Ryan McLaughlin successfully picked Oak Hill of Sabattus to beat Dirigo for the Western Maine Class C championship recently to secure the staff title in the 48th edition of the Bangor Daily News Football Forecast.
McLaughlin, a former sports reporter who now works on the news side, eked out a tiebreaker victory over Bangor radio personality Dale Duff of WEZQ radio (92.9 FM The Ticket), who was our first season-long guest. It was the second crown in three years for McLaughlin.
He and Duff ended the 10-week Forecast regular season at 156-44, a .780 winning percentage, to force the extra week. Each picked five games and differed only on the Oak Hill-Dirigo game. Duff incorrectly chose Dirigo of Dixfield.
Six-time champion Ernie Clark (he was the guest winner in 2000) claimed third place among staffers at 154-46, while John Holyoke and Joe McLaughlin tied for fourth (153-47). Nine-time winner Pete Warner (150-50), and Larry Mahoney (148-52) rounded out the staff.
Brittany Devane of ABC 7 and Fox 22 TV in Bangor emerged as the weekly guest winner. She had a 17-3 effort in Week 6.
Tom Winston of Brewer (16-4) had the next best performance, followed by Rick Sinclair of Bangor, Dee Dauphinee of Bradley and Jon Ouellette of Caribou, all of whom had 15-5 weeks.
The other participants were Kari DeRosier of Bangor (14-6), Matt Schilmoeller of Orono (13-7), Paul Butler of Bangor (12-8), Rich Johnson of Dover-Foxcroft (11-9) and Ryan Carrier of Millinocket (11-9).