Three finished tied

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2006

AHOSKIE – The Pigskin Prognosticators took 17 weeks again this season and this time no clear-cut champion was crowned.

Retired Lawrence Academy and Northampton-West coach Mike Dail, co-editor Mike Williams and yours truly finished in a three-way tie atop the final standings.

Dail and I took a one-game lead into the final week, but stumbled on three of the final slate of 10 games while Williams was correct on eight for each to finish 129-40. That mark was just two and one-half games behind last year’s winning mark.

Two of the winners in this year’s contest were high finishers last season as Dail finished second in 2005 and Williams, who was then making his debut, finished third. My final ranking in 2005 was dead last.

In second (or fourth) place was a newcomer to the Pigskin Prognosticators as Graphic Designer Patrick Bryant salvaged the Bryant name to finish 123-46 and grab the spot behind the winners.

Next was a tie between News-Herald Senior Sports Writer Billy Harrell and Northeast Academy basketball coach John Brown. Both finished 122-47. Harrell is a perennial top-tier finisher in the poll while Brown is making his debut on the panel after many years as a guest picker.

Last year’s winner came in next as “Talkin’ Sports” host Gattis Hodges claimed a 120-49 record to finish behind Harrell and Brown.

His mark was just one game better than former Bertie High School standout and current Roanoke Electric Cooperative Vice President Marshall Cherry. Cherry, also new to the panel, finished 119-41.

News-Herald Editor Cal Bryant came in next on the poll with his 118-51 mark. The long-time veteran finished one game behind his total for 2005.

A tie between a veteran prognosticator and a second-year panelist was next on the board. Retired Bertie High School Athletic Director Ron Cooke, a former Pigskin Prognosticating champion, and Howard Hunter III, a Hertford County Commissioner and an officer with Hunter’s Funeral Home, finished with 117-52 records.

Following those two is News-Herald Sports Writer Heather Odom. The four-year member of the panel finished 110-59.

Following Odom was second-year panel member Meredith Long. The Chowan University Sports Information Director and Senior Woman Administrator finished 105-64 on the season.

Next in the pecking order was every local school’s biggest fan, News-Herald Publisher Jeff Findley. The second-year panelist finished 103-66 on the season.

Closing out the panelists were two first-year members of the group in News-Herald Staff Writer Curly Morris, who finished 100-69, and News-Herald Composition Manager Lauren Morris who closed out the campaign 99-70.

The panelists will be back again next year as they work towards 30 years of predicting the outcomes of local prep and collegiate football games.