Ben Raymond’s Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse team has outscored opponents 142-32 in eight games this season. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

To an outside observer, Saturday’s Class A boys’ lacrosse game pitting unbeaten Falmouth (7-0 in the North) at unbeaten Cape Elizabeth (8-0 in the South) looks like a state championship preview.

Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond doesn’t see it that way. Even though his team has outscored its opponents 142-32 including a 17-2 win Tuesday at two-time defending state champion Thornton Academy, he said there are obstacles in Class A South.

“TA is good. They’re young and they will be better,” Raymond said. “Scarborough we haven’t played yet, but we know they have a talented group, so they’ll be good.

“And there’s also Berwick (Academy). We scrimmaged them last week and that was a good game, 9-4, 9-5 (a Cape victory). It was a scrimmage, but I think both teams were playing it like a real game and it was an excellent game, Now, we would know if we’re lucky enough to get to the state final we would probably play Falmouth.”

Falmouth has one-goal wins against Thornton (twice) and Scarborough. With its 14-5 win against Windham on Tuesday, Falmouth further established itself as the clear No. 1 in the North.

BERWICK ACADEMY will participate in the Class A boys’ lacrosse tournament. The private day school in South Berwick normally plays against other private schools, but because of pandemic travel restrictions at the start of the school year, Berwick worked out scheduling with SMAA and Western Maine Conference schools. As a member of the Maine Principals’ Association, Berwick is eligible for the playoffs this year.

Berwick AD Rob Quinn noted how grateful he was that the public-school leagues’ welcomed Berwick with full regular-season schedules. Because Berwick’s spring athletics normally conclude prior to Memorial Day, Quinn said parents were surveyed to determine if players would commit to continuing, potentially until June 19. Berwick accepted the MPA invitation to play in the boys’ lacrosse and baseball tournaments, and declined in girls’ lacrosse and boys’ and girls’ tennis.

In lacrosse, Berwick is 9-0 and ranked first in Class A South. The Bulldogs finish the regular season with more good tests against Scarborough, Waynflete and Falmouth. The baseball team is 2-7.

THE BONNY EAGLE boys’ lacrosse team went 7-5 in 2018 and 10-2 in 2019 during the regular season, both times playing schedules of lesser difficulty and then losing to lower-seeded teams in the Class A South quarterfinals. But the Scots were definitely building, with good participation and increased playing in the off-season.

Then came the pandemic. Coach Andrew Slefinger and his 13 seniors in 2020 didn’t get to enjoy what “would have been a special season.” More than 30 middle schoolers who showed up for a preseason clinic before the pandemic didn’t play at all. Without a youth lacrosse program in the district, Bonny Eagle depends on its middle school team as its feeder program.

This season the Scots are down to 23 players, half of what Slefinger said his squad averaged in his previous nine years. Two would-be players graduated early in January. A couple others opted not to play. Others were not academically eligible. The freshmen and sophomore classes have nine players combined.

Despite the challenges, Bonny Eagle is 7-2. After opening the season with close losses against Gorham (12-9) and Portland (8-7), the Scots won a rematch with Portland, 9-5, to start a seven-game winning streak.

“The resilience of the guys has been very positive,” Slefinger said.

Junior midfielder and top scorer Nick Klein, senior attack Vinny Bruni and senior defender Parker Williams, a starter since his freshman season, have emerged as the leaders in each portion of the field.

Bonny Eagle, fourth in the Class A South Heal points, hosts No. 3 Gorham (8-0) on Saturday.

“That one has the biggest star on the schedule,” Slefinger said.

THE CLASS B boys’ tournament has the makings of a wild shootout where records will be deceiving. In the current Heal points, No. 4 York, No. 5 Yarmouth, No. 7 Greely and No. 12 Kennebunk are all 4-4.

Yarmouth has beaten No. 2 Brunswick, which recently knocked No. 1 Messalonskee from the unbeaten ranks. Greely has split two games with Yarmouth. Kennebunk will play 10 of its 12 games against Class A teams.

York’s four losses are to unbeaten teams Cape (twice), Berwick Academy and Waynflete.

“York, they’re the best Class B team we’ve seen so far,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond.


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.