Turn to The Birdie for all your landscaping needs … and for Westmoreland County Week 1 picks


Wednesday, August 30, 2023 | 7:08 PM

Last week: 7-4 (63.6%)

After one week of high school football action, the Birdie is surveying the lay of the land.

Who’s for real?

Who is a sleeper?

Who is a dented can?

“Lay of the land?” he said, smirking. “I can tell you somebody needs to cut the grass at Derry’s Trojan Stadium. You can lose a Cabbage Patch Doll in there.

“Latrobe needs some bug spray, sheesh. I got swarmed and those gnats picked me up and carried me off to Jennerstown.

“Why is North Huntingdon so obsessed with car washes? Does it go with the throng of car dealerships?

“And Mt. Pleasant, what is it with you and these traffic circles? Round and round we go, where to get off, nobody knows.”

No, Birdie. It’s the football landscape we’re talking about here.

“I knew that,” Birdie said. “Although, I do like these painted parking spots. Some don’t know I am a fine art aficionado. Abstract kind. Maybe someone can paint a Birdie in one of the spots. Front row, of course.”

The Birdie was impressed with a few teams in Week Zero. One was Hempfield.

“That scoreboard was so bright, I needed my Ray-Bans,” he said. “That JumboTron is big and bold. Electric, and a jolt to the atmosphere — like me at a party.”

He also liked what he saw from Latrobe, Southmoreland, Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette.

The pompous peacock also thinks Norwin is improved.

“We have some efficient quarterbacks around here,” Birdie said. “But don’t sell short those kickers. They’re people too.

“I am concerned about some of these teams with such low roster numbers. There is no class below A.”

Now for his Week 1 guesses — err, predictions.

Belle Vernon (0-0) at Laurel Highlands (1-0): The Leopards used a second scrimmage to get things just right. Think Slash tuning his electric guitar. “The Guns N’ Roses guy, not Kordell Stewart,” Birdie said. “Here come the Mighty Leps.” Belle Vernon, 34-7

Bishop Canevin (0-0) at Greensburg Central Catholic (1-0): GCC has some playmakers, but not as many at the Crusaders, who are a WPIAL title contender. Bishop Canevin, 42-21

Franklin Regional (0-1) at Latrobe (1-0): These teams tend to play thrillers, and there is no reason to believe this matchup won’t follow suit. Latrobe, 30-28

Greensburg Salem (0-1) at Derry (0-1): Coach Ty George will get his first win as the Golden Lions’ top man, but the Trojans won’t make it easy. Greensburg Salem, 19-14

Hempfield (1-0) at Connellsville (1-0): Another 2-0 start for Hempfield? Yes. Watch the defense make some key stops late. The schedule will get tougher from here, though. Hempfield, 24-21

Jeannette (1-0) at East Allegheny (0-1): Not only does East Allegheny have speed and experience, but it also has confidence and better numbers. It will hold off the slim-rostered Jayhawks. East Allegheny, 28-12

Monessen (0-1) at Cornell (1-0): The big-play Greyhounds will get off to a fast start on the road. Monessen, 29-16

Mt. Pleasant (0-1) at Yough (0-1): Ground-and-pound makes its way to Cougar Mountain, where the Vikings will make it a steep climb for Yough. Mt. Pleasant, 28-7

Penn Hills (1-0) at Norwin (0-1): Norwin saw some good quarterbacks playing in 6A, but this might be the best they’ve seen in 5A. Penn Hills, 42-14

Penn-Trafford (0-1) at McKeesport (1-0): Like a couple of alley cats out for some late-night hijinks, these teams always scrap it up. You can hear the pads cracking already. McKeesport, 19-7

Southmoreland (1-0) at Ligonier Valley (1-0): The air raid offense of Southmoreland meets the wing-T of Ligonier Valley. Whoever runs for more yards wins. Southmoreland, 28-13

Tags: Belle Vernon, Bishop Canevin, Connellsville, Cornell, Derry Area, Franklin Regional, Greensburg C.C., Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Jeannette, Latrobe, Laurel Highlands, Ligonier Valley, McKeesport, Monessen, Mt. Pleasant, Norwin, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland, Yough

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