By Dave Hart

It finally happen and I can put this jinxed sophomore season to bed.

Last season, in the first year of “LSJ Editors Gridiron Picks”, I was second overall with my stellar picks.

But this season has been quite the struggle for me and it looked like I would fail to prevail at all (thankfully, we have LSJ Publisher Jason Goorman holding down the bottom spot).

But I finally succeeded in Week 7 with a 14-1 record, which was good for a tie with Andrew Johnson and Mitch Boatman. Ironically my lone miscue was the Montague-Oakridge thriller, which was also the tie breaker of total points.

Steve Gunn actually had a good week for once, successfully picking 13 of 15 games along with Nate Thompson.

Dave Tomczak finished with a 12-3 record while Goorman was once again in last place, getting only 11 correct. Come on JG, you’re reminding me of the 2003 Detroit Tigers and their 119 losses.

Now that I am finally victorious, I will look to finish off the season strong and win the final two weeks.

My run towards a strong finish will start this Friday with area teams looking to nail down playoff spots.

I predict that our 5-2 teams will lock down postseason spots. Holton and Ludington will taste postseason spots after Week 8 wins, while Spring Lake (5-2) will complete its turnaround from last season’s 0-9 record to a playoff berth.

North Muskegon will defeat Whitehall on the road in an upset, which will also keep its playoff hopes alive and Reeths-Puffer will prevail and remain alive.

My bold pick of the week involves my alma mater Fruitport. The Trojans will leave Coopersville on Friday night with their second victory of season. That’s right, you heard it from me first.

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Mona Shores vs. Muskegon.

The “Big Game” is here. We all have been anticipating this game since the end of last year’s classic when the Big Reds topped the Sailors. It looks like all of LSJ believes the Big Reds will hand Mona Shores its first loss of the season.

Sailors fans are no doubt batting down the hatches for the storm that’s brewing at Hackley Stadium. The Big Reds are skilled and large. But where there’s a will, there is a wave for Mona Shores. Unfortunately, that wave will be red.

Muskegon will not only win on Friday night, but barring major injuries, the Big Reds are showing they have what it takes to once again represent the greater Muskegon area in late November at Ford Field.

Week 7 records: Dave Hart 14-1 (won tie breaker); Mitchell Boatman 14-1; Andrew Johnson 14-1; Nate Thompson 13-2; Steve Gunn 13-2; Dave Tomczak 12-3; Jason Goorman 11-4.

Overall records: Nate Thompson 91-18; Mitch Boatman 91-18; Andrew Johnson 89-20; Dave Tomczak 87-22; Dave Hart 87-22; Steve Gunn 84-25; Jason Goorman 77-32.