They had a place on the backwater at Weiss Lake, where weekend fishing trips during the summer were the norm. I remember many of those trips like they were yesterday.
My grandparents tried their best to teach my brother Brandon and me everything they knew about fishing – everything from what to bait our lines with to how to cast out into the water.
I never did become as great as they both were at fishing. My line seemed to spend more time in that great big oak tree than it did in the water or caught in some pesky stump, but I always had fun spending time with them on the water.
It’s been a while since I’ve been “fishing.” In fact, I haven’t been without them.
It just hasn’t appealed to me much since my grandparents had gotten up in years and could no longer get around like they once did.
We lost my granddad last February. On Friday morning, he got his fishing partner back when my grandmother joined him in Heaven. I look forward to the day they can teach me how to fish all over again.
Before we get started with this week’s picks, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have expressed condolences and sent prayers to my family. I know they’ve helped keep me strong during this difficult time.
Valley Head (5-3) at Collinsville (7-1): After starting the season at 0-3, the Tigers have won five in a row. During that run, however, the Tigers haven’t faced an offense with the firepower C.J. Jones and company have. I look for the Panthers to roll … Collinsville 35, Valley Head 14.
Hokes Bluff (1-7) at Cherokee County (0-8): Folks keep asking me if I believe Cherokee County is going to get a win this season. Well, this Friday is the Warriors’ last chance.
If there’s a team that can relate to the Warriors’ woes, it’s Hokes Bluff. The Eagles’ lone win of the season came back in Week 5 against Glencoe, and they’re 0-4 on the road.
Here’s thinking Tanner Young throws a late touchdown pass to send the Warriors out as winners … Cherokee County 28, Hokes Bluff 21.
Gaylesville (3-5) at Donoho (4-4): The Trojans’ playoff chances took a hit last week with their loss to Collinsville, but if they can get back on the winning track against Donoho, they’ll still have a pulse.
Gaylesville is catching the Falcons at a good time. After beginning the season at 4-0, Donoho hasn’t tasted a win since. Meanwhile, Gaylesville has won three of its last four, so I’m going with the team that’s had the better streak of late … Gaylesville 26, Donoho 19.
Weaver (4-4) at Piedmont (8-0): Piedmont is primed for the postseason. The Bulldogs have already clinched a playoff berth and another region championship, but don’t expect the Dawgs to rest on their laurels.
There’s still a matter of finishing the regular season undefeated left on the checklist, and I think they’ll keep that unblemished mark intact against Weaver on Friday … Piedmont 42, Weaver 7.
Ider (5-3) at Sand Rock (4-4): Who says the playoffs begin in two weeks? For Sand Rock and Ider, the postseason is now.
This one is pretty much for the fourth playoff ticket from Class 2A, Region 7, as both teams (along with Section) have identical 3-3 records in the region.
Ider has had its share of success against the Wildcats in recent history. The Hornets have won three in a row over them, but I’ve got a feeling that streak will come to an end come Friday night in a close ball game … Sand Rock 28, Ider 27.
Cedar Bluff (7-0) at Spring Garden (7-1): It seems like all the cards are stacked against the Panthers in this one. Cedar Bluff has had two weeks to prepare, since they had a bye last week, and they’ve only lost twice in their history to the Panthers.
But don’t sell Spring Garden short.
They feature one of the best offensive lines in the region and two running backs who’ve rushed for over 1,000 yards this season in Forrest Livingston (1,310 yards) and Tyler Morgan (1,050 yards).
If the Panthers can get the type of production they're accustomed to out of their dynamic duo, this one will go down to the wire. I think they’ll have success, but that extra week Cedar Bluff has had to get some injuries healed and find a chink in the Spring Garden armor are too much for me to ignore … Cedar Bluff 27, Spring Garden 21.