Winthrop’s Robby Feeney loses Oak Hill’s Hunter Drew and Maverick Swan during an Oct. 22 game in Wales. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Ever since Class D became a small, statewide class last year, the standings have been in a constant state of flux. Never has that been more apparent than this past weekend, the final week of the 2022 regular season for the classification’s eight teams.

By the time Class D’s Week 9 slate concluded, none of the teams ranked second through sixth in the Crabtree standings ended up where they were to begin the weekend. The result is a set of playoff matchups that looks almost nothing like it did a week ago in an ultra-competitive, parity-driven league.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale began the weekend in second place, trailing only reigning state champion Foxcroft. After a 36-21 loss to Lisbon and Freeport’s win over John Bapst, Dave St. Hilaire’s Ramblers fell behind the Greyhounds and Falcons to finish in the No. 4 spot.

“We scored on our first drive, but then we had two opportunities down inside their 15-yard line, and we couldn’t punch it in,” St. Hilaire said. “If we score, it’s 21-6 instead of just 7-6, and you maybe take them out of their double-wing T and more into something they don’t want to do. … We couldn’t do that, and they took advantage.”

John Bapst, meanwhile, had been in fifth prior to their 27-14 loss to Freeport on Saturday. That loss, coupled with Poland’s 48-0 win over Madison/Carrabec, sent the Crusaders down to sixth and the Knights up to fifth — a development that came as a bit of a surprise to St. Hilaire.

“Bapst was playing Saturday night, and we thought, ‘Well, they were ahead of Poland going into this week, so they’ll be fifth,’” St. Hilaire said. “I was actually starting to prepare for Bapst as that game was progressing because I didn’t think they’d (drop a spot), but they did, so it was a thing of, ‘OK, I guess we’re on to Poland now.’”


Down at the bottom of the Class D standings, Oak Hill (2-6) and Madison/Carrabec (1-7) remained in their previous spots of seventh and eighth, respectively. Foxcroft (7-1) remained in the No. 1 spot after beating the Raiders 37-6 in the regular season finale.

IT MAY HAVE been a difficult aspect to see immediately following the end of the season, but Mt. Blue head coach Matt Friedman was well aware of the step forward the program took in 2022 after losing 38-13 to Cony in a Class B North quarterfinal on Friday night in Augusta.

Mt. Blue’s Dylan Farmer (56) forces Cony’s Elijah Klaiber (24) to fumble during a Class B North football quarterfinal Friday in Augusta. Cony recovered the fumble on the play. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The Cougars finished 3-6. It’s a jump from last season, in which the Cougars finished with one win and were at the bottom of the B North standings.

“It’s something we’ve talked about as a coaching staff the last couple of weeks as we’ve gotten towards the end of the regular season, starting the evaluation process,” Friedman said. “Honestly, we got as far as we were hoping to get, maybe even a little bit more. Maybe the wins and losses weren’t exactly where we wanted them, but the fight in these guys and the way we approached practice every day was just really, really refreshing and nice.”

Despite the score, Mt. Blue pushed Cony on Friday night. Quarterback Jayden Meader finished 11 of 20 passing for 124 yards, including a 43-yard strike to wide receiver Isaac Wrigley.

“I’m tremendously proud of my guys,” Friedman said. “Coming from where we were, last year, trying to put things back together, it’s been a long road but it’s been a great road. These guys really kind of dedicated themselves to playing as hard as they can and helping rebuild this program. This senior class, we’re going to miss them.”


Central Maine Newspapers staff reporter Dave Dyer contributed to this report.

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