Olympian of football picks makes LT debut | TribLIVE.com
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Back from Beijing after a long flight, The Birdie is ready to begin his debut season in Armstrong County.

“You may think since I’m a bird ‘n at, I flew over to the Olympics,” he said. “But on the contrary, I got on a plane and went first class. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I only deserve the best.”

The Birdie claims his Week 1 picks are also first class.

“I am pumped,” he said. “When I was in Beijing, I tried some new sports. I bounced on a trampoline, played some ping pong and attempted rhythmic gymnastics. But someone told me I have no rhythm, so I just took a dip with Michael Phelps. Nice guy.

“All in all, I had a good trip. But it’s great to be back for a new high school football season.”

The Birdie asked management if he could have an opening ceremony to start the year.

“They told me, no way. That would involve lighting a torch. The last time I played with fire was at Apollo-Ridge, when they set off fireworks after touchdowns. I got too close and singed a wing.”

FRIDAY

Apollo-Ridge at Deer Lakes

Apollo-Ridge is back in Class AA, and it will return in full force against the Lancers in the conference opener.

Apollo-Ridge 27, Deer Lakes 16.

Ford City at Valley

The Birdie can’t wait to run across Valley’s field before the game to test out the new turf. Ford City feels the same way.

Ford City 21, Valley 14.

Kittanning at Freeport

Freeport has a new coach, but Kittanning just keeps plugging along the same way it has for years.

Kittanning 14, Freeport 7.

Burrell at West Shamokin

Tom Henderson isn’t about to lose his home opener in his return debut as Bucs head coach.

Burrell 22, West Shamokin 8.

Leechburg at Jefferson-Morgan

Leechburg is going to a spread offense, but Jefferson-Morgan will be ready defensively.

Jefferson-Morgan 26, Leechburg 17.

Other picks: Karns City 35, Punxsutwaney 7; Redbank Valley 21, Clarion-Limestone 14.

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