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Area football coaches, players make their Super Bowl LIV picks

SETH WILKERSON

Buckingham County High School Head Coach

He picks the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl LIV, giving the Chiefs their first Super Bowl win since 1970, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV.

“I like the 49ers’ defense, the defensive line and secondary are tough,” he said. “I just think Kansas City, with (quarterback Patrick) Mahomes, will find a way to win. Mahomes can do too many things on offense, and they are never out of a game. Kansas City seems destined to win.”

 

 

COLE EDMONDSTON

Buckingham County High School Senior Lineman

“Personally, I’m picking the Niners, because I personally don’t like the Chiefs,” he said with a laugh. “But I’m a big defense guy, so (49ers rookie defensive end) Nick Bosa, for me, is one of my guys I look up to in that aspect, so watching him play and seeing how the Niners have grown with (quarterback) Jimmy Garoppolo and that whole organization from going last year not being so great to this year they’re at the Super Bowl, and I want to see the underdog win.”

 

 

HOWARD PARAS

Cumberland County High School Head Coach

“When I look at the two teams, I’m thinking they’re pretty evenly matched,” he said. “The Chiefs have a lot of offense, but the 49ers have a lot of defense. But if I had to pick one, I think I’d go with the Chiefs in a close game. I think they just have a little bit more offense than the 49ers. … I think Mahomes and (wide receiver) Tyreek Hill could definitely be the deciding factor.”

 

 

BLAKE BARKER

Cumberland County High School Senior Lineman

He picks the San Francisco 49ers to win their first Super Bowl since 1995 when they defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX, also in Miami, Florida, where this year’s big game takes place.

“The 49ers defense just looks great every time I’ve seen them this year,” he said. “… That line gets through the line fast enough, gets the quarterback — that’s every time I’ve seen them.”

 

BEN MANIS

Fuqua School Head Coach

“I’d love to see Kansas City win for the fan base, for the coach, but I don’t see how,” he said. “I just think San Francisco’s got a run game that’s a strong run game and a good defense, and it’s hard to combat that in the game of football … I want Kansas City to win, but Mahomes has got to have a more than perfect game, and they have to get up by two or three scores and then let San Francisco kind of self-destruct.”

 

ELIJAH WARNER

Fuqua School Senior Quarterback

“I think the Chiefs will win because they have the most athletic backs, and Pat Mahomes does a great job leading them as a team,” he said, noting that the unique advantages Mahomes will bring to this matchup are his ability to throw outside the pocket and scramble. He highlighted wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce along with Mahomes as key players.

 

LARRY WHITE

Prince Edward County High School Head Coach

“I would like to see the Chiefs win it, and the reason I’ll say, they’ve got a pretty good offense, and their defense is not that bad either,” he said. “Patrick Mahomes, he’s unpredictable. He throws the ball real good. The 49ers defense is right tough, but I’ll say that Patrick Mahomes, that offense is going to be clicking Sunday.”

 

 

NATE REED

Prince Edward County High School Sophomore Quarterback

“I feel like the 49ers will win,” he said. “Their defense is locked. They’ve got an underrated backfield on offense and underrated receivers, and I just think that in that pressure situation that they would excel. I just feel like they would stop Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill and all of them.”

 

Super Bowl LIV is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2.