Coach: Doug Gilbert (fourth year)

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

Returning letter winners: Seniors — Nic Crutchfield (QB/S), Tyler Chiasson (RB/CB), Mason Cote (G/LB), David Guildford (G/DE), Kyle Hutchinson (TE/DE), Eric Bolduc (K), Brandon Jonaitis (RB/LB), Alex Miele (SE/CB), Chad Oakes (RB/CB), Brodie Thompson (C/DE); Juniors — Arik Fenstermacher (G/DT), Spencer Ross (RB/CB), Jacob Weston (C/DT); Sophomore — Jake Dowland (T/LB).
Key losses: Josh Palmer (RB/OLB), Aaron Fenstermacher (RB/OLB), Josh Henderson (SE/DE), Keith Langervin (T/LB).

Promising newcomers: Freshmen — Tyler Crawford (T/DE), Nick Young (RB/DB).

Outlook: With a total of 15 returning starters, including a third-year starter at quarterback in Crutchfield, the Cougars are considered the favorite in Western Class C. It’s a big step for a program that is coming off its first playoff appearance in 20 years and only resurrected football when the current seniors were in junior high, but Dirigo has the most experience and depth in the league. Chiasson has added roughly 20 pounds of muscle, according to Gilbert, which could make him a worthy successor to the workhorse Palmer. Four-year starter Cote leads an experienced line. The class that put Dirigo football back on the map just might leave a Gold Ball in the trophy case.

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