1. Thornton Academy: The defending Class A champs have top-tier players across the field returning from a 15-0 team that won the school’s first lacrosse title. Midfielder CJ LaBreck was the 2018 Varsity Maine Player of the Year and capable of taking over games. The defense is led by seniors Ean Patry (goal) and all-SMAA long-pole Eli Arsenault. Tom Levasseur is coming off a 50-goal, 22-assist season and will step into the primary attack option this season. Junior Sam Edborg is among the best faceoff men. Adapting to the role of favorite will be key.

2. Cape Elizabeth: Never count out the Capers, who won four of five Class B championships from 2013-17 before moving up to Class A last season (10-4). Coach Ben Raymond says this year’s team is one of his most balanced. Senior Sam Dresser (15 goals, 10 assists) runs the offense from the midfield. Midfielders Phillip Tarling and Killian Lathrop and sophomore attack Archie McEvoy each scored at least 15 goals last season. Senior Nick Martin opened the season with six goals and four assists in a 17-6 win against Waynflete. Max Patterson and junior goalie Jack Dresser (67 percent on saves) lead the defense.

3. Falmouth: Another team in its second season in Class A, Falmouth is a heavy favorite to repeat as the North region champ. Senior long-stick midfielder Riley Reed is widely regarded as one of the top five players in the state. Senior Reilly Tucker (15 goals, 35 assists) and junior Tom Fitzgerald (28 goals, 16 assists) form a veteran attack tandem. Falmouth will have to adjust on defense with the graduation of all three of its starting defenders, including two-time All-American Brendan Hickey.

4. Greely: The Rangers took advantage of Cape and Falmouth’s departure to Class A and advanced to their first MPA-sanctioned state final in 2018, losing in overtime to Brunswick. The Rangers return junior attackmen Andrew Lawrence (47 goal, 43 assists) and Schuyler Wetmore (43 goals, 48 assists). Sawyer Gagnon, another junior, is a top-tier goalie. Jackson Williams, a senior, is a superior faceoff man. Ethan Fraser (24 goals, 9 assists) and Malcolm Bourgeois are expected to lead the midfield and defense.

5. Yarmouth: Like Greely, Yarmouth’s season was ended by Brunswick in overtime (in the state semifinal). The Clippers lost in OT in three of their final four games last year, and veteran Coach David Pearl says that ending has made his players “more dedicated than ever.” Senior Michael Guertler and junior Anders Corey will set the tone offensively but it’s Yarmouth’s defense that is its calling card, led by rangy senior Jake Rogers, long-stick middie Cole Buchanan and junior goalie Spencer King. Corey, Rogers, King and faceoff specialist Griffin Primeau were first-team WMC picks last season.

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