Lewiston has won two straight KVAC titles but suffered tough losses in the tournament the last two seasons. The Blue Devils lost some all-star talent including much of its defense, but could rebound with another solid season. Lewiston has a group of returning starters to lead the way along with a large group of newcomers. The Blue Devils still possess a lot of skill and speed that will give teams trouble.
Bangor, Brunswick, Mt. Ararat and Hampden were all among the top teams in Eastern A last fall. They should all be in the playoff mix again.
Mt. Blue lost to Lewiston in the quarterfinals last year following a prelim win over Erskine. The Cougars lost a strong group of seniors but still have a nucleus of returning players to help keep Mt. Blue competitive. Edward Little also reached the prelims, losing to Lawrence. EL has a new coach and a handful of returning players in a year of transition. Oxford Hills missed the postseason but continue to make progress. The Vikings have a few returning players and a large group of newcomers that make the club young and athletic.
The traditional powers in the Western Maine Conference will top Western B once again. York, Falmouth and Yarmouth were the top three teams in the region last fall and remain teams to beat. Freeport will be a playoff threat as well.
Local WMC teams like Poland and Gray-New Gloucester hope to improve. The Knights have been making great strides in recent seasons and return 13 upperclassmen and 15 overall. Poland has its sights set on a playoff spot. The Patriots have 13 returning players as well and could boost their standing.
From the Mountain Valley Conference, Spruce Mountain is in its second year of a combined squad and hopes for a sizeable step up this year. The Phoenix has 18 upperclassmen with experience and a year under their belt together. Mountain Valley has a collection of returning veterans and a large sophomore class that should bolster the Falcons hopes this season and beyond. Oak Hill is new to the league and has a new coach. The Raiders have experience in the midfield and on defense and could be a competitive club in its new surroundings.
In the KVAC, Morse and Maranacook were both tourney teams that should be in the chase again. Leavitt lost in the first round of the playoffs after finishing the regular season 4-4, after an 0-5-1 start. With 13 players back and seven starters, the Hornets have some momentum behind their playoff hopes.
St. Dom’s, Lisbon and Dirigo were all strong clubs last year and were among the top teams in Western C. The Saints and Cougars should be solid again and be up in the standings come playoff time.
Wiscassset and Hall-Dale have been among the top MVC teams and should be competitive again. St. Dom’s lost a lot of veterans but still have 14 upperclassmen returning to a team that went 12-0-2 in the regular season. Dirigo has 11 returning from last year’s team that went 11-3 in the regular season.
Lisbon lost 11 seniors, including nine starters. That has the Greyhounds rebuilding a bit. There’s a small group of returning seniors and promising group of players stepping into larger roles. Mt. Abram was another playoff club, going 6-6-3 before losing in a prelim. The Roadrunners have been a competitive club in the conference and hope to take it up a notch this year.
Monmouth is one of those that missed the tourney but should be in the hunt again this year. The Mustangs have most of their team back.
Telstar has a small club with just 12 on the roster while Winthrop is trying to rebuild with a new coach and eight upperclassmen back.
Out of the WMC, Sacopee Valley will be a threat once again. NYA has enough talent to challenge in the postseason while the defending Class C state champs from Waynflete are favorites to repeat with a significant amount of talent returning.
Richmond and Greenville have been the two top clubs in Western D in recent years. That may not change this fall. Both have enough experience to be contenders once again. Vinalhaven won eight games last fall but lost a wealth of talent, but the Vikings might have enough to stay in the playoff hunt.
Buckfield lost to the Vikings last year in the first round and hope to improve this year. The Bucks only return two seniors and a junior. Buckfield will be young and needs to improve its defense, but are shooting for another playoff spot.
Rangeley has struggled in recent seasons but hope to improve this year. Numbers are low for the Lakers and there are a handful of returning upperclassmen with significant experience.