By Dave Hart

They say life is filled with ups and downs.

I was reminded of that once again a few days ago, in a profoundly painful way.

On Saturday, the Muskegon Heights football team knocked off Detroit Community, which I accurately predicted. That meant I was the Week 3 winner of the LSJ Editors Gridiron Picks competition, beating four of my colleagues by one game.

I meant to tell my parents, Dave and Debra Hart of Fruitport, about my victory when I had the chance. But that chance never came.

On Sunday morning, I learned that my mom had passed away at home overnight, very unexpectedly.

My mother was always supportive of my passion for sports. She was patient all those years when I spent countless hours watching games on TV, and painstakingly recording my favorite teams’ scores and stats in my sports notebooks.

She was also very supportive of my writing and work at LSJ. Just a few Fridays ago, she and my dad were once again at the annual LSJ high school football kickoff party. They didn’t attend because they are huge prep sports fans. They were there to show their support for me and our company.

I loved my mother very much, and I will always deeply appreciate the incredible things she did for me over the years. I just wish we could have had more time with her.

The moral of the story? Never miss a chance to hug the people you love, particularly your family. They may not be there tomorrow.

But life goes on, and there is another set of big high school football games this week.

The Mona Shores Sailors have lived up to their advanced billing so far this season, and I expect them to continue their success with a victory over Reeths-Puffer in a key O-K Black Conference game.

Oakridge will face a tough West Michigan Conference challenge at Whitehall, but I think the Eagles will remain undefeated with a close victory over the Vikings.

The other “LSJ Spotlight Game” is the annual neighborhood showdown between Hesperia and Holton. The Panthers have already been snake-bitten with two overtime losses, and I think they will finally get that first win, despite playing a fired-up bunch of Red Devils on their home field.

Check out all of our picks for the Week 4 games below.

Week 3 LSJ Editors pick results: Dave Hart 13-2, Dave Tomczak 12-3, Jason Goorman 12-3, Nate Thompson 12-3, Andrew Johnson 12-3, Steve Gunn 10-5.

Overall standings: Tomczak 38-7, Hart 37-8, Johnson 34-11, Thompson 33-12, Goorman 33-12, Gunn 28-17.