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This week's picks: Can the Tribe rebound against Alcoa?

Carmen Musick • Oct 31, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Each week, members of our sports staff at the Times News and Johnson City Press test their powers of prognostication with "this week's football picks."

In Kingsport, our team is at odds over the outcomes of 10 games this week — including six in the high school ranks. 

But before we break that down, let’s take a look at where everyone stands.

WHERE THEY STAND

Boy, those upsets sure did a number on our crew last week. Three of our guys — leader Doug Fritz, Tanner Cook and Kevin Mays — finished 11-7 on the week, while the others went 10-8 on the Kingsport side of things. Fritz (11-7, 134-43) holds a two-game lead over sports director Joe Avento (10-8, 132-45) as we enter the final week of regular season action in Tennessee high school football. Cook (11-7, 129-48) and Birchfield (10-8, 129-48) sit tied for third, while Mays (11-7, 126-51) is in last place.

In Johnson City, no one on the panel managed a winning a record. Fritz (5-6, 96-38) did manage to stay one game ahead of Jamie Combs (5-6, 95-39), who tags in on the Johnson City side of the ball to pick the all Tennessee slate of high school games in Mays’ place. Birchfield (4-7, 94-40) is still in third place, while Avento (5-6, 93-41) and Cook (5-6, 91-43) are bringing up the rear here in the final week of regular season action in Tennessee.

ALL ABOARD

In Kingsport, where our crew tackles a slate of high school games in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia along with a few college games and the NFL Titans, our guys are on the same page with just nine games this week.

🏈 HIGH SCHOOL: All five panelists are picking David Crockett over Morristown East, Tennessee High over Sullivan South, Elizabethton over Sullivan Central, Greeneville over Sullivan East, Union over Abingdon, J.I. Burton over Rye Cove and Thomas Walker over Twin Springs.

🏈 COLLEGE: All five pickers on the Kingsport panel also predict: Tennessee beats UAB and Notre Dame beats the Hokies.

LONE WOLF PICKS

Eight lone wolf picks bear mention.

🏈 MOBUCK FOR MAYS: Mays is going solo and placing his faith in Cherokee to stop Boone’s momentum. Our panel: Boone, 4-1.

🏈 RUFFLING FEATHERS: This time, it’s Birchfield stepping out on his own to ruffle some Falcon feathers by picking Cocke County to beat Volunteer. Our panel: Volunteer, 4-1.

🏈 A HIGHLANDER AMONG US: 2A Sullivan North meets 1A Cloudland to wrap up the regular season and Cook believes Cloudland wins a close one. Our panel: Sullivan North, 4-1.

🏈 DANCING WITH THE DEVILS: Cook is also dancing with Gate City’s Blue Devils who are hosting Wise Central Friday night at Legion Field. Our panel: Central, 4-1.

🏈BUYING LOCAL: As if two lone wolf picks in the high school ranks weren’t enough, Cook is doubling down on local college games. He’s picking both the Bucs to beat The Citadel and UVa-Wise to beat Limestone. Our panel: The Citadel, 4-1; Limestone, 4-1.

🏈CAROLINA ON HIS MIND: Well, Birchfield is staying true Carolina blue this weekend as the lone panelist who thinks the Tar Heels can upend Virginia. Our panel: Cavs, 4-1.

🏈BACK TO TENNESSEE: Birchfield’s love affair with Carolina ends Saturday. On Sunday, he’s back in a Tennessee state of mind with his lone vote for the Titans. Our panel: Panthers, 4-1.

THE 3-2 SPLIT

🏈 TROUBLE FOR THE TRIBE: Dobyns-Bennett hits the road to face Alcoa, and only Birchfield and Mays believe the Indians will return with the victory. Our panel: Alcoa, 3-2.

🏈 SPARTANS FOR A DAY: Across the state line in Virginia, Birchfield and Mays are again going against the grain. This time, it’s Eastside they’re banking on to beat Holston. Our panel: Holston, 3-2.

Check out this week’s football picks every week in the Thursday papers ~ both Kingsport Times News and Johnson City Press ~ and share your thoughts about them in social media where you can find us @tnsportslive. Be sure to give us a follow for all the latest sports coverage throughout the year, and join us every Sports Live Friday Night for scoring updates, game coverage, photo galleries and more.

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