By Dave Hart

It feels good to start the playoffs on a winning note, especially after a sports weekend that was not the greatest.

My Wolverines fell to Sparty after being 20-point favorites, and my Detroit Lions took another large step backwards with a 41-21 loss to Indianapolis at home.

But high school football is a lot more fun than all of that, anyway, and I did quite well in picking prep winners last week.

Steve Gunn, Nate Thompson and I all had sparkling 16-1 records, but I won on the tie-breaker procedure by predicting there would be 55 points scored between Whitehall and Fruitport. I was off by just a single point!

Of course this is the “Last Man Standing” playoff picks competition, and the picker with the worse record every week gets eliminated. The first to go was first-year picker Aaron Poling, who made five rookie mistakes, especially when he chose Hesperia to beat powerful Pewamo-Westphalia.

So Aaron is done for the season, and the remaining six of us will continue to battle for the crown.

This week, I believe Muskegon and Mona Shores will advance to the district finals with victories, along with West Michigan Conference powers Montague and Oakridge. 

Muskegon Catholic will also prevail against Harrison, which will set up a must-see district title game against Montague a week from Friday.

Sadly, I think Ludington, Spring Lake, Ravenna, North Muskegon and Holton will fail in their efforts to advance in the playoffs.

We are doing something new this week, adding two college and one NFL game to our picks grid.

This is make-or-break time for the Lions, and I feel they will rise to the occasion against NFC North opponent Minnesota.

The Georgia Bulldogs will prevail at home over the Gators of Florida, and Notre Dame will take advantage of a Clemson team that will play without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

WEEK 1 RESULTS – Dave Hart 16-1, Steve Gunn 16-1, Nate Thompson 16-1, Mitch Boatman 15-2, Andrew Johnson 15-2, Jason Goorman 15-2, Aaron Poling 12-5.