Over the years, I’ve learned one concrete thing about high school predictions.
No matter what team you pick, no matter how much research you put into that pick, no matter how sound your logic is, someone somewhere will think you’re an idiot.
And even when the game results prove your prediction true, that still won’t change some people’s opinion of you.
So if you’re the type of person who doesn’t take kindly to criticism, you’re not going to like making high school predictions.
As a young prep reporter, I was this type of person.
I hated making a prediction, getting it wrong, then have to do post-game interviews with the team I had just picked to lose.
Sometimes, the players and coaches would remind you of the prediction — sometimes playfully, sometimes not. But even when the players and coaches would take the high road, the fans rarely did.
So, for this reason, when I started at The Columbian, we didn’t do high school predictions.
But then as time wore on, I learned another truth about these predictions.
Fans love them, even when they hate them.
OK, that may not make sense.
Fans hate predictions when they don’t agree with them. But no matter which team you pick to win, the fans will always look at these picks.
So that’s why a couple of years ago, The Columbian’s sports staff began making predictions on high school football games, and posting these on our high school blog, which can be found at www.360preps.com.
This year, The Columbian is giving fans a platform to express their own opinions, besides what they think about us (they can still do that).
But now they can make their picks on high school football games by simply going to The Columbian’s prep sports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/360preps.
The games are up on the page right now, and voting has already begun. When we put our weekly previews of the Week 2 games up on our blog, we will include The Columbian’s picks and the fans’ picks. Those previews are scheduled to be up on the blog by Wednesday night.
Last week, The Columbian staff went 8-5 in predicting winners, while the fans were 7-6.
So go and make your picks today. And no matter which teams you pick to win, we won’t think anything less of you.
• • •
Our football season previews finished last week. We hope you enjoyed them. But football isn’t the only fall sport.
This week we will begin preview features for the other fall sports, starting Wednesday with boys golf. Girls soccer and volleyball will follow, along with cross country, girls swimming and boys tennis later this month.
Golf goes first because the golf season starts and ends first. Most area boys golf teams opened their seasons with matches last Thursday. And the Union and Camas girls soccer teams also played non-league matches last week.
This week, most of the rest of fall teams will start their seasons, some with very little non-league preparation.
In fact, the 1A Trico League will jump straight into league play in girls soccer on Tuesday, with Ridgefield at White Salmon, Stevenson vs. King’s Way Christian, Castle Rock at La Center and Seton Catholic at Kalama.
The Class 4A Greater St. Helens League opens league play in volleyball and girls soccer on Thursday with the same matchups: Skyview vs. Battle Ground and Evergreen vs. Union.
And the cross country and girls swimming also open this week with traditional early season meets.
On Thursday, most every girls swimming team will compete in the GSHL Relays at Mark Morris.
On Friday, most cross country teams will run at the Hudson’s Bay Run-A-Ree meet.
And, of course, Friday also includes Week 2 of the high school football games.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached by phone at (360) 735-4538 or email at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360TMart