1. Cape Elizabeth: The defending Class A state champion returns most of the players from its stunning playoff run last year, when it entered the state tournament as a fifth seed.

2. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen made a strong run at the Class A state title last year before falling to Cape Elizabeth, 3-2. They have a new coach in Molly Northway, who played at Greely during its six-year state title streak.

3. Greely: The eight-time Class A state champs never can be discounted. Coach Kelvin Hasch said this year the Rangers are taking a different approach, only focused on how well they play entering the playoffs.

4. Scarborough: Some call the Red Storm the runaway state favorites, but Coach Jon Roberts said he has a young team. Still, Scarborough has gone to the state final two of the last four years.

5. Yarmouth: The Clippers move up from Class B but aren’t strangers to Class A. They always have competed against larger schools. They were the Class B state champions three of the last five years.

– Deirdre Fleming