The Rick, Week 6 – 2021

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1616-447 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 

Dazed and Confused

It’s been a really, strange two months for The Rick. I could sure use a bag of Munchos right now, but I CAN’T FIND THEM ANYWHERE!!! I think that Face in the Crowd guy bought up the whole supply!! You know who I am talking about – the Sesquipedalian!

I’m halfway through my 50th Birthday Tour and the non-stop action the past 60 days – along with my inaction with the Blue Devil Football Network the past three weeks – has my head spinning. So much so, that The Rick didn’t even realize we are halfway through the high school football season!

Trips to the South Bay, Rocky Top, and the Steel City has The Rick longing for retirement – his and his favorite Super-Bowl winning quarterback! But before they put this old prognosticator out to pasture, The Rick reminds those that question his selections that if they don’t pay up on any wagers, I will send The Paw out to collect.

So, let’s get refocused on the goals here. It is Week 6 and for some teams, unfortunately, the season is pretty much over for about 20 squads. But for others – about 15 teams The Rick figures still have a shot at winning a title – the quest for a second season is just beginning.

Let’s look at The Rick’s Half-Season predictions for the rest of the way:

 

WVC Division 1

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Wilkes-Barre, Dark Horse: Valley West

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Williamsport, Dark Horse: Hazleton Area

It hasn’t gone how The Rick had planned in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston, but at least the pre-season tags are not out of reach for the Wolfpack and the Spartans. The half-way look at WVC-1 has Williamsport taking command with Hazleton Area lurking in the oncoming darkness of October.

 

WVC Division 2

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Crestwood, Dark Horse: Berwick

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Berwick or Dallas, Dark Horse: Tunkhannock

The Rick was way off with his pre-season nod to Crestwood. However, I wasn’t that far off with Berwick. While the Bulldogs are 2-3, they are 2-0 against the WVC 2. Dallas looks like it will battle the Dawgs for the title. Don’t count out Tunkhannock who has four winnable games on its remaining schedule.

 

WVC Division 3

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Wyoming Area, Dark Horse: Hanover Area

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Wyoming Area, Dark Horse:

Here is a pick The Rick didn’t get wrong. Wyoming Area is the class of WVC 3 and quite possibly the entire Wyoming Valley. Yes, I was wrong on Hanover Area – very wrong. And The Rick still can’t figure out why Northwest left the WVC and District 2. The Rangers would have been more than competitive in this division.

 

LFC Division 1

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Delaware Valley, Dark Horse: North Pocono

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Delaware Valley, Dark Horse: North Pocono

Yes, The Rick is not changing his stance in LFC 1 even though Delaware Valley is 2-3 and North Pocono is 4-1. While I am starting to believe in the Trojans, The Rick is a realist. And the reality is the Warriors have by far played a tougher scheduled than North Pocono.

 

LFC Division 2

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Scranton Prep, Dark Horse: Western Wayne

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Scranton Prep, Dark Horse:

The only thing that has changed here is that there is no longer a dark horse team. This is a two-team race between Scranton Prep and Valley View. The Rick is sticking with the Jesuit Giants because in all honesty, the Cougar Crazies will be offended by the pick, and it’s more fun offending the Crazies than the Jesuits. Plus, the teams play in Week 10 at Valley View. They’ll settle it on the field.

 

LFC Division 3

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Lakeland, Dark Horse: Mid Valley

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Lakeland, Dark Horse: Mid Valley

Not to toot my own horn, but The Rick was spot on with this one. Lakeland is cruising along, and Mid Valley is turning heads. Now, the Chiefs have a tough stretch coming up and so do the Spartans. But when they meet in Week 8 it should determine who wins this division.

 

LFC Division 4

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Old Forge, Dark Horse: Lackawanna Trail

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Old Forge, Dark Horse: Lackawanna Trail

Old Forge hasn’t played in two weeks so when it faces Hanover Area on Friday night, it’s going to be like a second opening game for the Blue Devils. Lackawanna Trail is in the middle of its own two-week vacation after facing Holy Redeemer last week and Montrose this week. Heck, maybe by the time this column goes to print the Meteors will have forfeited again. Either way, this division comes down to the Week 10 matchup at Tunnel Hill.

 

District 2 6A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Delaware Valley, Runner-up: Hazleton Area

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Hazleton Area, Runner-up: Delaware Valley

The Rick is going to go out on a limb here and switch his pre-season selections. Hazleton seems to be coming on strong. Let’s see if they can complete the turnaround.

 

District 2 5A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Valley West, Runner-up: Abington Heights

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Valley West, Runner-up: Abington Heights

No change here. Valley West has been inconsistent, but they are still in the driver’s seat.

 

District 2 4A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Valley View, Runner-up: Crestwood

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Valley View, Runner-up: North Pocono

Valley View is the overwhelming favorite here but their opponent in the final could be any number of teams, including current No. 2 North Pocono, Dallas, Berwick and Wallenpaupack.

 

District 2 3A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Scranton Prep, Runner-up: Western Wayne

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Wyoming Area, Runner-up: Scranton Prep

This class should be really competitive. But Wyoming Area and Scranton Prep are on track for a showdown in the final. Still, Lakeland, Western Wayne and Mid Valley could all figure in.

 

District 2 2A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Lackawanna Trail, Runner-up: Dunmore

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Lackawanna Trail, Runner-up: Dunmore

Another “no change” here in D2 2A. Trail and the Bucks will go at it with the Lions taking the title.

 

District 2 1A

PRE-SEASON: Champ: Old Forge, Runner-up: Holy Cross

HALF-SEASON: Champ: Old Forge, Runner-up: Holy Cross

See above.

 

PLAYOFF POSITIONS

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

1A: Holy Cross (3-2) at Old Forge (4-0)

2A: Susquehanna (0-5) at Trail (4-1); Riverside (2-3) at Dunmore (2-2)

3A: Holy Redeemer (1-4) at Lakeland (5-0); Lake-Lehman (2-2) at Prep (4-0);

Carbondale (2-3) at Wyoming Area (4-1); Western Wayne (2-3) at Mid Valley (4-1).

4A: Pittston Area (1-4) at Valley View (5-0); Honesdale (2-3) at North Pocono (4-1);

Tunkhannock (2-3) at Dallas (2-2); Wallenpaupack (2-3) at Berwick (2-3).

5A: PM East (1-3) at Whitehall (3-1); Valley West (3-2) at ES South (4-1).

6A: Wilkes-Barre Area (2-3) at Hazleton Area (3-2); Scranton (2-3) at Delaware Valley (2-3)

 

Ok. Time for the picks!

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (62-26)

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 five weeks, The Rick blew a golden opportunity to catch Mister Robinson, but the lead is still at four games as we matched records this week at 11-5. Tom suggested we begin picked field hockey games last week – which at this point, I am not totally against as I need to find a way to gain some ground. Picking college and professional football sure isn’t going to help!

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

 

Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 6.

 

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 2-3

Delaware Valley at Hazleton

The Rick foresees this matchup to be a preview of the District 2 Class 6A title. This game could go a long way as to who will host that championship game should it come to fruition. Both teams have been playing better, although Hazleton Area may be playing better against better competition. That fact has The Rick going with the Cougars this week.

Hazleton Area 27, Delaware Valley 21

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 4-1

Wilkes-Barre Area at Wyoming Valley West

The inconsistency of these two teams has The Rick going crazy each week. The Rick is 5-5 in the 10 games played by Wilkes-Barre and Valley West. So, how does this one turn out? Who knows! That’s why it’s the toughest game of the week to pick. The Rick is going to take the real home team. Don’t forget these teams are sharing Spartan Stadium.

Valley West 24, Wilkes-Barre Area 20

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 4-1

Nanticoke at Pittston Area

There are some games that could go either way this week, including this one between Nanticoke and Pittston Area. Both teams are enduring rough seasons, especially the Patriots who have had their share of injuries this season. Yet, The Rick thinks they will have the upper hand over the Trojans.

Pittston Area 13, Nanticoke 8

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 5-0

North Pocono at Abington Heights

North Pocono began its quest to prove me wrong last week. A win over Wallenpaupack made the statement that the Trojans are ready for the big time. This week should prove to be another one of those games. North Pocono should be 8-1 when they host Delaware Valley in Week 10. We shall see. But for now, Leave the Comets, take the Trojans!

North Pocono 35, Abington Heights 13

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 6-0

Wyoming Area at Lakeland

The marquee matchup of the night posts undefeated Lakeland against once-beaten Wyoming Area in what could certainly be a preview of the District 2 class 3A final in six weeks. The Chiefs feature a high-octane offense that could certainly give the Warriors fits. However, Wyoming Area’s strength is its diversity on offense and a strong defense. Expect a battle at Chapman Lake. The Rick wishes he could be there.

Wyoming Area 29, Lakeland 26

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 2-3

Honesdale at Western Wayne

This Backyard Brawl has all the makings of a classic. Western Wayne is looking to rebound after two straight on-field losses. Honesdale needs a victory after a loss to Scranton and with Prep and Valley View on the horizon. Much like The Rick’s record in the “Bandleader” feature (2-3), the Wildcats (2-3) and Hornets (2-3) share the same record. Both are looking for respect. One will come out on top.

Western Wayne 22, Honesdale 16

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 1-4

Dallas at Williamsport

The only thing breaking anyone’s heart this year is The Rick’s record predicting upset specials. I feel like Katy Perry on College GameDay. Weird analogy, I know. Dallas was upset at home last week. Williamsport was upset on the road. The two teams will reverse fortunes – sort of. Look for the Mounts to upset the Millionaires on the road. Mountaineers say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Dallas 17, Williamsport 16

 

Time to settle all Family business (38-14)

Berwick over Tunkhannock

Wallenpaupack over Scranton

Old Forge over Hanover Area

Valley View over Crestwood

Mid Valley over Riverside

Trail over Montrose

Dunmore over Carbondale

Holy Cross over Susquehanna

Lake-Lehman over Holy Redeemer

Prep over West Scranton

 

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

 

There was a shakeup in the Big Six as the WVC teams turned the football world upside down in Week 5. Only No. 1 Valley View remained in their previous position. Previous No. 2 Williamsport dropped to No. 5 after a loss to new No. 4 Berwick; and No. 3 Dallas dropped out after a loss to new No. 2 Hazleton Area. Delaware Valley moved up to No. 3 and North Pocono entered the poll at No. 6 after a win over Wallenpaupack.

 

In the Small-Six, every team posted a victory, so everything remains the same.

 

Here is this week’s Pick-Six….

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Valley View (5-0) 1
  2. Hazleton Area (3-2) 5
  3. Delaware Valley (2-3) 6
  4. Berwick (2-3) NR
  5. Williamsport (3-2) 2
  6. North Pocono (4-1) NR

*Missed it by that much…. Dallas (2-2)

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

*Missed it by that much…. Western Wayne (2-3)