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.
Walpole at Natick
Grossi - Walpole and Natick always seem to duke it out for the Bay State Herget title. However, this year is a transitional one for Natick while Walpole looks to be a top team in Eastern Mass. The Rebels' stout defense and balanced offense will be too much in this game. Pick: Walpole
Carraggi - With Walpole on the brink of clinching the Bay State Herget, Natick doesn't have much left to play for. But after Natick gave Weymouth a tough fight behind freshman quarterback Troy (I'll let you guess his last name), the Red and Blue will be the first team to topple the Rebels. Pick: Natick
South Boston at Madison Park
Grossi - The winner of this game gets a leg up in the race for the Boston North title. I think Madison Park's explosive offense will take over in this game. Pick: Madison Park
Carraggi - My city picks have been a train wreck this year and I apologize to Southie in advance for picking them. Both teams can score and play defense – it could go either way. Pick: South Boston
Weston at Concord-Carlisle
Grossi - Weston is 7-0 and has a defense that is as stingy as they come. Concord-Carlisle is an experienced team that has some big wins under its belt already. I smell and upset in this one. Pick: Concord-Carlisle
Carraggi - Concord-Carlisle has only lost to Lexington and Acton-Boxboro – both on the road, for what it's worth – and has rolled since then. Weston will be facing its most talented opponent thus far. Pick: Concord-Carlisle
Mansfield at North Attleboro
Grossi - The two teams have combined to win or share the Hockomock League title 15 of the last 17 years. Both teams play stout defense and can rack up the points. After losing to the Red Rocketeers last year, I think Mansfield will be on a mission and take home a W in this one. Pick: Mansfield
Carraggi - A North Attleboro win keeps King Philip in what would be a three-way race. Mansfield has an overwhelming amount of options, but North Attleboro hasn't allowed anything more than a touchdown all season. I believe the phrase is “something has to give.” Pick: North Attleboro
Burlington at Reading
Grossi - This game is Reading’s first hurdle in trying to get back to the playoffs. Burlington has two excellent running backs in Marcus Odiah and Kyle Shields that could create problems, but the I think the Rockets’ interior defense does enough to slow down the duo and pull out a win. Pick: Reading
Carraggi - Think John Fiore has enough bulletin board material for his Rockets this week? Media types like yours truly and others have not been shy about questioning how legit Reading is in light of a miserable Middlesex League schedule. Not only is postseason trip within grasp, but Reading is going to be eager to prove its worth. Pick: Reading
Gloucester at Lynn English
Grossi - Gloucester got back on track offensively last week. The Fishermen face a tough test in Lynn English but I think their defense rises to the challenge and their offense keeps rolling along. Pick Gloucester
Carraggi - They are just tuneups now until next year's playoff date with Everett. Pick: Gloucester
Silver Lake at Duxbury
Grossi - If you didn’t know, Duxbury can bring home a Patriot Keenan title with a win and a Hingham loss this week. I think the Green Dragons take care of their part in a game that is closer expected. Pick: Duxbury
Carraggi - Duxbury hasn't been in a close one since late September, so how will the Dragons react when Silver Lake gives them a serious push? With a win, of course. Pick: Duxbury
Brockton at Leominster
Grossi - Brockton keeps on chugging along despite not looking as dominant as some thought. I think the Boxers start to play better this week as the playoffs are right around the corner. Pick: Brockton
Carraggi - This will be a good game to gauge the Boxers' focus with. With their playoff birthright almost cemented, will Brockton give its all against a tough Leominster team on the road? Pick: Brockton
Catholic Memorial at St. John’s Prep
Grossi - In its first Catholic Conference game of the year, St. John's Prep plays host to the talented offense of Catholic Memorial. The Eagles have a strong rushing attack and run defense is the Achilles heal of Catholic Memorial. Pick: St. John's Prep
Carraggi - The loser of this game will need to run the table in the Catholic Conference to still have a chance at the playoffs. Both teams have the talent to get a head start in the conference, but St. John's Prep run game, led by Tyler Coppola, will be the difference. Pick: St John's Prep
Xaverian at St. John’s Shrewsbury
Grossi - Many people look at St. John's Shrewsbury and don't see one of the best teams in the state because they play in Central Mass. A win over Xaverian will prove to the doubters that the Pioneers are for real. Pick: St. John's Shrewsbury
Carraggi - Don't think many are going to have the Hawks cleaning up their mess in Shrewsbury, besides the ol' Carragginator that is. This might not be a league game, but it is extremely important in getting the former No. 1 team with Super Bowl aspirations back on track before a brutal finishing slate. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.