1. Falmouth

The Yachtsmen are typically contenders, and this year is no different. Falmouth returns the nucleus of last year’s Class B championship team as well as a pair of Division I soccer prospects and has a core of younger players ready to step in at the varsity level.

2. Scarborough

Graduation may have taken its toll on the Red Storm, but the defending Class A champions return the bulk of their defense. Scarborough, however, needs to compensate for the offense lost to graduation but is still regarded as the team to beat.

3. Yarmouth

Like Falmouth, the Clippers are one of the top teams to beat in Western Class B. They return the core of last year’s team, including leading scorer Luke Pierce, and while they have talent and depth, they must work together to develop consistency.

4. Portland

Considered the top threat to Scarborough’s reign in Class A, the Bulldogs have a young program and have to make up for the loss of seven seniors, but they should be in the mix by the time the playoffs roll around.

5. Brunswick

The defending Eastern Class A champions, the Dragons are perennial contenders in their region – in the past five years, Brunswick has lost six games — but will have to fill holes left by graduation, particularly on defense.

6. Westbrook

The Blue Blazes traditionally have been a strong SMAA team but did not make the playoffs last year. However, Westbrook returns several of its players who have another year of seasoning.

7. Windham

The Eagles reached the Western Class A title game last season, falling to eventual state champion Scarborough, but they return with valuable playoff experience and opened the season by edging Bonny Eagle with a 4-3 win.

8. Cape Elizabeth

The Capers open the season loaded with seniors and with playoff experience but need the younger players to mature quickly in a regular-season schedule that includes six games against Falmouth, Yarmouth and Greely. Playing a Western Maine Conference schedule should prepare the Capers for the Class A playoffs.

9. North Yarmouth Academy

The Panthers have deeper talent than last year and are buying into the system second-year coach Martyn Keen has implemented. However, the Panthers need to find early consistency in a schedule stacked with Western Maine Conference opponents that include Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth.

10. Greely

The Rangers have four starters returning from last year’s playoff team and have to compensate for a lack of depth, which means team cohesion is a must. Like Cape Elizabeth, the Rangers play a Western Maine Conference regular-season schedule, then move to the Western Class A playoffs.