Pullout a coin ... Flipping out to pick winners

August 31, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

He made his grand entrance in solemnity.

Unannounced, he thundered into The Herald-Mail sports department one day late last week.

He was in search of advance information we have prepared for Thursday's special football section. He sought out our high school stories and the wire stories on college and professional teams.

After all, another pigskin season is in front of us and that means it's another season for Big Sydney.

Yes, that loveable, Fred Flinstone-type that has appeared in our pages each week for ages with his witty prognostications is back again.

It's amazing what his record usually is at the end of the year - something over .700 or so - considering we really don't know how Big Sydney qualifies as a prognosticator.


At any rate, Big Sydney is ready for another football season.

The Fearless Forecasters will debut Thursday and I challenge each, including myself, to top Big Sydney's percentage at year's end.

That brings us to the action on the field and several questions that immediately come to mind.

Will North Hagerstown's "new breed of football player" work off its success from 2003 and contend for postseason playoffs once again with a studded defensive unit?

Will Nate Sowers, without Brandon Barrett, be the sole force behind Martinsburg rumbling through to the state playoffs?

Will Frederick, with 18 returning starters, be the top gun out of Frederick County and challenge Linganore and Urbana in the MVAL Chesapeake Conference?

Will Middletown, after an uncharacteristic season in 2003, return to form and challenge Walkersville in the MVAL Piedmont Conference?

Will St. John's at Prospect Hall's Keith Ricca set new single-season passing records on top of his 2003 records, thus attaining several career records in Maryland?

Will one of the Pennsylvania teams we cover emerge with a .500-or-better record?

When will Clear Spring and Tuscarora each win their first varsity football games?

Just a few of the questions over the course of time and we'll be here to give you the answers as they unravel.

As a fan make sure you get out and support these achievers of the gridiron. Where else can you get a football fix for $5 a game?

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311 or by e-mail at

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