Dirigo’s Mike Packard fights for yardage against a host of Maranacook defenders during a Class E playoff game in Dixfield last season. Packard is one of the Cougars top returning skill players in 2019. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Dirigo returns to Class D after reaching the championship game in the only season Class E’s existence last year.

Losing Alex Gorham, the Class E player of the year, and Jack Lavorgna, the backbone of their defense, leaves two big holes for the Cougars to fill, but the still-young nucleus has gained a lot of varsity experience the past two years and will be ready to pick up the slack.

Cole Brown is in his third year under center but won’t have the entire weight of the offense on his shoulders with Dallas Berry and Mike Packard joining him in the backfield. Berry performed well as Gorham’s understudy in the running game, as a pass-catcher and as a clutch kicker.

The Cougars’ schedule includes a number of Mountain Valley Conference rivals again, including Mountain Valley. They will be outnumbered in virtually every game they play, but the Cougars have demonstrated each year they don’t let that stop them from playing their typical physical style.

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