Each week, the Sun Journal sports staff will pick high school football topics to discuss — sometimes the discussions will turn into spirited debates.
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Sun Journal Sports Editor Lee Horton.

LEE HORTON: It’s nice to have the first week of the season in the books. How much do you think was learned about teams in Week 1? There were almost exclusively lopsided scores in games involving teams in the Sun Journal’s coverage area — the smallest margin of victory was 17 points — but I lean toward believing that the scores don’t mean all that much.

Sun Journal sports reporter Adam Robinson

ADAM ROBINSON: It’s hard to glean too much from the past week outside of a couple of big performances. I thought Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s big win on Friday at home over Bucksport, in which both sides of the ball dominated for the Ramblers, showed that Winthrop will be near the top of Class D when it’s all over. I also thought Oxford Hills took care of business on Saturday night at Lewiston with a huge shutout victory. You told me you think Lisbon will figure it out this season, and we will get to see just how good Foxcroft Academy is when it travels to Oak Hill in the Raiders’ season opener this Saturday. I am, however, bummed we won’t have a Leavitt Hornets game to watch for another week.

HORTON: You’re probably right, we learned the most from the big performances: Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale will at least be in the upper echelon in Class D; Oxford Hills has a lot of potential weapons and should be a tough team to face in Class A; and Telstar appears to have already regained its 2019 form and will be a team to watch in eight-man football. I’m not going to declare any of those teams the class of their region or their classification, but they seem to have talent and a fairly good idea of their identities. If nothing else, when they turned their ignitions, their 2021 engines started right up. Shifting gears from the past to the future, which region or class are you most intrigued by this season?

ROBINSON: I think Class D has the most intriguing group of teams. Foxcroft Academy took care of business against defending Class D champs Lisbon, Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale ran over reigning Class D runner-up Bucksport, but I think all four of those teams will be in the mix by the end of the season. I’m also intrigued by Oxford Hills. The Vikings shut out Lewiston and this weekend face Sanford, which lost to a tough Thornton Academy group. Can Oxford Hills launch itself into the top-tier of Class A? They have the best chance to get into the Scarborough/Thornton/Bonny Eagle group as any.

HORTON: Class D always is intriguing, and I’m nowhere near bored of it, but I kind of already know that good stuff is coming. So, at this point in the season, it’s not the region I’m most interested in. That goes to the Class C South and Eight-Man Small School divisions. In the latter, Maranacook has to be the favorite — the Black Bears were one of the top teams in 2019, falling to state champ Mt. Ararat in the Large School division final, and now they’ve dropped down to Small School. But Telstar has some firepower, and though Mountain Valley and Dirigo are new to eight-man this fall, it’s folly to underestimate either of those teams. Both schools always know how to compete in football, even when they’ve had depleted rosters. Now much of the roster-size burden has been alleviated. Old Orchard Beach represented the small schools in the 2019 state title game, so expect it to be in the mix again. And keep an eye on Boothbay. As for C South, I’m looking forward to seeing if Leavitt can again finish in the No. 1 spot. It might be tough with the stalled start to its season, not to mention the presence of teams like Wells and Fryeburg. The Hornets have been forced to give the rest of the region a head start, but can they run them down by the end of the season like The Freeze does to civilian runners at Atlanta Braves games?


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