KENNEBUNK — Every Thursday morning, the Kennebunk High football players get up early and head to the middle school to lift weights. The real treat comes later:

Coach Joe Rafferty’s pancake breakfast.

“We had three players show up the first week,” said co-captain Carlton Robie. “The last one, we had 30.”

Obviously, word is spreading of the veteran coach’s culinary talents. Rafferty serves up pancakes, sausages and bacon in the hallway adjacent to the high school locker room. There’s milk and orange juice on tables set up for the players.

Robie, a two-way lineman, said he usually packs away six to seven pancakes.

“I think we go through two boxes of mix,” said Robie.

Asked if there’s any special requests, like blueberries or chocolate chips in the pancakes, Robie said of Rafferty: “He’s not a chef, he’s a coach.”

Besides filling the stomachs of hungry players before they head to class, the breakfasts serve another important role. They help build team chemistry.

A major reason the Rams are 5-0 in Class B South, the players say, is the team has developed a strong bond through such activities. Kennebunk is one of a handful of high school football teams in the state that head to summer camp during the first week of preseason practice.

“It really brings the team together,” said quarterback Justin Wiggins of the summer camp in Naples. “We work hard at camp but we do a lot of fun things. Doing things together makes us stronger as a team.”

Kennebunk played for the Class B state championship two years ago, losing 30-23 to Cony. But graduation losses and injuries took a toll last season; the Rams finished the regular season with a 2-6 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs to York.

Rafferty admits to being surprised at Kennebunk’s 5-0 record. The team started the season with several first-year starters.

“We won the first game and then the second and it’s just snowballed,” said Rafferty. “Confidence has a lot to do with it.”

Friday night, Kennebunk hosts defending Class B state champion Marshwood (4-1).

“Our first couple of games were against lower-ranked teams,” said two-way tackle Travon Bradford, who at 6-foot-7, 280 pounds is usually the biggest player on the field. “Now we have a real test. Marshwood will bring an energy we haven’t seen.”

Kennebunk is confident of meeting the challenge.

“I think it’s been our ability to work together,” said Bradford of the 5-0 start. “We’re a close team. We encourage each other.”

Also, the Rams have been getting outstanding performances from the likes of Bradford, Robie, Wiggins, fullback Pat Saunders, running back Thomas Wildes, slot receivers Evan Warren and Nolan Ragnarsson, and linemen Andrew Bouchard, Cole Hoffman and Connor Archibald.

“Our line creates the holes and makes the running backs look good,” said Saunders.

Wiggins, a junior, is in his first season at quarterback after starting in the secondary last season. The Rams run the triple option.

“We read everything on the snap and try to spread teams out,” said Rafferty. “Justin has a lot to do with that.”

As a freshman, Wiggins said he picked up a lot watching Nick Emmons, the senior quarterback on Kennebunk’s Western Maine champion.

“I love our offense. It’s the same offense they ran,” said Wiggins.

The Rams will get a good indication where they stand in Class B South over the next few games. After Marshwood, Kennebunk plays at Biddeford (3-2), then wraps up the regular season at home against Noble.

The Kennebunk players are required to get in two weight-lifting sessions a week during the season.

“We want to maintain what we have,” said Rafferty.

Thursday’s session seems the most popular. The pancakes are a big draw.