nip and tuck all the way but I like Whitehall to avoid the unwanted 0-4 start.

w Montague @ Shelby:  Shelby has really turned their program around over the last three years. This game should go right down to the wire but I like Shelby to keep their WMC title hopes alive with a home win against the Cats.

w Oakridge @ North Muskegon: Are the Norsemen for real in 2013? They will need to bring back the passing combination of Jones to Crystal, the running of Stan Guy and the kicking of Mario Ferretti to have a chance of knocking off the top ranked Eagles. Oakridge is on a path to another undefeated regular season itinerary.

w Holton @ Hesperia: Those days of winless football from 2004-06 are now long forgotten by Panther fans. A win by Hesperia over winless Holton sets up a big battle with Newaygo in week 5.

l Reed City @ Newaygo:  Can anybody remember when Reed City was a member of the West Michigan Conference? The Coyotes are out to atone for last years shocking one point loss to Newaygo in the playoffs.

w Muskegon Catholic @ Muskegon Heights Academy:  The Heights defeated unknown Forfeit High School last week in a pitcher’s dual 1-0. Coach Jimmy Purnell’s Tigers face a much tougher opponent this week in a battle of first year coaches. The Crusaders stay on the wining track.

w Grandville Calvin Christian @ Kent City:  Grandville CC gets back on the right track after dropping their first three games.

l Manistee Catholic @ Baldwin: In my early days of broadcasting back in the 1960’s the Sabers had a palace for a press box compared to the antiquated facilities I endure down here in the Sunshine State. I like Manistee’s press box better than Baldwin’s football team.