2018 H.S. Football Preview: Team Capsules

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DIRIGO

Coach: Jim Hersom (fifth year)

Region: Class E

Last year’s record: 3-6, lost in D South quarterfinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Alex Gorham (RB/LB), Jack Lavorgna (OL/DL), Nolan Degroot (OL/LB), Cameron Kidder (TE/LB); Junior — Mike Packard (RB/DB); Sophomore — Cole Brown (QB/DB), Dallas Berry (RB), Liam Burnett (RB).

Key losses: Cooper Chiasson (RB/DE), Luke Lueders (QB/DB), Cam Turner (RB/LB), Jon Wainwright (OL/LB), Dalton Berry (OL/DL), Quentin Penley (OL/DL).

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Promising newcomers: Seniors — Chandler Redmond, Sam Holmes.

What to expect: After surviving a wave of injuries last year, Dirigo elected to move down to Class E this season because it wouldn’t have the numbers to survive such a malady this season. The silver lining to those injuries was the underclassmen earning through baptism by fire, which should make the Cougars one of the better teams in Class E, health permitting. Brown, who had to develop the quickest as a freshman quarterback, returns under center. Gorham and fellow sophomores Berry and Burnett have plenty of experience carrying the ball and will be expected to catch it, too. The development of both lines could determine whether the Cougars become a new power in their new class.

EDWARD LITTLE

Coach: Dave Sterling (ninth year)

Region: A North

Last year’s record: 7-2, lost in Class A North semifinals.

Returning players: Seniors — Leighton Girardin (QB/DB), Kevin Lachance (G/NG), Josh Hamel (WR/DB), Josh Kaiser (RB/LB), Dawson Tracey (T/DE), Jon Knight (WR/DB), Devon Fournier (G/DL), Sam Lemay (WR/DB); Juniors — Giles Paradie (TE/QB/LB), Gunnar Winslow (T/DT), Ricky Cote (WR/DB).

Key losses: Grant Hartley (QB/S), Terrell Thomas (TE/LB), Maxx Bell (WR/LB), Caden Begos (RB/LB), Latrell Thomas (OL/DL), Xzabier Weaver (WR/DB).

Promising newcomers: Seniors — Caleb Yarnevich (WR/DB), Kevin Haskell (RB/LB); Junior — Misha Boulet (K/WR); Sophomores — Aiden Charest (WR/QB/LB), Tyson Green (RB/DB), Devonte Scott (WR/DB).

What to expect: Hit hard by graduation, the Red Eddies nevertheless plan to build off of last year’s regular-season success and go deeper in the playoffs. They are smaller but faster at nearly every level, including quarterback. Girardin will rely on his legs more than his predecessor, Hartley, but has a speedy selection of weapons to use through the air. The line is more experienced with Lachance, Tracey and Winslow returning. Tracey, Lachance and Tremain lead a defensive front that will have to pick up some of the slack for a new linebacker corps.  

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER

Coach: Brian Jahna (first year)

Region: C South

Last year’s record: 0-8.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Connor Myatt (QB/LB), Andrew Topham (QB/WR/DB), Paul Hewey (OL/DL); Junior — Mikey Foster (T/DT).

Key losses: Boomer Simmons (RB/LB), Jaykob Sanborn (WR/DB), Eric Thompson (OL/DL).

Promising newcomers: None at press time.

What to expect: The Patriots were quick to put 2017 behind them, hiring former Lake Region coach Jahna to return the program to respectability. He’s already added energy to the program and gotten the players focused while introducing them to new schemes and terminology. With less than two dozen on the preseason roster, staying healthy will be key to short-term success. The hope is to infuse the program with the enthusiasm it had just three years ago, when the Patriots made their first-ever playoff appearance. 

HEBRON 

Coach: Tom Radulski (second year)

Conference: Evergreen

Last year’s record: 3-5.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Ryan Caggiano (WR/DB), Drew Healy (T/DT), Giuliano Latella (WR/FS), Ryan Levis (FB/LB), Rui Sun (G/DT), Devon Weir (T/DT); Sophomores — Austin DeCoster (RB/SS), Boden Dock (TE/DE), Dominic Zimmel (T/DT).

Key losses: Christian Peete, Quinn Woods, Dylan Richmond, Ben English, Ryan Kappelmann.

Promising newcomers: Postgrad — Konstantin Hellge (TE), Mike Benson (DL), Jaylon Tucker (WR); Juniors — Jack Kelly (QB), Roman Stoll (QB/WR).

What to expect: After finishing 2017 with three wins in the final four games, the Lumberjacks graduated a slew of key performers on both sides of the ball. There is optimism that the newcomers can make an immediate impact, but it’s always an unknown trying to blend new players with returners while developing a team identity, essentially on the fly. 

LEAVITT

Coach: Mike Hathaway (17th year)

Region: C South

Last year’s record: 8-2, lost in Class C South semifinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Cole Melanson (C/NT), Oren Shaw (WR), Stephen Gray (FS), Bradley Moreau (TB); Juniors — Riley Parmenter (G/LB), Allen Peabody (TB/SS), Camden Jordan (slot/DB), Cole Morin (TE/DE), Damion Calder (Slot/CB), Dasean Calder (Slot/CB).

Key losses: Aidan Parmenter (T/DT), Nolan Cabral (G/LB), Tim Albert (QB), Caleb Bowen (Slot/CB), Trey Bubier (T), Bryce Hudson (TB/LB).

Promising newcomers: Seniors — Trevor Lafrance (G/DT), Ian Leadbetter (DT);  Juniors — Mark Herman (Slot/DB), Keegan Melanson (WR/DB), Brent Grant (G/LB), Ben Stone (DT), Jacob Spugnardi (DT); Sophomores — Wyatt Hathaway (QB), Tommy Casey (T/LB).

What to expect: The Hornets return a talented group of skill players on offense and seven starters on defense from a team that was the top seed in C South. Hathaway takes over as QB after gaining valuable varsity experience last year in blowouts and filling in briefly for an injured Albert. The line in front of him will have three new starters, but should still be a strength led by Melanson and Parmenter. The defense boasts an enviable combination of size and speed. 

LEWISTON

Coach: Bruce Nicholas (fourth year)

Region: A North

Last year’s record: 4-5, lost in Class A North semifinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Hunter Landry (RB/DB), Tanner Cortes (QB/DB), Tom Brochu (T/DE); Junior — Dominick Colon (FB/LB).

Key losses: Garrett Poussard (RB/DE), Sean O’Donnell (RB/LB), Brock Belanger (RB/DB), Keegan Voss (DT).

Promising newcomers: Juniors — Jaheim Whiting (RB/DB), Jabrie Meyers (RB/DB), Dylon Jackson (RB/DB), Danny May.

What to expect: After enjoying their best regular season since 2011, the Blue Devils hope to reach new levels of playoff success this year. The explosive Landry and Cortes will lead them on both sides of the ball. Newcomers Whiting, Meyers and Jackson should make them even faster than last year on the new turf field. Brochu and Colon lead the revamped defensive front.

LISBON

Coach: Chris Kates (second year)

Region: D South

Last year’s record: 7-2, lost in Class D South quarterfinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Lucas Francis (QB/LB), Hunter Job (T/DT), Kane Strout (T/DE), Isaiah Thompson (RB/DT); Juniors — Cam Bourget (RB/LB), Issac Burnell (WR/DB), Seth Leeman (WR/DB), Robbie Dick (WR/DB), Riley Quatrano (WR/DB).

Key losses: Ben Blake (CB/WR), Morgan Perron (CB/WR), Dakota McIver (T/LB), Brad Harriman (RB/S), Brandon Keith-Williams (T/DE), Cole Bolduc (C/LB), Noah Buiniskas (T/DT).

Promising newcomers: Senior — Evan Houde (T/DT); Junior — Hunter Mason (OL/DL); Sophomores — Justin Le (RB/LB), Daytona McIver (RB/DB).

What to expect: After keeping pace with conference front-runners Wells and Madison for much of the season, the Greyhounds bowed out early in the playoffs. One way to avoid that fate again is to be more balanced on offense and rely less on Francis’ powerful running. They have plenty of speed to keep defenses honest on the outside, but the offensive line will also have to fill some personnel holes before creating more running lanes. The defense that gave up the second-fewest points in the conference last season should remain stout, especially up front.

MOUNTAIN VALLEY

Coach: Pat Mooney (third year)

Region: D South

Last year’s record: 5-5, lost in Class D South semifinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Will Bean (WR/OLB), Darin Buono (T/DT), Jacob Blanchard (RB/CB), Ethan Laubauskas (RB), Taylor Pelletier (WR/CB), Avery Bradeen (FB/DL); Juniors — Jasper Turner (RB/S), Matt Brown (FB/LB), Dylan Desroches (QB/S), Allan Hagen (G/DL), Andrew McDonald (RB/LB).

Key losses: Curtis Gauvin (T/DE), Hunter Ames (T/LB), Ian Brennick (G/LB), Nate White (CB), Camden Mason (C/DT).

Promising newcomers: Seniors — Draven Finnegan (WR), Keegan Davis (WR/CB), Justin Karcher (LB); Junior — Brock Blouin (T/DT).

What to expect: The speedy, talented backfield that made multiple big plays for the Falcons last year is back. The offensive line that opened the holes for the playmakers is not. Four of five starters up front graduated, but it should be easier to get the line in sync with the backfield with the implementation of a new triple-option. Replacing what was lost on defense may be more of a challenge, as it affects all three levels on that side. They’re not as big as last year, but will try to complement their speed with physical play to challenge conference favorites Wells and Lisbon. 

MT. BLUE

Coach: Nate Quirion (second year)

Region: B North

Last year’s record: 1-7

Returning athletes: Seniors — Levi Hiltz (TE/OLB), Colin Hutchins (OG/DT), Dakota Mumma (OT/DT), Kile Heikkinen (WR/SS), Randy Barker (FB/LB), Noah Bell (QB/CB), Caleb Young (WR/OLB); Juniors — Eddie Hebert (OT/DT), Caleb Haines (FB/LB), John Howard (OG/DT), Kevon Johnson (TB/OLB), Hunter Meeks (QB/CB).

Key losses: Abram Meader, Jared Brown, Russell Prescott, Ethan Andrews, Colton Nason.

Promising newcomers: Sophomores — Tucker Nicholas (TB/OLB), Keegan Roberts, (WR/CB), Jimmy Archer (OG/DT), Zack Delano (FB/LB).

Season outlook: The Cougars look to capitalize on a great offseason and compete for a playoff spot in the competitive Pine Tree Conference. They’re looking to create more plays and finish drives with touchdowns on offense. Defensively, they want to create more turnovers.

OAK HILL

Coach: Stacen Doucette (seventh year)

Region: D South

Last year’s record: 3-6, lost in Class D South quarterfinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Reid Cote (FB/DT), Ethan Richard (C/LB), Gabe Bergeron (RB/LB), Ethan Barnett (TE/DE), Cole Beaule (OL/DL), Mahala Smith (WR/DB), Isaac Austin (G/DE), Colin French (OL/DL); Junior — Liam Rodrigue (WR/DB); Sophomores — Gavin Rawstron (QB/DB), James Borkowski (FB/LB).

Key losses: Darryn Bailey (WR/DB), Austin Pierce (TE/DE), Cruz Poirier (RB/LB), DJ Pushard (OL/DE), Colby Webster (WR/DB).

Promising newcomers: Juniors — Isaiah Morgan (OL/DL); Kyle Stilky (OL/DL); Sophomores — Sam Lindsey (RB/DB), Adam Caron (WR/DB), Quinton Pelkey (RB/LB), Christian St. Hillaire (OL/DL).

What to expect: A good mix of experience and youth has the Raiders hopeful of improving upon last year. Rawstron impressed as a freshman QB but lost key playmakers who helped the young signal-caller come along. Cote and Bergeron have the most varsity experience among the other skill position players playing behind a mostly veteran line. If the young athletes develop, the Raiders should make gains and potentially make noise in the playoffs.    

OXFORD HILLS

Coach: Mark Soehren (seventh year)

Region: A North

Last year’s record: 4-5, lost in Class A North quarterfinals.

Returning players: Seniors — Colton Carson (QB/FS,) Cam Slicer (SB/CB), Parker LaFrance (RB/OLB), Austin Doughty (OT/DT), Alex Turner (WR/CB), Alex Fox (G), Emmerson Brown (RB/DT); Junior — JJ Worster (RB/DE)

Key losses: Dawson Stevens (RB/DE), Jordan Silver (TE/LB), Jarrod Taylor (OL/DE), Shawn Hermanson (OL/DL), Tasker Winslow (WR/DB), Dylan Cobbett (WR/DB).

Promising newcomers: Seniors — Janek Luksza (WR/OLB), Jonny Pruett (WR/CB), Travis May (OT/DE); Juniors — Colby VanDecker (RB/LB), Cole Dunham (RB/LB), Tanner Herrick (TE/DE), Garret Pendexter (OG/DT); Sophomore — Colin Edwards (C/DT).

What to expect: The Vikings graduated 16 seniors but should reload around a number of returning standouts and some athletic newcomers. Carson is back at quarterback and has a speedy selection of weapons, starting with leading receiver Slicer. The offensive line has some holes to fill but two strong cornerstones in all-conference tackle Doughty and returning starter Fox. The running game doesn’t have a feature back like Stevens was when healthy last year, but Slicer, Brown, LaFrance and VanDecker had varsity carries when he was out. The defense returns four starters, led by A North all-stars Worster and Turner.  If the newcomers develop and everyone cuts back on mental mistakes, the Vikings should reach their goal of earning a first-round playoff bye, and challenge for the region title.

POLAND
 
Coach: Spencer Emerson (first year)

Region: D South

Last year’s record: 1-7.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Tyler Tucci (RB/LB), Gawain Tibbetts (RB/SS), Sam Benedict (OL/DL), Josh Cote (RB/LB), Zach Cote (WR); Juniors — Levi Lawrence (WR), Brady Downing (QB), Eelias Hesketh (WR/FS), Ben Olson (WR/CB), Sam Bowles (OL/LB), Josh Power (OL); Sophomores — Isaiah Hill (WR/CB), Joe Ringuette (QB/LB), Evan Kelly (OL/DL), LaShawne Hammond (DE).

Key losses: Aaron Paradis (RB/LB/K).

Promising newcomers: Senior — Gavin Russo (OL/DL); Freshmen — Joe Levesque (OL/DL), Isaac Fifield (CB), Sam Luce (QB/LB).

What to expect: Emerson learned the coaching ropes at UMaine and spent a year at Bates College before guiding one of the top defenses in Class A North last year as Lewiston’s coordinator. The defense should improve from that background alone. The offense should be more consistent, too, despite losing top back Paradis. If they can achieve more parity in the turnover battle, the Knights could be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

SPRUCE MOUNTAIN


Coach: David Frey (third year)


Region: D South 

Last year’s record: 5-4, lost in D South quarterfinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Kayle Stewart (RB/LB), Zak Toothaker (RB/LB), Noah Gilbert (C/T), Tate Walton (FB/LB), Brett Hunt (FB/LB), Cody York (G/OT), Jaden Castonguay (RB/CB), Hunter Quirrion (G/DT); Juniors — Trent Tibbetts Jr. (T/NG), Brandon Frey (WR/CB), Jack Bryant (QB/LB).

Promising newcomers: Senior — Damieon O’Brien (WR/LB); Juniors — Brandon Coates (WR/S), Bryson Bailey (T/DT), Trey Davis (RB/CB).

Season outlook: With their speed and experience, the Spruce Mountain Phoenix are hoping to make a deep foray into the postseason. Bryant takes over at QB in an otherwise veteran backfield led by seniors Stewart, Toothaker and Walton. Seven starters return on defense, led by Tibbetts, who commands a double-team on the nose. With balance on both sides of the ball, the Phoenix could be a force in their second year in D South.

TELSTAR

Coach: Tim O’Connor (fifth year)

Region: Class E

Last year’s record: 1-7.

Returning athletes: Juniors — Jack Mallory (OL/DL), Devin Cole-Mason (TE/DL); Sophomore — Davin Mason (QB/DB), Matt Rice (OL/DL).

Key losses: Aaron Vermette (WB/DE), Shawn Mador (HB/DB), Matt Morin (OL/LB).

Promising newcomers: Junior — Tyler Hill (WR/WB); Freshman — Braden Stevens (WR/RB). 

What to expect:  The ranks are about as thin as they’ve ever been in Bethel, with 16 players on the roster at press time. But they are all underclassmen, and the hope is to sustain the program before either numbers increase or eight-man football becomes an option. Mason saw plenty of playing time at QB as a freshman but doesn’t have much experience around him the backfield. Obviously, keeping as many players healthy and eligible as possible will be the first priority. Any development for the future depends upon it.

WINTHROP/MONMOUTH 

Coach: Dave St. Hilaire (fifth year)

Region: D South

Last year’s record: 5-5, lost in Class D South semifinals.

Returning athletes: Seniors — Dylan Boyton (RB/LB), Keegan Gruver (G/LB), Dylan Lajoie (WB/CB), Evan Burnell (TE/DE), Tyler Mangin (G/LB); Juniors — Keegan Choate (QB), Jevin Smith (TE/DE), Shane Tweedie (C/DE), Cam Tweedie (G/LB), Beau Schmelzer (RB/DB) Ryan Baird (SE/CB), Harland Frake (T/DT), Nick Deblois (FB/LB), Jake Meunier (T/DT); Sophomores — Ian Steele (RB/S), Gavin Perkins (QB/WR/DB), Noah Dunn (TE/DE).

Key losses: Abram Sirois (RB/LB), Luke St. Hilaire (T), Cam Gaghan (HB/CB), Carson Camick (RB/LB), Greg Fay (SE/S), Morgan Bellemare (G/LB), Trenton Wood (TE/DT), Jack Caprara (FB/LB), Zach Wallace (G/DB), Josh Kenney (T/DT), Noah Elegbede (FB/DE), Kane Gould (HB/C).

Promising newcomers: Seniors — Alixx Canwell (OL/DT), Beau Brooks (SE/DB), Nate LeBlanc (SE/LB); Juniors — Kyzer Card (FB/ILB), Pat Rush (T/DT), Jake Sousa (RB/S), Cody Perkins (RB/LB); Freshmen — Jake Umberhind (OL/DT), Logan Baird (RB/DB), Sam Van Valkenberg (G/LB).

What to expect: Most Class D teams graduating 10 starters and losing two other senior starters would be in rebuilding mode. The Ramblers, though, have plenty of talent to make another playoff run. Choate impressed as a passer and runner last year, but they hope to take some pressure off of him with an improved ground game. Hall-Dale joins the co-op with Canwell (260 pounds) and Rush (265 pounds) expected to contribute on both sides of the line. The defense, which typically relies on a rotation to keep fresh bodies in the game, will have a lot of new faces. If it meshes quickly, the Ramblers could contend for a home playoff game.

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