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What the future may hold in 2010

With the final moments of 2009 slowly passing by as you read this, I felt it appropriate this week to take a look ahead at the year to come.

Now, I could sit here and tell you the truth, which is that no one knows what the year ahead will contain, but I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I will offer my predictions on what the good people of Pike County will see in 2010.

First of all, the Troy Trojans will defeat the Central Michigan Chippewas in what will likely be the best game of the bowl season. Expect lots of points, but a definite home-field advantage propels Troy to victory.

High school basketball will also wrap up in the first couple of months of 2010.

The local boys’ teams have been little to write home about so far this year, but there are a couple of girls’ teams to keep an eye on.

The girls of Goshen have played well so far this season, and that should carry them to an area championship, and at least the second round of the playoffs.

Pike Liberal, meanwhile, also has some talented ladies, and looks to be one of the front runners to reach the AISA Final Four.

On the college front, both Troy teams look like they can make some noise in the postseason.

The Troy women have been more impressive thus far this year, but have the misfortune of being in the same conference as Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders look to be almost a lock for Sun Belt champs.

On the men’s side, nothing has really clicked for Troy thus far this season. The team will have a somewhat disappointing regular season given the lofty expectations before making a deep run in the Sun Belt tournament. The Trojans’ season will end in heartbreak, however, as I see Troy losing in the Sun Belt championship game.

Then, comes baseball season. Troy always has high hopes when it comes to baseball, and this year should be no different.

The Trojans will score runs, to be sure, but need to find some legitimate starting pitching to put around staff ace Tyler Ray. If Troy can do that, an NCAA regional berth is not out of the question.

Then, comes the summer, where the Troy recreation department will bring home plenty of district and state titles, much as it does every year in baseball and softball.

Before you know it, football season will be here. Charles Henderson will take steps forward from 2009’s disappointing 5-5 mark, while Pike County and PLAS will likely take a couple of steps back.

The team to watch in 2010, however, is Goshen. The Eagles are young at almost every position, and will return most of a team that gave eventual state champion Reeltown all it could handle. Reginald Foster will only get better, and the Eagles will play Reeltown in Goshen in the game that will determine the area.

Troy, meanwhile, will put together another impressive season in its pursuit of a fifth straight Sun Belt title. The Trojans will go 9-3 with losses to Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee and South Carolina, yet that will be good enough for a trip to New Orleans after MTSU loses two conference games.

Troy will then end 2010 by winning its second bowl game in a single calendar year.

Now, I recognize none of this will likely be accurate, but hey, that’s the fun of a new year.

It’s a clean slate, and now all these teams get to write their own stories. Happy New Year, folks.