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Chris Lucas, given the choice, would rather watch a NASCAR race than a football game.
“Any day and twice on Sunday,” Lucas said.
Nevertheless, Lucas proved that being a football fan is not the winning formula for taking the Pigskin Picks title in The Lancaster News.
Lucas, nicknamed “Cross,” won his first-ever Picks crown this season, topping the seven-member panel with a 197-83 record for the 14-week campaign. Lucas finished in style with a week’s best 16-4 record. Lucas might not be a huge football fan, but he does his grid homework, researching high school rankings and scores of games on the college and pro level. His first title earns him the coveted stay at the Taxahaw Inn.
“I just hope they have cable in my room so I can watch all the NASCAR programs,” he said.
Lucas’ title was sweet in the fact that he once during the season was in last, but steadily moved up to his perch and stayed on top.
The runner-up spot went to reporter Chris Sardelli. C-Sar, or Chris Deuce, was a mid-season fill-in for departed senior reporter “Cotton Jenny” Arnold, who held the lead at mid-season before leaving to take a job with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
Lucas, with Arnold’s bolt, made his move to first. Sardelli kept second the rest of the way and finished with a 189-91 mark. Chris II was a guest earlier in the season, and joined the panel as a regular with Arnold’s departure.
“I just wish I had kept the lead, but second’s not bad for a rookie picker,” Sardelli said.
Third went to Features Editor Greg “Boys of Summers,” who had a solid finish after being near the rear during the season. Summers was 186-94.
The guest, handled by a host of folks during the season, was fourth overall with a 184-96 showing. Garrett Hammond, a Buford Middle teacher and coach, was the final guest this season, going 15-5, just behind Lucas for the final week.
Fifth-place went to a pair of former champs, Ernie “Big E” Rowell and yours truly.
“We were more like chumps this year,” said the “Big E” after winning two straight titles.
In the final week, I went 14-6, while Ern was 13-7 for the fifth-place deadlock at 178-102 .
“If you finish first that’s great, and other than that, it really doesn’t matter,” Ern said. “Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never changes.”
Jesef “Dub” Williams brought up the rear with a 172-108 mark.
“Everybody’s got to be somewhere, but some times it’s not where you are or end up,” said Williams of his finish. “I’m already looking to next year.”
We will do it again next year when the 2011 high school season kicks off.
Folks have told us through the years, they enjoy following the Picks and the weekly stories of wins and woe.
We’re grateful for our readers who follow along each week and we also thank the folks who served as guest pickers during the season.
Now another season is upon us, winter sports with basketball and wrestling, but also the Christmas season. Keep the spirit of this special season and you will be a winner, no matter your pick.