BY ED HEDES

Just two more weeks of Grid Picks remaining on the 2011 schedule here and I'm still trying to make it over the hump to try and finish in the top half of the standings. I'm also trying to make sure that the guys behind me stay there.

Would you believe some of them want to finish ahead of me so bad, they've turned to outside sources to do their picks for them?

Doesn't matter since my Ol' Crystal Ball still has a little bit of life in it...might trade it in for a new one for next fall, but it'll be ok to take me through the final weeks.

Playoff time, a good tim of year, for everyone except basketball and wrestling coaches who open up pre-season practice today.

So here we go:

NORTHERN LEHIGH AT PEN ARGYL - The Bulldogs are the only team to hold a lead on the Green Knights all season and played them pretty tough last time. My trips to Pen Argyl usually seem pretty eventful and that's where I'm headed tomorrow ... Northern Lehigh, 14-13.

TAMAQUA AT NORTH PENN - Hopefully the long bus ride doesn't deflate the Blue Raiders. On strength of schedule, I'm going with ... Tamaqua, 21-14.

PARKLAND AT NAZARETH - Went with the Trojans last time and their running game was too much for the Blue Eagles. Counting on defensive coordinator Bill Brong to make the right adjustments this time ... Nazareth, 28-21.

SCRANTON AT EASTON - The Red Rovers always seem to pick it up this time of year, even with Thanksgiving and Phillipsburg on the horizon ... Easton, 21-13.

ALLENTOWN CENTRAL CATHOLIC AT POTTSVILLE - No doubt about it, the Vikings have found their "A" game ... Central Catholic, 28-7.

SHENANDOAH VALLEY AT PIUS X - The Royals have a great quarterback that has shredded some real good defenses lately ... Pius X, 28-20.

LIBERTY AT WHITEHALL - A couple of years ago this would have been different. Dan Persa nor Anthony Gonzalez are around anymore to run the offense ... Whitehall, 21-7.

SOUTHERN LEHIGH AT BERWICK - Spartans need to be patted on the back for taking their season into the 12th week. George Curry isn't on the sidelines anymore, but I still have shades of Berwick Bulldogs dancing through my head ... Berwick, 24-14.

NATIVITY AT MAHANOY AREA - Wally Hall and the Golden Bears get a chance to bring a football championship to Mahanoy Area. What a job him and his staff have done to make that program respectable ... Mahanoy Area, 30-7.

VALLEY VIEW AT DALLAS - Looked at what these two teams have done against common opponents and this is what the "Crystal Ball" has come up with ... Valley View, 21-12.

SHAMOKIN AT MILTON - This game is so close to have to pick on my own, so the winner of th "coin flip" is ... Milton, 14-13.

WYOMING AREA AT WILKES-BARRE GAR - Well the winner of this one will get the Northern Lehigh-Pen Argyl winner next week. It'll be high scoring and the winner is ... GAR, 34-27.

LEWISBURG AT MOUNT CARMEL - Was a thriller in the regular season when these two teams met. It'll be close again ... Mount Carmel, 21-16.

LINE MOUNTAIN AT SOUTHERN COLUMBIA - Line Mountain put up quite a few points when it played Jim Thorpe early in the season. The Tigers are going to make sure that doesn't happen to them ... Southern Columbia, 38-18.

RIVERSIDE AT OLD FORGE - Another tossup game that will come to who makes their extra points ... Old Forge, 14-13.