The Rick, Week 10 – 2021

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1674-457 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 

The Rick Fix 2

Last week The Rick gave you his proposal for a new football conference in NEPA and surprisingly enough, I received some good feedback on the rough draft. Now maybe the people that do not like it didn’t’ know how to get in touch with me. Social media is probably the best way, unless you’re one of the lucky ones that have The Rick’s beeper number.

This week, I present a rough draft SCHEDULE for my WyoLacka Football Conference. (Yeah, I couldn’t come up with a better name. Sorry!) There would be two options with the schedule, the WLFC schedules all the games, or the league schedules its division games and allow each school to schedule the remainder of the games. For The Rick’s purpose, I drew up the full schedule. Some of the games are wishful thinking – I know. But the schedule for the most part is a competitive one overall, and that is what The Rick is looking for.

The Rick did his best to have each school play their division games toward or at the end of the season. I also took all the rivalry matchups and placed them in Week 10. If a school didn’t have natural rival, The Rick created one! Let’s look at some of the highlights of the proposed schedule, and the schedules themselves.

Division 1: The big schools were a little tougher to fill and took some imagination. With only five divisional games, The Rick had to fill up 30 dates. Some of the dream matchups: Delaware Valley facing Southern Columbia and Berwick; Williamsport would also take on Southern Columbia, and Wilkes-Barre Area would have a match up with Holy Redeemer.

 

WyoLacka 1: Five (5) divisional games and five (5) non-divisional games.

Delaware Valley: Florida, North Pocono, Downingtown East, Southern Columbia, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Valley West, Hazleton, Scranton, Berwick.

Hazleton Area: Crestwood, Harrisburg, Donegal, Pottsville, Scranton, Tunkhannock, Wilkes-Barre, Delaware Valley, Valley West, Williamsport.

Scranton: Valley View, Honesdale, Wallenpaupack, North Pocono, Hazleton, Valley West, Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Delaware Valley, West Scranton.

Valley West: Berwick, Wallenpaupack, Pocono Mountain East, Honesdale, Pocono Mountain West, Scranton, Delaware Valley, Williamsport, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre.

Williamsport: Southern Columbia, Altoona, Mifflin County, Central Mountain, State College, Delaware Valley, Scranton, Valley West, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton.

Wilkes-Barre Area: Dallas, Holy Redeemer, Western Wayne, Crestwood, Delaware Valley, Berwick, Hazleton, Scranton, Williamsport, Valley West.

Division 2: What a division this is with four former state championship programs represented in Berwick, Wyoming Area, Valley View and Dallas. Add Prep, Crestwood and Tunkhannock to the mix and the division schedule is full of marquee games by itself. Non-division games like Valley View v. Lakeland, Dallas v. Abington Heights, Prep v. Dunmore, and Tunkhannock v. Abington Heights highlight this slate and what is by far, the best division in the WLFC.

 

WyoLacka 2: Six (6) divisional games and four (4) non-divisional games.

Berwick: Valley West, Scranton Prep, Tunkhannock, Selinsgrove, Wyoming Area, Wilkes-Barre, Valley View, Crestwood, Dallas, Delaware Valley.

Crestwood: Hazleton, Wyoming Area, Abington Heights, Wilkes-Barre, Valley View, Holy Redeemer, Dallas, Berwick, Scranton Prep, Tunkhannock.

Dallas: Wilkes-Barre, Abington Heights, Scranton Prep, Wallenpaupack, Tunkhannock, Wyoming Area, Crestwood, Valley View, Berwick, Lake-Lehman.

Scranton Prep: North Pocono, Berwick. Dallas, Dunmore, Lakeland, Valley View, Wyoming Area, Tunkhannock, Crestwood, Abington Heights.

Tunkhannock: Abington Heights, Valley View, Berwick, Wyoming Area, Dallas, Hazleton, Nanticoke, Scranton Prep, Honesdale, Crestwood.

Valley View: Scranton, Tunkhannock, Wyoming Area, Mid Valley, Crestwood, Scranton Prep, Berwick, Dallas, West Scranton, Lakeland.

Wyoming Area: Lake-Lehman, Crestwood, Valley View, Tunkhannock, Berwick, Dallas, Scranton Prep, Hanover Area, Lakeland, Pittston Area.

 

Division 3 is the Comeback Division. Apart from the recent successes of North Pocono and Western Wayne, these teams are trying to get back to winning. A mix of classifications, this competitive schedule will feature six divisional games and some must-see non-divisional games, such as: Abington Heights taking on Scranton Prep, North Pocono facing Dunmore, Pittston Area against Wyoming Area, and West Scranton against Riverside.

 

WyoLacka 3: Six (6) divisional games and four (4) non-divisional games.

Abington Heights: Tunkhannock, Dallas, Crestwood, West Scranton, North Pocono, Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, Pittston Area, Western Wayne, Scranton Prep.

Honesdale: Montrose, Scranton, North Pocono, Valley West, West Scranton, Pittston Area, Abington Heights, Western Wayne, Tunkhannock, Wallenpaupack.

North Pocono: Scranton Prep, Delaware Valley, Honesdale, Scranton, Abington Heights, West Scranton, Pittston Area, Wallenpaupack, Dunmore, Western Wayne.

Pittston Area: Dunmore, Riverside, West Scranton, Western Wayne, Old Forge, Honesdale, North Pocono, Abington Heights, Wallenpaupack, Wyoming Area.

Wallenpaupack: Pocono Mountain West, Valley West, Scranton, Dallas, Western Wayne, Abington Heights, West Scranton, North Pocono, Pittston Area, Honesdale.

West Scranton: Riverside, Western Wayne, Pittston Area, Abington Heights, Honesdale, North Pocono, Wallenpaupack, Dunmore, Valley View, Scranton.

Western Wayne: Mid Valley, West Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston Area, Wallenpaupack, Susquehanna, Lakeland, Honesdale, Abington Heights, North Pocono.

 

Division 4 is the small school power-house division. Six divisional games to go with four non-divisional games, including, Dunmore v. West Scranton, Trail v. Carbondale, Lake-Lehman v. Dallas, Mid Valley v. Valley View, Old Forge v. Pittston Area and Riverside v. Hanover Area.

 

WyoLacka 4: Six (6) divisional games and four (4) non-divisional games.

Dunmore: Pittston Area, Lakeland, Old Forge, Scranton Prep, Riverside, Lake-Lehman, Lackawanna Trail, West Scranton, North Pocono, Mid Valley.

Lackawanna Trail: Nanticoke, Susquehanna, Mid Valley, Lake-Lehman, Holy Cross, Old Forge, Dunmore, Lakeland, Riverside, Carbondale.

Lakeland: Old Forge, Dunmore, Lake-Lehman, Riverside, Scranton Prep, Mid Valley, Mid Valley, Western Wayne, Lackawanna Trail, Wyoming Area, Valley View,

Lake-Lehman: Wyoming Area, Hanover Area, Lakeland, Lackawanna Trail, Mid Valley, Dunmore, Riverside, Old Forge, Nanticoke, Dallas.

Mid Valley: Western Wayne, Carbondale, Lackawanna Trail, Valley View, Lake-Lehman, Lakeland, Old Forge, Riverside, Holy Cross, Dunmore.

Old Forge: Lakeland, Nanticoke, Dunmore, Hanover Area, Pittston Area, Lackawanna Trail, Mid Valley, Lake-Lehman, Carbondale, Riverside.

Riverside: West Scranton, Pittston Area, Hanover Area, Lakeland, Dunmore, Carbondale, Lake-Lehman, Mid Valley, Lackawanna Trail, Old Forge.

 

Division 5 is somewhat like Division 3, but it is the smaller schools who need to build. Some of the schools such as Holy Redeemer, Holy Cross and Montrose will play each other twice to fill the schedule and allow them to play more competitive games. Some of the highlights include, Carbondale v. Riverside, Hanover Area v. Wyoming Area, Holy Cross v. Mid Valley, Montrose v. Honesdale, Nanticoke v. Tunkhannock and Susquehanna v. Western Wayne.

 

WyoLacka 5: Six (6) divisional games and four (4) non-divisional games.

Carbondale: Hanover Area, Mid Valley, Nanticoke, Holy Redeemer, Montrose, Riverside, Holy Cross, Susquehanna, Old Forge, Lackawanna Trail.

Hanover Area: Carbondale, Lake-Lehman, Riverside, Old Forge, Holy Redeemer, Holy Cross, Susquehanna, Wyoming Area, Montrose, Nanticoke.

Holy Cross: Holy Redeemer, Montrose, Susquehanna, Nanticoke, Lackawanna Trail, Hanover Area, Carbondale, Montrose, Mid Valley, Holy Redeemer.

Montrose: Honesdale, Holy Cross, Holy Redeemer, Northwest, Carbondale, Nanticoke, Holy Redeemer, Holy Cross, Hanover Area, Susquehanna.

Nanticoke: Lackawanna Trail, Old Forge, Carbondale, Holy Cross, Susquehanna, Montrose, Tunkhannock, Holy Redeemer, Lake-Lehman, Hanover Area.

Susquehanna: Northwest, Lackawanna Trail, Holy Cross, Columbia Montour Vo Tech, Nanticoke, Western Wayne, Hanover Area, Carbondale, Holy Redeemer, Montrose.

Well, there you have it. The schedule isn’t perfect for every individual team, and it might not even be perfect for all the 34 teams. But it is a start, and maybe with some tweaking it could become the perfect schedule.

So let it be written, so let it be done!

 

PLAYOFF POSITIONS

According to the District 2 website, here is what the playoffs look like if we started today:

1A: Old Forge (8-0).

2A: Susquehanna (2-7) at Trail (6-2); Riverside (2-7) at Dunmore (3-5).

3A: Wyoming Area (7-1) BYE; Lake-Lehman (3-5) at Scranton Prep (8-0);

Carbondale Area (5-4) at Lakeland (8-1); Western Wayne (4-5) at Mid Valley (7-2).

4A: Tunkhannock (3-6) at Valley View (9-0); Honesdale (3-6) at Dallas (6-2);

Pittston Area (3-6) at North Pocono (8-1); Wallenpaupack (3-6) at Berwick (5-4).

5A: Valley West (3-6) at ES South (6-3); Southern Lehigh (3-6) at Whitehall (3-5).

6A: Scranton (3-6) at Delaware Valley (6-3); Wilkes-Barre Area (4-5) at Hazleton Area (6-3).

 

Ok. Time for the picks!

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (120-36)

An added attraction in 2021, throughout the season, we’ll be keeping score in our own friendly rivalry, matching picks with Consigliere Tom Robinson in his weekly feature on our partner website, NEPASportsNation.com. After nine weeks, The Rick picked up a game on Mister Robinson as my 16 wins outpaced his 15. That puts me four games behind entering Week 10. Another 10 weeks and The Rick may just catch him!!!

Check out The Consigliere’s picks at www.nepasportsnation.com.

 

Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 10.

 

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 5-4

Delaware Valley at North Pocono

Fans all around the Lackawanna Football Conference have waited for this game all season. Delaware Valley has recovered nicely from an 0-3 start against the toughest three-game slate of any of the 34 teams in District 2 this year by winning six in a row. North Pocono has won seven in a row after suffering its only blemish to arguably the best team on its schedule. But the Trojans have won all eight of their games convincingly, so they are no slouch. The Rick wants to know who is for real. It’s easy to give the Warriors the nod as history has shown, they are indeed the premier football program in NEPA. North Pocono on the other hand has something to prove. The Trojans want to show us all that they are for real. While The Rick normally likes real, but this instance is just too easy. By the way, this game is for the LFC Division 1 Championship.

Delaware Valley 19, North Pocono 14

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 7-2

Scranton Prep at Valley View

Fans all around the Lackawanna Football Conference have waited for this game all season. Wait, didn’t The Rick just write that? Yes, I did. And it’s true again. Prep and Valley View have cruised during the first nine weeks with this one circled on the calendar since January. This too is for the division championship and it as all the makings of a heavyweight title fight. The Cougar Crazy defense has been stout – probably the best division in the entire LFC if not District 2. They bring the thunder every Friday night. Prep on the other hand is electric on offense thanks to its lightning, tailback London Montgomery. It will be a battle of the elements in the elements Friday night. The Rick has just one reminder for fans, thunder comes before lightning.

Valley View 27, Scranton Prep 13

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 6-3

Nanticoke at Hanover Area

For no reason whatsoever, The Rick is taking Nanticoke over Hanover Area. This is the last game of the season for both teams (unless they play Eastern Conference) as they have both dropped out of the distrcit playoffs. Remember, don’t ask me about my business.

Nanticoke 32, Hanover Area 26

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 9-0

Dallas at Tunkhannock

The Rick selected this game for this slot early in the week. But as I type, I think this game might be closer than it looks. Still, The Rick is a man of loyalty if not anything, so the game stays in this slot! The Rick says, leave the Tigers, take the Mountaineers!

Dallas 27, Tunkhannock 16

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 10-0

Pittston Area at Wyoming Area

Fans all around the Greater Pittston have waited for this game all season. The Patriots and Warriors. It’s like the Hatfields and McCoys! Well, not really. I mean if you are sitting down having breakfast mid-week with one another then it’s not a hated rivalry. It’s more like a spirited one. So, show your spirit in Pittston Area and Wyoming Area and get to this game. The Warriors may be the better club, but the Patriots are not just going to roll over.

Wyoming Area 30, Pittston Area 21

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 5-4

Old Forge at Lackawanna Trail

Respect you say? For Old Forge and Lackawanna Trail? Well, Yeah! The Rick does say it. Look, the Blue Devils have played one winning team all season – Mid Valley. The Lions? They have played two, Lakeland and Mid Valley – and have lost both. So let these two small-school rivals battle it out on Thursday night, not only in search of a victory, but also for some respect. This game is for the LFC Division 4 title. You know what else The Rick says? Never take sides against The Family.

Old Forge 34, Lackawanna Trail 16

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 3-6

Western Wayne at Wallenpaupack

The Rick hasn’t been very good picking upsets this year, and this week is probably another loss. But there is just something in my gut that tells me Western Wayne and Wallenpaupack is going to be better than advertised. So much so, that purple will win the day. The Buckhorns say, IT WAS YOU FREDO! You broke Western Wayne’s heart!

Wallenpaupack 21, Western Wayne 15

 

Time to settle all Family business (67-15)

Abington Heights over Scranton

Lake-Lehman over Riverside

Hazleton Area over Williamsport

Honesdale over West Scranton

Berwick over Wilkes-Barre Area

Valley West over Crestwood

Holy Cross over Montrose

Lakeland over Dunmore

Mid Valley over Carbondale

Susquehanna over Holy Redeemer

 

Pick Six

It’s the second season of The Rick’s Six. Nothing fancy. Just my opinion of who are the best Big School teams and the best Small School teams. Nothing else. Well, we are at the end of the season. It’s Week 10 and here are the teams who have performed best up to this point.

There was movement in each Six Poll this week. North Pocono and Mid Valley both moved up a spot. The Trojans host Delaware Valley in a game to validate their season. The Spartans travel to Carbondale to put an exclamation point on its best season in decades.

Here is this week’s Pick-Six….

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Valley View (9-0) 1
  2. Delaware Valley (6-3) 2
  3. Hazleton Area (6-3) 3
  4. Dallas (6-2) 4
  5. North Pocono (8-1) 6
  6. Berwick (5-4) 5

*Missed it by that much…. Williamsport (5-4)

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Wyoming Area (8-1) 1
  2. Scranton Prep (8-0) 2
  3. Lakeland (8-1) 3
  4. Old Forge (8-0) 4
  5. Mid Valley (7-2) 6
  6. Lackawanna Trail (6-2) 5

*Missed it by that much…. Western Wayne (4-5)