Yes, this is a brand new season, and what happened in 2015-16 has little to do with what happen in 2016-17.

But Rangeley coach Heidi Deery refuses to discount the remaining Lakers’ championship background.

“They have learned a lot the past several years in our quest for our championship, and I think that experience is going to play a big part (this season),” Deery said.

“The past is the past, and we’re certainly moving on. But you can’t wipe away that experience.”

The Lakers went 21-1 last season on their way to capturing their first state championship since 2004.

They lost two players — Blayke Morin and Maddison Egan, to graduation. Morin, the 2015-16 Sun Journal All-Region Player of the Year, is a particularly big loss.


But Rangeley returns just about everyone else, including Sydney Royce and Tasha Haley.

Deery hopes the Lakers will play quicker this season and shoot the ball better.

Rangeley’s top competitor for the D South crown likely will again be Vinalhaven. The Lakers beat the Vikings handily in last season’s regional championship game, 58-33, but Vinalhaven returns its top player, Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes.

“I think it’s going to be wide open,” Deery said. “Vinalhaven will be back in the thick of it, Temple and Higher Christian will be there. I’m sure Jackman (Forest Hills) and Valley are certainly going to be competitive.”

Shead emerged from D North as champion before losing in the title game to Rangeley. Junior guard Cierra Seely, the D North tournament MVP, returns, as do juniors Cassidy Wilder and Katelyn Mitchell.

Washburn is always a team to watch in Class D. Until they were bounced by Shead in the D North semifinals, the Beavers had won five consecutive state titles.

Comments are no longer available on this story