Editor's Note: The Globe's Michael Grossi and Mike Carraggi predict the outcomes of the week's biggest games. Think you can do better? Drop your thoughts into our comment box.
Falmouth at Plymouth North
Grossi - While Plymouth North has played inspired football, Falmouth ís offense is more diverse and that will be the key in the end. Pick: Falmouth
Carraggi - A Falmouth win wouldnít cement an Atlantic Coast League title down in Division 2A ó not with dates remaining against Dennis-Yarmouth and a resilient Marshfield team ó but would make the Clippers the undisputed favorites to win the crown if they arenít already. Both teams seem to have something special this year, but Falmouthís offense five it the edge in this game of the week. Pick: Falmouth
Rockland at Abington
Grossi - Both of these teams have nearly identical stats. They each give up about 8 points per game and scored nearly 30 points per game. I got to give the edge to the home team. Pick: Abington
Carraggi - Why canít that Tri-Valley league playoff system be implemented in the South Shore League? Is it too late? Abingtonís Jim Kelliher knows how to coach a winning team, but Rocklandís win over Cohasset was too gutty for me to discount. Pick: Rockland
Dracut at Chelmsford
Grossi - Dracut is on a roll right now. Matt Silva is playing like he did last year and looks unstoppable. Chelmsford has a good defense but with a banged up Joe Gennaro, the Lions could falter. Pick: Dracut
Carraggi - Dracut needs this win to keep within striking distance of a Methuen team on a mission. Chelmsford throttled Andover to bounce back from a whipping at the hands of Methuen. This is going to be a tight one, but the unheralded A.J. Rotella at quarterback will need to match Dracutís Matt Silva play for play to pull it out. Fortunately for the Lions, he will. Pick: Chelmsford
Holliston at Norton
Grossi - Despite Nortonís great defense and ball control offense, I just have a feeling that Holliston wants to show the rest of the Tri-Valley League that its loss was a fluke. Pick: Holliston
Carraggi - This is the most intriguing contest of the weekend, and one that has serious playoff implications. A Norton win should cement a postseason berth (but not the Tri-Valley League title...which makes sense?), while the entire league is pulling for Holliston to keep the Lancers from breaking away. In the end, the Panthersí high-flyers will keep Nortonís run game grounded. Pick: Holliston
East Boston at Brighton
Grossi - This is a match-up between two of Boston ís best teams. Both teams made the playoffs last season and are poised for another run this season. Eastie has played some tougher competition so far and I think that preparation will help them. Pick: East Boston
Carraggi - Anyone who wants to see this matchup that shows what city football is about can watch it at Harvard Stadium Friday afternoon, a fitting site for a great game. Eastie is coming off a loss to Blue Hills and will be oozing with motivation, while Brighton is riding a five-game win streak thanks to its defense and Andrew Maestreís scoring touch. Pick: Brighton
Needham at Walpole
Grossi - Walpole is quietly playing lights out on both sides of the ball. The Rebels are sort of being over looked as one of the top teams in the state because the Bay State Conference is down this season. Walpole will use this game to show people what it is capable of. Pick: Walpole
Carraggi - Needhamís only loss has been to first-place Weymouth, and they followed it up by shutting out Natick and Brookline. Needham must be thirsting for another shot at such a quality opponent, but not more than Walpole is. The Rebels have not met a team yet that they havenít dominated. Pick: Walpole
Everett at BC High
Grossi - Everett is one of the most complete teams in the state. The Crimson Tide can run, pass and play stellar defense. They have no business losing this game. Pick: Everett
Carraggi - Iím the furthest thing from a supporter of home-field advantage in high school football, but if a team could stack one end of its schedule with home dates, it would be the last half of the season when all the conference foes are on the slate. It wonít be enough to upset a streaking Everett team, however. Pick: Everett (27-14, in my ĎĎIím going to be thereíí pick of the week)
Cardinal Spellman at St. Maryís
Grossi - Neither team has really played a quality squad yet, so this game should be telling. Cardinal Spellmanís first team defense hasnít allowed a point this season. St. Maryís has a plethora of offensive weapons. One of the Spartansí weapons will break loose in this game and lead them to victory. Pick: St. Maryís
Carraggi - Only one Catholic Conference Large game has been played, but one glance through the league suggests that this game could decide who represents the CCL in the playoffs. Since Brockton plays Durfee this week, the Boxers wonít mind lending a couple players to their neighbors for the big game. Pick: Cardinal Spellman
Rivers at Milton Academy
Grossi - Cousins Ben Patrick and Taariq Allen form a potent offensive duo. The two will lead the Red Wings to another victory. Pick: Rivers
Carraggi - Itís Rivers, not Lawrence Academy, who has put up the most points in the ISL to date. That is, until the complaints start rolling in from opposing teams. Pick: Rivers
Xaverian at Bridgewater-Raynham
Grossi - Last year, the game between these two was a classic. Look for Xaverian to pound the ball and get back on the winning track. Pick: Xaverian
Carraggi - If Xaverian loses this game, a very real possibility after that tough Everett letdown, then St. Johnís Prep and Catholic Memorial both have a right to get real giddy about the Catholic Conference title. But this is a worse Trojan team than the squad that took Xaverian to the brink last year. Pick: Xaverian
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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