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 @_Lee_H) or email (wkramlich@sunjournal.com and lhorton@sunjournal.com).

Sun Journal assistant sports editor Wil Kramlich Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

WIL KRAMLICH: We all blinked, and now the end of the high school football regular season is in sight. For the 8-man Small School ranks, the regular season ends this weekend. The 8-man Large School teams and Classes B and C have one more week. And for Classes A and D, there’s still two more weeks after this, but those teams’ postseasons will be here before you know it.

There’s still a lot to be decided before the playoffs begin, so what do you expect will happen for some of our area teams and their respective regions? One of the biggest games this weekend is the rivalry matchup between Dirigo and Mountain Valley, which will determine the No. 1 seed in 8-Man Small South. Also, Class D has been topsy-turvy all season and I expect it to finish that way.

Sun Journal sports editor Lee Horton Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LEE HORTON: How fun is it that the top spot in 8-Man Small School South comes down to a game between rivals Mountain Valley and Dirigo? To answer my own question: So fun. Telstar also has a big game this week at Old Orchard Beach. The Rebels are likely stuck at fifth, but a good showing could provide a confidence boost heading into the playoffs.

In the other 8-man region of area interest, Large School South, Spruce Mountain is still in the running for the second seed, but their final game, Friday against Greely, isn’t going to add much to their Crabtree ranking. Gray-New Gloucester appears to be solidly in fourth place — Lake Region is far behind, and the Patriots aren’t close enough to catch Spruce.

Oxford Hills is in control in Class A, but after this week’s game against Windham, the Vikings finish the season with their New Hampshire game at Portsmouth (New Hampshire has won three of the four games against Maine schools this year) and then a home game against third-place Scarborough. That isn’t an easy schedule, but I think Oxford Hills will end up with the top seed.


I’m interested to see how high Lewiston finishes. Right now, the Blue Devils are fifth, a few Crabtree points behind Bonny Eagle and one point ahead of Sanford. Both of Lewiston’s remaining games — at Mt. Blue this week and, after a bye next week, at Edward Little on Oct. 28 — aren’t locks but are certainly winnable. My guess is that Lewiston will finish sixth.

Edward Little probably will finish seventh and miss the playoffs. However, wins over Bangor this week and Scarborough next week — remember, Lewiston routed Scarborough earlier this season — could set up a showdown for Class A’s final postseason spot between the Red Eddies and the Blue Devils at the end of the month.

KRAMLICH: The only thing better than a rivalry game is a matchup where there’s so much on the line, as it will be when Mountain Valley and Dirigo meet, and possibly in two weeks when Lewiston and Edward Little clash at Walton Field in Auburn for the final time.

While it’s not much of a rivalry matchup, Mt. Blue’s meeting with Gardiner next week at Gardiner could have some Class B North playoff implications. Those two teams are currently in the Nos. 6 (Gardiner) and 7 (Mt. Blue) spots in a region where eight teams make the playoffs. Both teams are almost locks to make the postseason, but the winner of this game gets — on paper — a better playoff matchup.

In Class C South, Leavitt is a lock for the playoffs with a 6-0 record heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. What is in question for the Hornets is: Will they win out and claim the No. 1 seed, and how far will the title-hungry Hornets advance? They have a big game this week against 5-1 Cheverus, then finish up the regular season with possibly their “easiest” game on the schedule against 3-3 Fryeburg.

Then, there’s Class D, where all eight teams make the playoffs and the four Sun Journal-area programs are jockeying for position in the middle of the pack over the final three weeks of the regular season. I’ll let you take a guess as to how that postseason picture will shake out.


HORTON: Last week’s one-point win over Cape Elizabeth hints that Leavitt’s path to the Class C state championship game won’t be as easy as it was starting to look. Saturday’s game against Cheverus might be further evidence of that. I’m confident the Hornets will win, but the Stags, new to Class C this season, have only lost once, to Class B Falmouth in the season opener.

In Class D, it looks like one of four teams will finish first: Freeport, Foxcroft, Lisbon and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale. Freeport and Foxcroft play each other next week. My guess is the winner of that game will be the top seed in the postseason. The Ramblers are currently third and the Greyhounds are fourth. Both teams face Poland (Winthrop this week, Lisbon next), then wrap up the season against each other in Winthrop on Oct. 28 (another high-stakes rivalry game!). If one of the two teams wins out, I predict it will finish second. I don’t have the guts to bet against either squad, though. Do you?

Then again, if Poland beats the Ramblers and the Greyhounds, it might move up to No. 2. Oak Hill seems better than No. 7, but I think the Raiders are stuck there because after this week’s bye, they face Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale and Foxcroft.

KRAMLICH: I think you’re right about the Freeport-Foxcroft winner claiming the No. 1 seed, but after that I don’t have a clue.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oak Hill beat the Ramblers in two weeks, not because I’m on the Raiders’ bandwagon or don’t believe in the Ramblers, but because a team can learn and grow a lot during a bye week, and, well, it’s Class D, where just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you don’t. I just know that playoff bracket should be fun.

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