After 13 long weeks of prognosticating winners and office trash talking, the TIMES NEWS Sports Department has crowned its 2009 Grid Picks Champion(s).
For the second straight year, the annual high school football contest has ended in a two-way tie with Jason Boris and Shawn McFarland being declared co-champions with a final record of 140-55 (a .718 winning percentage).
McFarland topped the leaderboard for nine straight weeks and entered the final week with a two-game cushion over Joe Plasko and Andy Steinmetz. However, Boris (sitting three games back in fourth place) surged to the top with a 13-2 record in the final weekend to force the tie.
The first-place finish for McFarland is his best showing in the contest to date (as he finished 9th, 4th, 10th and 9th in his previous four seasons on staff).
For Boris, it marks his fifth Grid Picks championship in the last nine years. Since joining the TIMES NEWS Sports Department in 2001, Boris has never finished below second-place in the contest (with five first-place finishes and four second-place finishes to his credit).
Two-time defending Grid Picks champion Joe Plasko finished one game back with a third-place overall record of 139-56, while Andy Steinmetz (138-57) and Mike Haines (137-58) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.
TJ Engle, Bob Ford and Ed Hedes tied for sixth-place with records of 132-63. Rod Heckman ended up finishing ninth (129-66), while Emmett McCall finished twelve games back in last place with an overall record of 128-67.
Following is a list of the TIMES NEWS Grid Picks Champions since 1990: