1. Scarborough: Wes Ridlon takes over as the head coach of a team that won the Class A state title in 2019. He has two of the best position players in the state in junior power-hitting catcher Nic Frink (five doubles, one homer, 13 RBI in 2019) and junior shortstop TJ Liponis (.296 batting average). Senior outfielder Peter O’Brien hit .409 with runners in scoring position and had 13 RBI as a sophomore. Senior Ryan Gambardella (14 2/3 innings, 1.90 ERA, 1-2 with a save), junior lefty Ryan Kelly and freshman Harrison Griffiths lead the pitching staff.

2. Cheverus: Veteran coach Tony DiBiase takes over as head coach. While the lineup is still a work in progress, he knows he has probably has the best one-two pitching combination in the SMAA in seniors Sam Clark, who will be heading to UConn, and lefty Nick Giancotti. Clark, Giancotti, senior pitcher/outfielder Jackson Header and junior catcher Kevin Connolly will form the heart of the batting order, while DiBiase expects “a lot of experimentation” with the rest of his lineup.

3. Greely: Center fielder Brady Nolin was an all-Western Maine Conference pick as a sophomore after hitting .388, and junior shortstop Max Cloutier hit .348. The No. 1 battery features left-handed pitcher Zach Johnston (verbal commitment to the University of Maryland) and catcher Ryan Kolben (commitment to UMass). A deep lineup includes power-hitting junior outfielder Brooks Williams, seniors Dawson Jowett and Cooper Neleski and some promising newcomers.

4. Freeport: Pitchers Anthony Panciocco and Blaine Cockburn and catcher Kempton von Glinsky-Gregoire were key contributors to the 2019 Class B South championship team. Panciocco (4-1, 2.80 ERA) is also the team’s shortstop and leading returning hitter (.397, 14 runs, 23 RBI). Cockburn, a junior committed to UMaine, was a lights out closer as a freshman (0.00 ERA, 25 Ks in 13 2/3 innings). Senior Elias Thomas, juniors Nathan Abbott and Gus Wing and sophomore Zane Aguiar provide excellent pitching depth.

5. Gorham: Juniors Kyle Skolfield and Colin McDonald could give the Rams a top-tier starting pitching duo. Skolfield went 3-3 in seven starts with a 1.02 ERA and 34-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a freshman. McDonald hasn’t thrown a varsity pitch but has committed to UMaine. Senior first baseman Bode Meader hit .306 in 2019. The “depth of talent is as good as I’ve seen in many years,” said Rams Coach Chuck Nadeau.

6. Yarmouth: The Clippers have 12 seniors, including second-team 2019 all-WMC picks shortstop/pitcher Will Cox (.327 batting average, 8 steals) and catcher Max Brewer (.333), who played outfield as a sophomore. Jack McGrath (.260, 3 doubles, 3 triples) and Jake Gautreau will both pitch and play second base. Gautreau is slotted as the team’s No. 1 starter after going 1-3 with a 1.95 ERA in 2019. Veteran coach Marc Halstead is also high on junior corner infielders Gibby Sullivan (first base) and Jack McCosh (third base).

7. York: The Wildcats, 16-3 in 2019, have developed a healthy program under co-coaches Nick Hanlon and Chuck Chadbourne. Senior Josh Gennaro (4-0, 1.52 ERA) was a strong No. 2 pitcher in 2019 and takes on the ace’s role. Senior Alex Neilson and junior Hayden Henriksen started in the field in the Class B South final loss to Freeport in 2019. There’s plenty of athletic ability in the field. Development of pitchers like senior Austin Mather and juniors Henriksen, Zach Strand and Luke Doughty will be key.

8. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers boast seven varsity returners and 10 seniors back from a 4-12 team that missed the playoffs in 2019. The best all-around player might be junior Colin Smith, an infielder and pitcher who hit .267 and went 1-2 with a 2.44 ERA. Smith, senior Patrick O’Brien and junior Hayden Webber will anchor the pitching staff. Seniors Charlie Bischoff (OF/IF/P) and Charlie Carver (IF/P) both hit .267 as sophomores. Senior catcher Jake Tinsman and versatile Will Altenburg are also varsity returners.

9. Falmouth: New head coach Mike D’Andrea will lean heavily on senior center fielder Sam Kidder and junior pitcher Bennett Smith. Kidder, a good fielder with power and speed, was a second-team SMAA choice as a sophomore. Smith pitched well as a freshman. Shortstop Brady Coyne and Gus Ford are also key players. Falmouth’s slight edge in experience has then projected them to finish ahead of traditionally strong Class A programs Portland, South Portland, Marshwood and Thornton Academy.

10. Windham & Thornton Academy: Heal points will be used to determine seeding, but every team will be eligible to participate in the playoffs this season. Having a real ace could be huge. That’s why it’s hard to choose between Windham and Thornton, both of which have dynamic No. 1 pitchers. Windham’s Brady Afthim, who is also a top catcher, is hitting low 90s with his fastball and has good breaking stuff. Thornton junior Cody Bowker, also a good outfielder, is throwing nearly as hard as Afthim and has multi-pitch command.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.