Rarely challenged along the way (only two of 11 wins were by less than 20 points), Wells rolled to the state title in its first year in Class D in 2017.

The Warriors will be favored again despite graduating a bushel of talent, including Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist Nolan Potter. The consensus is that they will just find more downhill runners in Potter’s mold and more road-grading linemen to make the Wing-T go. 

Where most of the disagreement lies is who will meet the Warriors in the regional final. Last year’s opponent, Madison, likely lost too many great athletes to be the closest contender.

Lisbon returns senior QB Lucas Francis, last year’s Sun Journal Player of the Year. Mountain Valley is loaded at the skill positions but questionable up front. Spruce Mountain has most of the motor that made its running game successful last year. Winthrop/Monmouth added Hall-Dale to its co-op and could peak late like it did last year in reaching the regional semifinals. Oak Hill and Poland should be improved.

Like Wells, Foxcroft Academy appears to be lonely at the top in its region, though Bucksport could challenge for the North. 

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