1. Thornton Academy: The Golden Trojans return their top eight players led by the twin combo of Jordan and her brother Jacob Laplume, and talented sophomore Armand Ouellette. Thornton has already beaten defending Class A state champ Gorham, 13-0. Seniors Matt Merrill and Eric Boucher were in the top five last year for a team that finished seventh at the Class A tourney. Jan Berger, a talented junior transfer from the Czech Republic, has been the No. 4 player in opening matches. Thornton is the Class A favorite.

2. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen return three of their five scoring players from last season’s Class A third-place team in seniors Matt Adamowicz (a first-team SMAA Northern division pick), Riley Lonsdale (second-team SMAA) and Charlie Emple. The emergence of sophomore Tyler Baker, No. 1 in a season-opening win against Scarborough, and senior No. 5 player Louis Mainella (team-best 38 in Tuesday’s win against Deering) gives Falmouth five players capable of breaking 80 for 18 holes.

3. Scarborough: In the opener, a 13-0 sweep of a solid Portland squad, all six players shot 40 or better on the par-36 front nine at Riverside, and top player Anthony Burnham didn’t even tee it up. Senior Elizabeth Lacognata is one of the best girls in the state, and the team also returns seniors Ian Trumpler and Ethan Mason, and sophomore Ted Forsley from the 2016 team that finished fourth in Class A.

4. Mt. Ararat: The Eagles return the top four players from a squad that finished second in Class A last season, losing to Gorham in a tiebreaker. Sophomore Caleb Manuel is one of the most consistent young golfers in the state. Also returning are Will Kavanaugh, Ben Hixson and Blair Kopp. The team is further strengthened by the improved play of junior Cade Charron, who has moved up to the No. 2 spot.

5. Cheverus: The Stags’ top three of Tom Higgins – a junior and 2016 first-team SMAA North pick – senior Conner MacDonald and long-hitting junior Jeremy Baker return from a team that was sixth in Class A. John Welch was medalist at last year’s state qualifier with a par 72. Unseating Falmouth and Scarborough to win the North is unlikely but a return to the state tournament is not.

– Steve Craig

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