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New faces in this year's forecast

By Tommy Keeler Jr. -- tkeeler@nvdaily.com

As I'm sure you've noticed there's a new face in the forecast this week. Charles Pannunzio is filling in, while we continue our search for a sports editor. Pannunzio is the Northern Virginia Daily's assistant managing editor and helps keep our copy clean.

Pannunzio is an avid Capitals fan and also loves minor league baseball. He is also a big Redskins fan, so I'm hoping to gain a few games there. Of course, I'm guaranteed to give some games back myself as my favorite team, the Cowboys, do their usual December dive.

Some of you may remember Pannunzio from before, he was in the forecast in 2000 and 2001 and did a respectable job. Winning this year's pick's may not be as easy as I thought.

We also have new staff writer Brian Eller on board. Eller just started this week, and I'm sure he's going to add to the competition level. He's from Baltimore and grew up across the street from Camden Yards. Obviously, he's a huge Orioles' fan, but lucky for him we're not predicting baseball games.

Eller is also a Denver Broncos fan. Although like most Broncos fans he is not overly optimistic about his team these days. I'm surprised he even admitted to being a fan.

Eller is also a graduate of Penn State. Something tells me things could get a little tense in the office the week my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes play the Nittany Lions with a Big Ten title potentially at stake.

Here are this week's picks:

Strasburg at Skyline

Back-to-back Group AA teams for the Rams -- it's going to be a tough start to the season for the young squad.

Skyline 28, Strasburg 20

Park View at Millbrook

Park View proved last week that this year's squad is much improved from last season. The Pioneers will keep it close.

Park View 27, Millbrook 24

Musselman at Sherando

The Applemen start the season off with defending Group AA Division 4 state champion Broad Run and then Sherando. What were they thinking?

Sherando 34, Musselman 10

James Wood at Washington

This game will be closer than last year's 31-0 thumping, but the Colonels will start the season off with a win.

James Wood 20, Washington 0

Clarke County at Hedgesville

It's the battle of the Eagles. Clarke County is coming off an impressive win over Berkeley Springs.

Clarke County 35, Hedgesville 14

Warren County at Freedom

The Wildcats will start off 2-0 in what could be the beginning of a great year for the program.

Warren County 27, Freedom 12

Handley at Harrisonburg

There are high expectations for the Judges this season. A win over the Blue Streaks may increase those expectations.

Handley 30, Harrisonburg 21

Central at Manassas Park

The Falcons will start the season off on a positive note.

Central 14, Manassas Park 13

Wilson Memorial at Stonewall Jackson

This is no longer a Shenandoah District matchup, but the Generals will still be fired up to start their season.

Stonewall Jackson 20, Wilson Memorial 14

Virginia Tech vs. Alabama at Atlanta

The Hokies' running back situation may be murky, but their defense will make up for it.

Virginia Tech 7, Alabama 6

Georgia at Oklahoma State

Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno are gone, and it will show against the high-scoring Cowboys.

Oklahoma State 45, Georgia 21

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