The Rick, Week 2 – 2021

By Rick Notari, BDFN


(1569-425 overall, .786 winning percentage)

Ain’t no sunshine….

Well, it didn’t take long for NEPA to slap the sunshine out of The Rick after my return from California. After writing last week’s column from sand-side while the ocean crashed against the beach, this week The Rick writes from under the ocean as remnants of Hurricane Ida flood the lands of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

Speaking of hurricanes, Riverside renews an old post-season rivalry this week when they take on Schuylkill Haven in a replacement game. The Vikings were set to play Montrose, but the Meteors pulled out after not having enough players to field a competitive team. Riverside first replaced Montrose with a trip to Cowanesque Valley – not exactly Disney World. But the Indians then pulled out when their original Week 2 opponent, Sayre, informed them that they would be able to play after COVID-19 concerns.

Rumor has it that before he called Schuylkill Haven to set up Friday night’s game, Riverside AD Dan Digwood put in a call to Bishop Sycamore in Ohio (or Texas) to see if they wanted to come to Taylor to play. But they declined, citing some concerns over PIAA age and eligibility requirements.

So, the Vikings will now travel deep into the Coal Region to take on the Hurricanes. The Rick remembers a matchup in the state playoffs at Valley View between the teams, maybe 10 years ago, maybe less. Anyway, the impression it made on me was from the Haven coach – who wore shorts (it was late November), didn’t wear a headset, and didn’t have a play sheet. He simply called plays from memory. It was only six or seven plays he needed to remember as the Hurricanes only ran the ball.

Back to Montrose. Two things strike The Rick. First, does anyone else remember when Sacred Heart would play Suburban Conference games with only 12 players dressed? I believed opposing players referred to the Crusaders as, “The Dozen Roses,” a harking to their pre-football nickname, the Roses. Are we to believe no one at Sacred Heart was concerned for the safety of those players? The Rick doesn’t think so. Football was more violent then. So, while I get it, I don’t.

Secondly, remember when Montrose was a local power? It’s not too long ago. They would have big farmer-boy types on the offensive line and just run you over – 50 times a game. They didn’t need to throw it. It was just a punishing running attack with skilled backs and big uglies. Dan Rounds, Dale Lewis, Matt Timms, Josh MacNamee, and a host of others. The Rick could go on and on.

So, are there no more farms in Montrose? Do the drillers not have big kids? Do they not like football? What the heck happened up there? I mean The Rick knows participation in football is down in every community, but this seems a bit severe. How did such a program fall to such depths? Someone call Chris Snee! You know, the All-American, All-Pro, Super Bowl-winning stud offensive lineman who played for Montrose – and the New York Football Giants!! Maybe he can help.

Ok. Time for the picks!


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, So far Mister Robinson has a one-game lead in the neighborhood rivalry, picking 16 winners against The Rick’s 15.

Check out The Consigliere’s picks at


Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 2.

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 1-0

Delaware Valley at Valley View

Both teams got off to a slow start last week, but Valley View came over the first game jitters and weather delays to beat back Dallas in the opener. Delaware Valley had its opener change just a week or so before practice officially began and instead took on Pittsburgh-area power Gateway at Bald Eagle Area in a game that saw the Warriors go down 26-0 before fighting within 26-10 at conclusion. The Rick will guarantee one thing – these teams won’t start slow on Friday. This game has been circled on the calendar since last season and the Cougars are chomping at the bit for this one. And The Rick forecasts It will be one of the best games of the season. But one piece of history will go a long way in deciding this one. The Warriors are one of the few teams that own a winning record against the Cougars in the history of Valley View football. The Rick likes trends.

Delaware Valley 24, Valley View 20


The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 1-0

Lakeland at Lackawanna Trail

Lakeland had to wait until Saturday to put a pasting on Lake-Lehman in the opener last week. Lackawanna Trail enjoyed a four-touchdown victory that may have been closer than the actual score appeared. So, what happens at Tunnel Hill this weekend? Are the Chiefs better than advertised? Are the Lions ahead of schedule? The Rick sees a lot of questions that need to be answered. Maybe most importantly, how the heck are we going to fit two broadcast teams in that press box at Lions Pride Stadium in Week 10 when the Blue Devil Football Network comes to town? Well, the last question can be answered at a later date, but the first few need to be answered Friday. And The Rick thinks Lakeland will have the answers.

Lakeland 21, Lackawanna Trail 20


Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 1-0

Wyoming Area at Wilkes-Barre Area

A match up of the top two District 2 WVC teams happens this week at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. Wyoming Area showed it can beat the big boys when it steamrolled Hazleton Area in Week 1, and Wilkes-Barre Area put on display its explosiveness and talent in a big win over Scranton High. The Wolfpack want to join the blue bloods of the WVC – one of which is Wyoming Area. The Warriors are a year removed from winning the state title and have a wealth of experience from rebuilding in 2020. The Rick has a feeling everyone is going to be on Wyoming Area this week. But I am going the other way. Call it a hunch.

Wilkes-Barre Area 28, Wyoming Area 21


Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 1-0

Holy Redeemer at Mid Valley

Despite losing to Old Forge last week, Mid Valley looked like a team that will have success this year. Big and athletic up front. Above average speed in the backfield and on the outside. And a QB that can run the show. Holy Redeemer? Well, let’s just say on opening week loss to Holy Cross doesn’t bode well. Leave the Royals, take the Spartans.

Mid Valley 47, Holy Redeemer 9


Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 1-0

Dunmore at Old Forge

They say it isn’t much of a rivalry between a hammer and a nail. It’s not true. Today, while walking out of work, King of Dunmore yells to me, “We’re gonna kick your tail this weekend.” So, of course The Rick responded, “No Way! You scored two points last week!” “No, no, no,” he retorts. “We’re gonna smash you in SOCCER!” SOCCER? So now Dunmore is a soccer school? One bad week and Dunmore has become a soccer school!!! That’s where we are at folks. But I am here to tell you, the Bucks are 11-2 against the Blue Devils in their last 13 games. So don’t tell them they are a soccer school. Still, The Rick doesn’t go against The Family – in football OR soccer! Devils will win that one too, 2-1!

Old Forge 20, Dunmore 14


I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 0-1

Honesdale at Abington Heights

Well, well, well. It’s time to wake up Abington Heights fans. The Comets may very well be back. A year removed from having its season cancelled because of COVID=19 concerns, and two years removed from a forgettable 2019 season, Head Coach Joe Repshis has Abington Heights screaming through the sky once again. A win over Honesdale this week keeps the Comets on the rise and well deserved of the respect it once commanded. Despite a great band in the Summit, remember, Abington Heights ain’t no bandleader!

Abington Heights 33, Honesdale 13


Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 0-1

Tunkhannock at Pittston Area

Right now, The Rick has Tunkhannock ranked higher than Pittston Area in his method to madness. The Tigers hung tough with Abington Heights last week while the Patriots took one on the chin against North Pocono. Now all the pundits, including The Rick, believe that North Pocono will be tougher than Abington Heights this season, but still, you must show some fight at least. It’s opening night! Well, The Rick believes Pittston Area will come out swinging this week. So, in a minor upset, the Patriots say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Pittston Area 20, Tunkhannock 17


Time to settle all Family business (10-2)

North Pocono over Western Wayne

Wallenpaupack over West

Harrisburg over Hazleton Area

Lake-Lehman over Nanticoke

Prep over Scranton

Williamsport over Altoona

Crestwood over Berwick

Valley West over Dallas

Schuylkill Haven over Riverside

Susquehanna over Hanover Area

Carbondale over Holy Cross


Bringing Sixy Back

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. Remember, it’s where you finish at the end – not the beginning or the middle.

Here it is….


  1. Williamsport (1-0) 3
  2. Wilkes-Barre (1-0) 2
  3. Delaware Valley (0-1) 1
  4. Valley View (1-0) 4
  5. North Pocono (1-0) 6
  6. Valley West (1-0) NR

*Missed it by that much…. Wallenpaupack (1-0)



  1. Scranton Prep (1-0) 1
  2. Western Wayne (1-0) 4
  3. Wyoming Area (1-0) 5
  4. Old Forge (1-0) 2
  5. Lakeland (1-0) 3
  6. Lackawanna Trail (1-0) 6

*Missed it by that much…. Mid Valley (0-1)