The guest picker this week is Brandon Wright, a four-year veteran of the Hillsborough County prep scene, who has been a victim of messed up schedules.
On three occasions, Wright has gone to cover games only to have them be located elsewhere. Wright blamed Times Tampa sports editor Scott Purks, but Purks claims he gets the schedules from the county and the private schools. How was he supposed to know they were wrong? Anyway, the correspondents have an 83-21 record picking games this season, two ahead of Purks and 11 ahead of Niebuhr. Will Wright be at the right place at the right time this week?
Berkeley Prep (6-0) at Keswick Christian (3-2)
LAST MEETING: Berkeley 44, Keswick 27 (2003)
THE SKINNY: The only thing that's going to stop Berkeley Prep is a hurricane. A quick glimpse at the tropics, however, shows Keswick is in for a bit of trouble tonight.
THE SKINNY: 3-3 may not look tremendous, but consider: During the past 11 years, Plant has won no more than five games in any season. A win tonight puts the new coaching staff on track for a bright future.
Purks: Plant Niebuhr: Plant Wright: Plant
Middleton (5-1) at Armwood (6-0)
LAST MEETING: Armwood 66, Middleton 7 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Middleton is good and should take second in Class 4A, District 10. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Armwood will show tonight why it will be first.
Purks: Armwood Niebuhr: Armwood Wright: Armwood
Blake (1-6) at Leto (1-5)
LAST MEETING: Blake 21, Leto 8 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Something you won't find in any other newspaper today: A 1,200 pound horse will eat seven times its own weight each year. That's 8,400 pounds or, roughly, the combined weight of both teams. That's a lot of oats.
Purks: Blake Niebuhr: Leto Wright: Leto
Lakeland (7-0) at Bloomingdale (2-4)
LAST MEETING: Bloomingdale 24, Lakeland 14 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Nothing personal, but here's betting Bloomingdale doesn't beat Lakeland for the second year in a row.
THE SKINNY: We've noticed the large number of cows out Plant City way, which brings us to this: The average cow produces 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime. Gives you something to talk about during halftime.
Purks: Durant Niebuhr: Durant Wright: Plant City
Jesuit (5-1) at Freedom (2-4)
LAST MEETING: Jesuit 35, Freedom 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: This just in: The Tigers are good. This just out: Freedom's chances at the postseason.
Purks: Jesuit Niebuhr: Jesuit Wright: Jesuit
Sickles (3-3) at Hillsborough (6-0)
LAST MEETING: Hillsborough 27, Sickles 0 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Hillsborough's preordained trip to the postseason doesn't take any detours here.
THE SKINNY: Don't let the records fool you; this will be a tougher game than your typical 5-2 vs. 2-4 affair. Unless Jefferson plays up to its abilities. Then it won't even be close.
Purks: Jefferson Niebuhr: Jefferson Wright: Jefferson
Sarasota Riverview (4-2) at Riverview (3-3)
LAST MEETING: Sara. Riverview 27,
Riverview 19 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Pick Riverview. Ha ha ha! The joke that only gets dumber every year. Purks: Riverview Niebuhr: Riverview Wright: Sar. Riverview
Tampa Catholic (0-6) at Santa Fe Catholic (1-5)
LAST MEETING: TC 27, Santa Fe 7 (2003)
THE SKINNY: In 1999 the state of Florida averaged 280.2 people per square mile. You can bet almost that many will be at this game.
Purks: Santa Fe Niebuhr: Santa Fe Wright: Tampa Catholic
Newsome (3-3) at Robinson (5-2)
LAST MEETING: Robinson 63, Newsome 7 (2003)
THE SKINNY: It's Homecoming at Robinson. That makes it only fitting that we mention that a chameleon's tongue is twice as long as its body. And it can moves its eyes two directions at once. Oh, to be a chameleon ...