Wesley Gallant, right, celebrates his touchdown with Old Orchard Beach teammates during the Seagulls’ season opener against Traip Academy. As impressive as the Old Orchard offense has been this season, the team has yet to allow a point after four games. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The Old Orchard Beach High football team is averaging 61.5 points per game this season.

But what the defending eight-man Small School champions are doing on defense might be even more impressive. The Seagulls (4-0) have allowed zero points.

Coach Dean Plante’s 28-player roster is stocked with athletes who have gotten stronger, faster and bigger since last season.

“Our core group of kids have bought into what you preach all the time: Eat right. Train. Work in the offseason to get bigger, faster, stronger, and legitimately to a man, everyone did that,” Plante said.

Only three of the other 27 eight-man football teams are allowing 10 points or less per game: Maranacook (32 points allowed), Orono (38) and Camden Hills (40). Maranacook, also 4-0, has actually scored more points than the Seagulls with 253. Old Orchard travels to Readfield to take on the Bears next week. Before that, OOB has a home game against Sacopee Valley on Saturday.

Every player who has dressed for Old Orchard Beach has played in each game, Plante said.


“And our second- and third-team guys have played a lot of snaps. We haven’t played our starters past the half yet, and it’s usually blended with first- and second-team guys in the second quarter,” Plante said.

The coaching staff has also done its part. Old Orchard has won 11 straight games since losing 48-20 to Mountain Valley in Rumford last September. Since then, the most points OOB has allowed was in its 46-22 win against Orono in the state championship game. The Seagulls have five shutouts during their streak and allowed only six points twice.

“Last year, we realized some things that we needed to change defensively. We changed the whole scheme and then we made big adjustments after the thrashing we took at Mountain Valley,” Plante said. “Now we feel we have an answer and a counter for almost every formation we’ve seen.”

OOB has a 16-1 edge in turnovers. Linebacker Brayden Mansur is a run-stopper who can also drop into coverage. Nose guard Ian Blake, a senior in his second year of football, is a strong, 5-foot-8, 195-pound returning all-conference player. Levi Perrone is a good cornerback. Riley Provencher is a shutdown cornerback who is also a standout receiver and run blocker.

“Riley Provencher is one of the best football players in the state, any class, any division,” Plante said. “He’s certainly the best player in eight-man. He can play any position and be all-conference.”

Plante said the shutout string is a “pretty cool accomplishment” by his players and coaches, and though shutouts are not the goal, “it’s a by-product of how we prepare and practice.”


POLAND IS ALSO getting it done on defense. The Knights are off to the first 4-0 start in their 21-season varsity history. Poland has outscored its opponents 100-8, and two of the points allowed were on a safety after a blocked punt.

Poland is coming off a 22-2 win at Freeport after opening the season with a 46-0 victory at Madison and home wins against Old Town (16-0) and Oak Hill (16-6). The Knights are in first place in Class D South.

The sternest test yet comes Friday night when Poland travels to Wells (2-2). The Warriors’ losses have come to Class C teams, York and Cheverus. In its two games against Class D teams, Wells has shut out Oak Hill (31-0) and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (41-0)

Coach Gus LeBlanc, in his fourth year at Poland, led Dexter to back-to-back state titles in 1984-85. He’s also been an assistant coach at Old Town, Edward Little and Lewiston, and served in administration roles as athletic director at Oak Hill and principal at Lewiston. He said the mood of Poland’s players reflects a variety of feelings.

“The kids are ‘Alright, we’re 4-0,’ but some are not really sure what to think and they know they have a tough opponent with Wells,” LeBlanc said. “Some of our kids are true believers and are ready to put everything on the line. If we beat Wells, we’d get a lot of true believers.”

Poland’s defense has been a bend-don’t-break outfit with good overall speed but not much size. Regan Cohen is the leading tackler from his linebacker slot. Sophomore safety Damon Martin has four interceptions, two returned for a touchdown. Overall, Poland has intercepted 10 passes, two by strong safety Isaac Ramsdell. Senior defensive end Nick Aube (6-3, 205), one of the team’s biggest players, has been a key on the line.


“They’re a good football team,” Wells Coach Tim Roche said of Poland. “They move to the ball well, get around the ball on defense, and then on offense their running backs are quick. … They’ll be a formidable foe Friday night.”

SOUTH PORTLAND HAS formed a football hall of fame. The first class of 10 players and two coaches will be inducted Friday, Nov. 24, at the Sheraton Sable Oaks at 6 p.m. For ticket information ($60 per person) or general questions, email sphsfootballhof@gmail.com.

The players to be inducted are William Curran (1931), Harold “Ed” Woodsum Jr. (1949), Richard “Dick” Daniels (1953), Robert Hews (1966), Ed McAleney (1971), Dan Federico (1982), Michael Soucy (1990), Bert Rich (1993), Tim Lawson (1997) and Rob Kierstead (1998).

Head coaches John “Jack” Flynn (1966-84) and John Wolfgram (1986-2000) also will be enshrined.

TALKING DEFENSE AND domination, defending Class D state champion Foxcroft Academy (4-0) has outscored its opponents 219-6. The Ponies travel to Waldoboro on Friday to face unbeaten Medomak Valley, which played in the Class C state final last year. … Kennebunk (4-0) has allowed only 18 points and is the clear top team in B South. The return of senior running back Jonah Barstow (204 rushing yards versus Deering last week) from an early season injury is another plus for the Rams.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.