Leavitt returned to Class C South and returned to the top of the standings last season. Yet the Hornets didn’t find the same playoff success they’d been accustomed to, losing in the regional semifinals as the No. 1 seed.
With a good mix of speed, size and experience, the Hornets should be at or near the top of the standings this year, too. But they will still have their hands full in both the regular and postseason. Defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth is considered at least a co-favorite, if not the favorite outright, by most observers. Gardiner, which upset Leavitt in the semifinals, appeared to turn a corner last year and return to perennial contention. Fryeburg Academy could also prove to be a thorn in any front-runner’s side at playoff time.
Gray-New Gloucester may be in the not-yet-ready-for-playoff-contention category after back-to-back 0-8 seasons, but there is plenty of optimism and new energy under new coach Brian Jahna.
In C North, Maine Central Institute will be trying to make it three state titles in a row (the Huskies won Class D in 2016). Winslow, Nokomis and Oceanside could also contend.