The correspondents are leading the staffers with a 53-12 record, two ahead of Times staff writer Scott Purks. But it's a long season and it might be a little too soon to start talking trash. The guest correspondent picker this week is David Norrie, a personal trainer who is probably the most physically fit correspondent in the history of sports writers. Fit is one thing, picking games is another. Okay, Mr. Norrie, the pressure is on. You don't want to let your fellow correspondents down.
All games at 7:30 unless noted.Gulf (0-4) at Tampa Catholic (0-4)
LAST MEETING: Gulf 17, TC 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Quick facts: Tampa Catholic has scored 18 points this year, Gulf 53. Of course Gulf scored its points in Pasco County. Using the typical Hillsborough/Pasco Football Conversion chart, 53 Pasco points actually translates to four in Hillsborough County. TC might avenge last year's loss.
Purks: Gulf Niebuhr: Tampa Catholic Norrie: GulfAlonso (0-4) at Robinson (3-1)
LAST MEETING: Robinson 10, Alonso 7 (2003)
THE SKINNY: A month ago this looked like it could be a good game. That was a month ago. Things change. Knights roll.
Purks: Robinson Niebuhr: Robinson Norrie: RobinsonArmwood (4-0) at King (1-3)
LAST MEETING: Armwood 64, King 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Another week, another chance for Armwood to score 75 points. Ho hum.
Purks: Armwood Niebuhr: Armwood Norrie: ArmwoodCoral Springs Charter (0-3) at Berkeley Prep (4-0)
LAST MEETING: None
THE SKINNY: Berkeley Prep is averaging 33.75 points per game this season. Coral Springs Charter can do nothing to keep that average down. Unless they forfeit, maybe.
Purks: Berkeley Prep Niebuhr: Berkeley Prep Norrie: Berkeley PrepBlake (1-4) at Gaither (2-2)
LAST MEETING: Blake 19, Gaither 3 (2003)
THE SKINNY: When Blake beat Gaither last year it was the Yellow Jackets' first win of the season. Then they went on a three-game win streak. Just thought you'd like to know.
Purks: Gaither Niebuhr: Gaither Norrie: GaitherEast Bay (3-1) at Bloomingdale (1-3)
LAST MEETING: East Bay 35, Bloomingdale 16 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Formidable, in the case of this game, has two meanings. A) East Bay's team. B) The task Bloomingdale is up against tonight.
Purks: East Bay Niebuhr: East Bay Norrie: East BayBrandon (2-2) at Plant City (3-1)
LAST MEETING: PC 31, Brandon 17 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Could be the Sleeper Game of the Night. Could also just be a sleeper. Depends on which Brandon squad shows up.
Purks: Brandon Niebuhr: Brandon Norrie: Plant CityTampa Bay Tech (2-2) at Chamberlain (1-3)
LAST MEETING: Chamberlain 21, TBT 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Can the Chiefs get back on track? Actually, the question is, how can they not?
Purks: Chamberlain Niebuhr: Chamberlain Norrie: ChamberlainWharton (2-2) at Durant (3-1)
LAST MEETING: Durant 30, Wharton 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Wildcats and Cougars! No, not the mascots. We're talking about what you might see cross the road on the drive out to Durant.
Purks: Durant Niebuhr: Durant Norrie: DurantLeto (0-4) at Freedom (1-3)
LAST MEETING: Freedom 13, Leto 12 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Advance ticket sales are down but officials are anticipating a huge walk-up crowd.
Purks: Leto Niebuhr: Freedom Norrie: FreedomSarasota Riverview (3-1) at Hillsborough (4-0)
LAST MEETING: Riverview 16, Hillsborough 6 (2003)
THE SKINNY: This is Hillsborough's first true test. A win tonight will open a lot of eyes statewide.
Purks: Hillsborough Niebuhr: Hillsborough Norrie: HillsboroughPlant (2-2) at Jefferson (3-2)
LAST MEETING: Jefferson 46, Plant 14 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Blame it on acid rain or the funky weather but there are some around town who think Plant might win tonight. Oh, maybe it's the fact the Panthers have been playing some darned good football lately. Don't count them out.
Purks: Jefferson Niebuhr: Jefferson Norrie: JeffersonSickles (2-2) at Middleton (3-1)
LAST MEETING: Middleton 25, Sickles 23 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Having seen what Middleton's done this season, are you ready to pick against them yet? Didn't think so.
Purks: Middleton Niebuhr: Middleton Norrie: MiddletonNorth Port (1-3) at Newsome (2-2)
LAST MEETING: North Port 53, Newsome 32 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Okay, so Newsome lost last year. That just means this year's win will be that much sweeter.
Purks: Newsome Niebuhr: Newsome Norrie: North PortTemple Heights (0-4) at Providence Christian (1-0)
LAST MEETING: Temple Hts 20, Providence 7 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Providence Christian is 1-0 by virtue of a 25-18 win over Potters House Christian Academy from Jacksonville. Uh, okay. Temple Heights should be able to get its ship righted tonight.
Purks: Temple Heights Niebuhr: Providence Christian Norrie: Temple HeightsCambridge (3-2) at Keswick Christian (2-2)
LAST MEETING: None
THE SKINNY: Granted, Keswick isn't exactly Potters House Christian Academy but ... Cambridge should still fare pretty well.
Purks: Cambridge Niebuhr: Cambridge Norrie: Keswick ChristianSt. Petersburg Catholic (3-0) at Jesuit (3-1)
LAST MEETING: Jesuit 37, SPC 21 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Even when Jesuit is having an off year (read: last season) it can beat the Barons. That doesn't bode well for SPC tonight.
Purks: Jesuit Niebuhr: Jesuit Norrie: JesuitLakeland (5-0) at Riverview (2-2)
LAST MEETING: Lakeland 29, Riverview 9 (2003)
THE SKINNY: All you need to know about this game: Lakeland has not scored fewer than 42 points in any of its five games and has not allowed more than 16.
Purks: Lakeland Niebuhr: Lakeland Norrie: Lakeland