EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re switching it up a little bit in this space this week. Sun Journal sports editor Lee Horton posed the following question to reporters Wil Kramlich and Adam Robinson:

“Class D South is back to being fun again. How do you see it shaking out? Is Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale the clear favorite? Even if they are, what happens behind the Ramblers?”

Will Kramlich

WIL KRAMLICH: Heading into Week 6, I look at Class D South in three tiers — Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale and Spruce Mountain in one tier, Oak Hill and Lisbon in a second tier, and everybody else in a third tier. I fully expect that to change and become more clear after eight weeks, but there are still some key games over the final three weeks, most notably the Ramblers hosting the Phoenix in Week 8.

Maybe the Ramblers are the clear-cut favorite because their lone loss is to a very good Class C team, but I don’t think Spruce Mountain should be counted out just yet. Then again, maybe Lisbon should be placed at the same level as the Phoenix, seeing how the Greyhounds just won in Livermore Falls. I do think the Ramblers are the most complete team right now, which I suppose gives them the leg up on everybody else.

I think the top four teams in the standings now (Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, Spruce Mountain, Oak Hill, Lisbon) will be the four teams playing in the regional semifinals, but as we’ve seen from this region the past few years, what happens once we get to the final four is anybody’s guess. Somebody always has a bad game, and a weird play always ends up deciding a contest. One of both of those happening is the closest thing I have to a prediction.

I know none of that seems very bold or hot-takey, but I figured I would defer that to you, Adam. What say you?

Adam Robinson

ADAM ROBINSON: Each member of the Sun Journal staff picked against Lisbon last week, and can you blame us? 

The Greyhounds got walloped by, what I thought to be at the time, the best team in D South in Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale. And on the same night, I was in Livermore Falls to watch Spruce Mountain take care of Madison with the kind of ease often seen from a regional champion. 

However, last Friday, Lisbon took away Phoenix’s swiss-army knife Brandon Frey and earned a two-touchdown victory, capped off by an Instagram post from Lisbon’s Hunter Mason with the caption “Doubt us some more.” 

I guess we were wrong. 

I am willing to look at Lisbon as a real threat to the D South crown, but its path is tough. A game this Friday at Class C York won’t be easy, nor will ending the regular season at Oak Hill and its stout defense.

Spruce Mountain’s loss was a shocker, but I wouldn’t count them out of the picture. If you look at the Phoenix’ schedule, though, it doesn’t do the team justice as to how talented it is. A close win over one-win Poland and a loss to Lisbon are the caps to two wins over lesser teams and a forfeit win over Dirigo. 

I’m still going with Winthrop as the top team in D South. The Ramblers’ only loss is to Class C MCI, and the rest of the games have been wins that were put away early against Camden Hills, Oak Hill, Lisbon and Mountain Valley. 

They’ve defeated the teams they should, and a big reason is Keegan Choate, who I think is the best quarterback in the region. You’re right, we will have a better picture of the region by the end of the regular season when Winthrop hosts Spruce Mountain in a game that I expect to be a classic D South shootout.


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