Strange times in Oakland County this week.
With one Oakland Activities Association school dropping football, that leaves a hole in the schedule for many area teams this season. Bloomfield Hills Andover, one year before its merger with Bloomfield Hills Lahser, dropped its program Tuesday due to low numbers.
The 0-3 Barons started with 28 players, shot up to 30 and then were down to only 11 dressed players at practice on Tuesday. The program is finished.
Now, about the rest of the pack that is still going strong. There are a lot of big games slated for Week 4. This is about the time of season where the contenders start to separate from the pretenders.
If you are not doing anything Friday, you’ll find some entertainment under some Friay Night Lights.
And for a quick public service announcement, coaches staffs are reminded to report scores by midnight on game nights. They can do so by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the nightline at (248) 812-1053 or contact Senior Editor Dan Stickradt direct.
Now, onto the picks.
(Last week 10-3, .769 PCT.; Season, 29-11, .729 PCT.)
ANN ARBOR GABRIEL RICHARD AT PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP (7 p.m.): The winner of this game will likely win the CHSL-AA Division regular season crown. Gabriel Richard returns more players than Prep, but the host Irish have proven that this is not a rebuilding year. Make it 17 straight regular season wins for NDP.
PICK: Pontiac Notre Dame Prep by 7.
ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK AT LAKE ORION (7 p.m.): Stoney Creek is very much on the rebound after a pair of tough seasons. Lake Orion is Lake Orion, one of the best in Oakland County once again. Stoney Creek will put up a fight, but won’t have enough speed to burn the Dragons.
PICK: Lake Orion by 10.
WEST BLOOMFIELD AT ROCHESTER (7 p.m.): Rochester is the third best team in the OAA Red Division this season behind Clarkston and Lake Orion. A winless team won’t change that fact.
PICK: Rochester by 21.
CLARKSTON AT TROY ATHENS (7 p.m.): Clarkston will play Lake Orion for the OAA Red Division title in Week 8. Athens will continue to suffer its rebuilding season.
PICK: Clarkston by 14.
PONTIAC AT TROY (7 p.m.): Even with all of its injuries, Troy is still a quality team that could still make the playoffs. Wondering if “The Stampede” in the stands will become the 12th man for the Colts?
PICK: Troy by 14.
SOUTHFIELD LATHRUP AT ROCHESTER ADAMS (1 p.m.): Strange to see Adams at 0-3 right now. Another 0-3 squad will be just what the doctor ordered for the Highlanders. Brownstown, be prepared to get back in the game.
PICK: Rochester Adams by 10.
FENTON AT ORTONVILLE BRANDON (1 p.m.): The Tigers will prey on the Blackhawks.
PICK: Fenton by 10.
CLIO AT HOLLY (7 p.m.): After winning its first league title in 59 years last October, nobody envisioned a 0-3 start by Holly. It’s too bad there won’t be another banner raising this winter, but there will be some celebrating along the CN And CSX railways Friday night. Who’s up for some Red Devil pizza?
PICK: Holly by 21.
OXFORD AT FARMINGTON (7 p.m.): Oxford is a lot better than what originally predicted, knocking off Farmington Harrison last week validated that. The Wildcats will knock off an undefeated this week.
PICK: Oxford by 7 in overtime.
ROCHESTER HILLS LUTHERAN NORTHWEST AT LIVONIA CLARENCEVILLE (7 p.m.): How many football and basketball career records will Nathan Drews own at the end of this school record?
PICK: Lutheran Northwest by 7.
INKSTER AT AUBRUN HILLS AVONDALE (7 p.m.): Avondale will finish the regular season unbeaten. You read that prediction here first.
PICK: Auburn Hills Avondale by 14.
AUBURN HILLS OAKLAND CHRISTIAN AT MAYVILLE (7 p.m.): The trek up to Thumb Country will prove to be worth the trip.
PICK: Oakland Christian by 7.
ROYAL OAK SHRINE CATHOLIC AT WATERFORD OUR LADY OF THE LAKES (1 p.m.): This game has classic written all over it, as both teams are 3-0 and among the best teams in the CHSL-Intersectional Division. Toss a coin on this one.
PICK: WOLL by 3.
TROY CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP DEFENDERS AT HOWELL LIVINGSTON COUNTY FLAMES (1 p.m. at TBA): Not really sure what the story is with the Christian Football League of Michigan, or Christian Football League of America, whatever this league calls itself these days. The website has been down and no regular schedule has been issued to the media for a league now with 16 teams. We do know that Troy is talented and the Defenders will roll Saturday.
PICK: Troy Defenders by 14.
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