Although they aren’t battle-tested going into the Class A North playoffs, the Portland Bulldogs have a team that’s built for this time of year. Hard to say which element I like more: the one-two punch at running back, or the smothering defense that hasn’t allowed a point in, oh, a month. Seeds will hold up for the most part in that region, and I see Portland taking out Windham in a final that might just have a final score of 7-0.

Thornton remains king of the south, and frankly I think the Trojans will be just a little more explosive than the Bulldogs on artificial turf in what should be a tremendous state final at Fitzy. Pencil in TA for its third Gold Ball in four years.

No bracket in the state is as loaded on both sides as Class B. Up nawth in the PTC, as long as Will Bessey stays healthy, Brunswick looks to be in pretty good shape at home. Cony is a scary team with Reid Shostak healthy in the playoffs, and the likely Skowhegan-Brewer semifinal should be a donnybrook. I’ll take chalk here again, though, and go with the Dragons.

My preseason pick was Brunswick vs. Leavitt in the B final. Three weeks ago, I was getting ready to hedge on that one. The Hornets were banged up defensively and appeared to develop a confidence crisis offensively. After a few adjustments and two big wins over Spruce Mountain and Biddeford, I think they’re ready to go on a revenge tour and take out Greely, Marshwood and Falmouth in succession to win another regional title.

At the state level, I’m afraid Bessey might give Leavitt flashbacks to Dylan Hapworth of Winslow from a year ago. Have to go with Brunswick there.

Agree? Disagree? Willing to take the first crack at Classes C and D?


Pelletier: You’re putting a guy with soccer and field hockey on the brain on the spot here, Oaksie. I like it.

Your summary of the Class A race is spot on, though I don’t know that Portland is going to have an easy road in A North. The Bulldogs have shown their worth, but I will never — ever — count out a Wolfgram team in October or November. TA is the popular pick, has been all season, and should still be. I don’t know that anyone is going to take the Trojans out.

I also agree that Brunswick has the inside track. Bessey got banged up earlier this season, but appears to be as healthy as you can expect after eight games, making the Dragons the odds-on favorite in that region. In the South, pick one of six or seven out of a hat on any given night. Leavitt appears to be gelling at the right time, but my goodness, what a gauntlet.

In Class C, the strength of the South clearly lies to our south. Mountain Valley, Poland and Gray-New Gloucester will all be hard-pressed to earn their way past the first round. Spruce Mountain and Fryeburg’s matchup is intriguing, but I still think the winner of that one loses in the next round. 

Yarmouth has been impressive all season long, the Clippers were a popular preseason pick, and they haven’t shown any signs of a hiccup. Pencil the Clippers into the Fitzy lineup on Super Saturday. 

In the North, I should add a disclaimer that I haven’t seen a single minute of that bracket’s season. But I have kept my eyes out. Winslow is my pick, based on offense, common opponents and experience from last year’s run.


In Class D North, MCI is a juggernaut. No team has stayed within 20 points of the Huskies. Not sure whether that’s a function of bad defense from the rest of Class C North, or a potent offense at MCI.

That brings us to Class D South. Yes, Oak Hill is unbeaten. Again. And the Raiders have earned it, using stellar line play to block for a bevy of backs that have continued to carve up opposing defenses. No disrespect intended to the two stellar backs who graduated after last season, but they’ve proven that the system is greater than any one or two pieces. They will be a tough out.

But Oak Hill hasn’t dominated. No. 2 Dirigo stayed within a touchdown. So did No. 3 Lisbon. And No. 4 Winthrop Monmouth. None of the teams in this conference would be a surprising representative in Orono on pre-Super-Saturday-Friday. But, when it matters most, Oak Hill is the defending champion, twice over, until further notice.

How’d this casual fan do, Mr. Football?

Oakes: You either read my mind or copied off my sheet. We must be starting to think alike, which is alarming.

MCI has the easiest road. I would anoint Old Town, Wells and the Dirigo as teams that could spoil the party for the others. But I agree with your Yarmouth-Winslow and MCI-Oak Hill state finals matchups, as I first predicted in August. Put me down for another Raiders’ sweep.

Should be a fun month!

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