Sep. 22—As happens every year, it feels like we just had the 2022 season openers but we're already at Week 4, which means after this weekend's slate of games we'll be halfway through the regular season for most classes.
We're already starting to see divisions take shape. Which division is looking the most surprising to you? Which one looks like the toughest or most competitive?
To me, Class A has been the most interesting.
Oxford Hills took on Thornton Academy in Week 2 and even with starting quarterback Eli Soehren going down with an injury, the Vikings fought back and won. A big win over the reigning Class A champs was huge for the confidence of the team and Soehren's replacement, Brady Truman, who followed it up with a big performance the following week against Sanford.
Edward Little is also surprising. The Red Eddies beat Messalonskee in an instant classic in Week 1, then in Week 3 pulled off a road victory over Brewer. After going years without a win, Edward Little has felt victory again.
Lewiston is a growing program, and the Blue Devils' loss to Leavitt last week gave Lewiston a baseline of where the program is.
What about you?
No doubt, Oxford Hills — without its star quarterback for much of the game — beating Thornton was a big win for the Vikings, and Truman backed up his abilities with last week's win over Sanford. And Edward Little winning multiple games already has been great for the Eddies program. But I can't help but think Class A will go through Oxford Hills and Thornton, which isn't much of a surprise.
What surprises me the most is the logjam currently at the top of Class D, with five teams tied with two wins. Freeport has been added to the class (down from Class C), and should provide more balance at the top. And Poland and John Bapst sitting at two wins three weeks into the season is something I wouldn't have predicted. Nor would Oak Hill being the lone 0-3 team. It will be fun to watch that class play out.
And I could say this every year, but Class B North looks like a gauntlet again. Skowhegan and Windham are unsurprising teams at the top, but Mt. Blue and Gardiner are knocking at their door with 2-1 records. And Cony and Lawrence will have to battle back from early 1-2 marks. Where do you see Mt. Blue being in the standings at the end of the regular season? And what are your thoughts on Class D?
Class D has been really exciting. Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale opened with an exciting game with Foxcroft, which was to be expected. Having seen Poland, Oak Hill and Lisbon, I think you're right when you say you wouldn't be surprised if any of them made a run. Of the three, I am most impressed by Poland. Quarterback Lagan O'Driscoll was great against Oak Hill and the Knights have a stifling defense. Oak Hill and Lisbon are both young but have players that can make plays at any time.
I'm curious to see how far Mt. Blue can go. Two huge wins over Deering and Brunswick that will propel them into a tough stretch of Winslow, Messalonskee and Lawrence. Coach Matt Friedman has done a great job in his first season.
Friedman took over a favorable situation, in that the Cougars brought back a lot of players from last year's team for which he was an assistant, including quarterback Jayden Meader. Now those players — and Friedman as the leader of them — will have to show they can win those toss-up games between teams that look even on paper. Those will go a long way in determining the pecking order in B North.
Enjoy that Winslow-Mt. Blue matchup in Farmington on Friday night. It should hopefully be a good one to end your time at the Sun Journal. I'm going to miss our head-to-head discussions, but I know we'll hear more from you one way or another.