Each week, the Sun Journal sports staff will pick high school football topics to discuss — sometimes the discussions will turn into spirited debates.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know via Twitter (@WilTalkSports and @FunkFlashyRob) or email (wkramlich@sunjournal.com and arobinson@sunjournal.com).

Sun Journal assistant sports editor Wil Kramlich

WIL KRAMLICH: The playoffs will be in full swing this weekend, with the playoffs finally starting in Classes A and D. In the Sun Journal coverage area, there are still teams alive in Classes A, C and D, and in the eight-man Small School division. So, my question to you this week is, which area team do you think has the hardest path to a championship?

Sun Journal sports reporter Adam Robinson

ADAM ROBINSON: I think you could make a case for any Class D playoff team because of the talent on so many teams. I wouldn’t want to face Foxcroft in the first week, I would be nervous to face Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, and I think Oak Hill is capable of beating a lot of D teams, too.

In A, Scarborough, Bangor, Bonny Eagle and Oxford Hills are all capable of beating up on each other, and then they’ll eventually have to face Thornton Academy.

How much do you think the matchups of Winthrop and Foxcroft, Thornton and Oxford Hills and Cape Elizabeth and Leavitt from the regular season will matter in the playoffs?

KRAMLICH: I do think all of those matchups matter, but that doesn’t mean that rematches will have the same results. I think Oxford Hills proved it can play with Thornton, and the Vikings certainly shouldn’t be scared of the Golden Trojans in a potential rematch. Likewise, I think Cape Elizabeth rues what went wrong against Leavitt, and that team and coaching staff will be well-prepared to face the Hornets again. Lastly, the Ramblers won’t be taking the Ponies too lightly a second time around — not that they did the first time — and I’m guessing they also realized after the first matchup that they had some work to do.


I wonder what Dirigo is thinking after seeing Maranacook shut down a Telstar offense that at times looked unstoppable against other opponents. The Cougars’ offense has looked real good down the stretch, but the Black Bears will be no slouch, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

ROBINSON: Maranacook’s defense was suffocating against Telstar last week — in both meetings, in fact. In the Black Bears’ first matchup with the Rebels, they had gotten four starters back from COVID-19 protocol just two days before the game. They didn’t have much offensive chemistry, and lost, but it was close game. This past Saturday, they had chemistry and showed just how good they can be.

On the flip side, Dirigo has won seven in a row, just like Telstar had, but the Cougars’ offense can run and throw better than I think Telstar’s. It will be a battle of lines on both teams, but I think Dirigo has a real shot. Look for Charlie Houghton to control the offense for Dirigo by making decisions to throw or hand off to his longtime friend Curtis Errington. They can both break a game wide open with one play.

Lisbon is also coming on strong here at the end of the season and the Greyhounds are another team I think we should take seriously in a loaded Class D.

KRAMLICH: Class D looks like a gauntlet, though the way Foxcroft took care of business against the Ramblers — and every other Class D team — could halt a run to a title for every other team in the division.

Saturday’s Lisbon-Oak Hill matchup (you know, the rivalry that I vouched for last week) should be an interesting one. The Greyhounds controlled the clock with their running game in last week’s win over Poland, and that could be key against a Raiders team that can ground-and-pound or air it out. The reward for winning that game is a likely matchup against Foxcroft.

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