Oak Hill and Morse are also leaving the Campbell Conference.

Last year, the Leavitt Hornets had to wait until the playoffs to find out how football was played in Eastern Maine. This fall, they’ll help define Eastern Maine football.

Leavitt, Oak Hill and Morse will be moving from the Campbell Conference to the Little Ten Conference next season thanks to an agreement hammered out by athletic administrators from the conference and the three schools.

The move bolsters the LTC’s B division and makes logistical sense to the new schools.

“Something had to happen. They needed some help up there in Eastern Maine because there aren’t too many teams playing football,” said Leavitt athletic director Doug Conn.

“With the addition of these three teams, along with (current league members) Winslow, Belfast, Hampden, Old Town, Belfast and Brewer, it makes it a lot better. It’s more balanced throughout the state. It was tough to leave the Campbell Conference, though.”

Conn said Leavitt’s freshman team will continue to schedule some games against Campbell Conference teams.

Teams from the LTC and Campbell Conference will continue to play crossover games, though the number of games has been trimmed back from two to one. This will allow Leavitt to maintain its rivalry with Mountain Valley, which remains in the Campbell Conference. Oak Hill will face Fryeburg in its crossover matchup. Those games will likely be played the first week of the season.

“We knew we had to go to Class B, and it was a question of Eastern Maine or Western Maine,” said Nicholas. “You look at Oak Hill’s schedule in every other sport and we play the Winslows and we play the Belfasts. We’re a part of that KVAC anyway.”

The Raiders played a predominantly Western B schedule until the mid-90s. They then dropped down to Class C for several years and struggled before reaching the playoffs the last two years in a row.

“It is a step for us, but I think we’re going to be okay,” Nicholas said. “I think our program is such that we’re going to be able to maintain. We’re going to be playing kids that we’re familiar with, even though it’s (perennial Class B powers such as) Winslow and Belfast.”

Only a loss to Belfast kept Leavitt from winning the regional championship in its first year of playoff competition in Eastern Maine last season.

Despite the Hornets’ success, however, playing in Western Maine during the regular season and shifting Eastern Maine for the playoffs was an awkward situation.

“If the MPA’s going to put us there for the playoffs, it makes sense to play the regular season there,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said.

“I think it will be a good league,” Hathaway said. “Come playoff time, the team you’ll see coming out and representing the East in the championship game will be pretty good because they’ll be pretty battle-tested.”

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