Collectively, the 2017 regular season was the best Edward Little, Lewiston and Oxford Hills have had since Class A North first assumed its current format in 2013, the trio finishing a combined 15-12 and earning the top three seeds in the playoffs.

All three fizzled out quickly in the postseason, however, with Oxford Hills bowing out in the quarterfinals and EL and Lewiston, after earning first-round byes, falling in the semifinals. The final featured the two schools who have won the last four regional titles, Portland and Windham.

Windham won that round, but Portland is the consensus favorite to win its third regional title in four years. The trio of central Maine representatives can all make a case that they will give the Bulldogs a run for their money during the regular season. But each still needs to prove it has the mettle to dethrone the southern Maine powers come playoff time.

That will also be the task for whoever wins the North, including Portland, as the power in Class A once again is heavily tilted to the South. Defending champion Scarborough, Thornton Academy and Bonny Eagle have combined to win the last six state titles, and whichever one emerges this year will be the prohibitive Super Saturday favorite once again.

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