I am going to keep this short and sweet for reasons that will soon become clear.
First order of business: We will have a contest this year. Second order of business: We will not begin to tally and post the weekly and overall results until Week 3.
If you want to participate in the contest, post your picks for the Top 10 games below in the comments. Please use a unique username and remember it so you can use it each week. That is how I will tally the results throughout the season.
Also, if you miss a week, you can continue to participate, but you will get no credit for the week you missed.
OK, now with the parameters behind us, let’s turn our attention to who will (maybe, possibly) win this week.
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Ossining vs. Sleepy Hollow
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Ossining High School
Key players: Ossining – Shea Holebrook (6-4, 190), Sr., WR/DB; Damani Harrison (6-0, 213), Jr., RB/DL; Blake Hoyt (5-11, 200), Sr., RB/LB. Sleepy Hollow – Daniel Chevere (6-3, 195), Sr., WR/CB; Joey Good (5-10, 160), Sr., QB/DB; Peter Jelenek (6-3, 202), Sr., TE/DE.
Outlook: This is the 41st meeting between the longtime rivals. Sleepy Hollow leads the series 20-18-2 after last year’s thrilling 41-32 win, a game highlighted by QB Devin Lopez returning from a shoulder injury to throw for 334 yards, rush for 169, and account for six touchdowns. The 73 points combined shattered the rivalry’s previous high-point total of 57, which came during Ossining’s 41-16 win in 1984. Sleepy has now won two straight on the heels of a nine-game Ossining winning streak. Sophomore running back Jonathan Gomez will make his much anticipated debut for the Headless Horsemen opposite Holebrook, a Division I recruit at wide receiver.
Prediction: Sleepy Hollow 34, Ossining 28
Iona Prep vs. Newburgh
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Iona Prep
Key players: Iona Prep – Qaadir Sheppard (6-4, 239), Sr., TE/DE; Brian Thompson (6-3, 195), Sr., WR/CB; Stephon Smith (5-9, 180), Sr., RB. Newburgh – Anthony Dubose (6-0, 200), Sr., RB; Tyler Gonzalez (6-5, 287), Sr., OL/DL; Aaron Forbes (5-10, 205), Sr., RB/DB.
Outlook: Few teams at such a high level ever return as much talent as Iona Prep. The list of returnees is headlined by Sheppard, the area’s top recruit, but it is long and crowded. When healthy, the Gaels could be one of the state’s best teams, but their starting QB Robert Madison is expected to miss Week 1 as he recovers from a broken leg. Newburgh, which begins the season as the No. 1-ranked team in Section 9, returns plenty of talent as well, including Dubose, who has an offer from Syracuse. Expect Dubose and the Goldbacks to be a formidable non-league challenge for Iona Prep.
Prediction: Newburgh 20, Iona Prep 17
THE ELITE EIGHT
Harrison 27, Panas 6. New coach Dom Zanot wins his debut.
White Plains 14, Clarkstown South 10. A fresh start for the rebuilt defending champ is a victorious one.
Somers 42, Tappan Zee 13. For a TZ team in rebuilding mode, this is not a kind opener.
New Rochelle 28, Clarkstown North 7. If New Ro opens up strong, watch out. The Huguenots usually take time to gain steam.
Scarsdale 28, Horace Greeley 14. A win here, and the Raiders could be off and running. Literally. They are extremely athletic.
North Rockland 21, Carmel 7. The Red Raiders will begin to break in a host of new offensive weapons.
Pleasantville 13, Irvington 7. Irvington has caused some buzz. If Pleasantville wants to begin its title defense strong, it can’t sleep here.
John Jay 48, Spring Valley 26. It could be that kind of game. Spring Valley is young and might have trouble slowing down one of the section’s most high-powered offenses.
Gorton 27, Lincoln 12
John Jay-East Fishkill 21, Arlington 13
Mahopac 14, Fox Lane 7
Ramapo 26, Mount Vernon 7
Yorktown 28, Eastchester 13
Rye 34, Lakeland 13
Pelham 13, Hen Hud 6
Nyack 33, Byram Hills 14
Putnam Valley 22, Albertus Magnus 19
Ketcham 20, Mamaroneck 14
Suffern 21, Port Chester 6
Brewster 28, Pearl River 14
Our Lady of Lourdes 14, Nanuet 6
Westlake 27, Hastings 8
Ardsley 34, Edgemont 21
Bronxville 14, Blind Brook 7
Dobbs Ferry 32, Yonkers Montessori 16
Tuckahoe 26, Valhalla 6
Palisade Prep 12, Peekskill 6
Roosevelt 20, Yonkers 0
Saunders 22, Riverside 13
Rye Neck 40, Haldane 14
Croton-Harmon 22, Briarcliff/Hamilton 10
Hackley 27, Chester 20
Stepinac 42, Mansfield (Mass.) 14