Yarmouth High players celebrate after winning the Class B girls’ lacrosse state championship last June. The Clippers are in Class A this season, along with Cape Elizabeth, winner of the previous two Class B titles. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Juliet Meas had heard the rumors all summer, but the announcement from Dorothy Holt, coach of the Yarmouth High girls’ lacrosse team, still surprised the senior goalie.

“We didn’t realize it was coming about until the first day of preseason practice,” Meas said. “Moving up to Class A is going to be a good, exciting challenge for us.”

By petitioning up in classification for at least a two-year cycle, Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth are making Class A significantly more competitive and ensuring that Class B will have a state champion that has never won that title.

Of the remaining 12 schools in Class B, only Messalonskee has tasted state championship success – and that came in Class A in 2016. Yarmouth won Class B last year (its sixth state title), and Cape Elizabeth won the prior two seasons.

Greely made its first state final appearance last spring, losing 13-8 to neighboring Yarmouth. Coach Becca Koelker said the Rangers will still face stiff competition: “Our focus remains the same, to put in the work to get better every day in order to reach our potential by the time the postseason rolls around.”

Yarmouth threatened to spoil what would become a perfect 16-0 season for defending Class A champion Kennebunk in a crossover game last April before the Rams erased a three-goal deficit in the second half to win 10-8.


“I think it’s great to have them,” said Annie Barker, in her 21st year as head coach at Kennebunk. “They’re both very talented programs and I think it makes it even more competitive for us. It makes us have to work a little bit harder.”

Kennebunk won Class B titles in 2016 and 2017 before petitioning up to Class A in the last major reshuffling, when the Maine Principals’ Association expanded from two to three classifications. Joining Kennebunk in the move to Class A in 2018 were Marshwood, Falmouth and Cheverus.

Cape Elizabeth won Class B state championships in girls’ lacrosse in 2018 and 2019. This year, the Capers are moving to Class A. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Falmouth immediately won the next two Class A titles and was runner-up to Kennebunk 9-8 last spring. Ashley Pullen, coach of the Navigators, welcomed the traditional Class B powers. In an email response, she wrote “Psyched! The more competition the better.”

Massabesic appeared in five straight Class A finals between 2014 and 2018 and won two of them. Jason Tremblay, the new head coach of the Mustangs, is of a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats mindset when it comes to the addition of Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth.

“They have dominated Class B for the longest time,” Tremblay said, “and it only adds to a great situation for (Class A), which will offer a very competitive playoffs.”

“You want to be where the top competition is, so to me it made sense,” said Alex Spark, seventh-year coach of Cape Elizabeth. “It makes getting to the championship that much harder, which is what you want.”


Claire McDonald, a senior midfielder and one of four Cape captains, said she looks forward to seeing some new faces, or at least new uniforms, in the regular season and in the state tournament. Cape Elizabeth was a Class B quarterfinalist last spring, losing to Yarmouth.

“We’re a little bit nervous,” McDonald said. “But honestly, I’m really excited. We’re a pretty young team (with no juniors) and I think the energy’s a lot different than last year.”

The Cape Elizabeth boys, who made the jump to Class A four years ago, were eliminated by Thornton Academy in 2018 and 2019 before winning the state title in 2021. The Yarmouth boys, meanwhile, remained in Class B and are aiming for a third straight state championship.

Meas, the Yarmouth goalie, said the classification change will have little bearing on her team’s outlook heading into the season, but that it does provide a little extra motivation to push each other in practice.

The loss to Kennebunk last April was disappointing, but a good learning experience, she said. A rematch in June might have resulted in a different outcome. “We grew as a team and they probably grew as a team,” she said. “It would have been an interesting matchup.”

Yarmouth teammate Katelyn D’Appolonia, a senior midfielder who plans to play college lacrosse at the University of Colorado, knows plenty of girls from Class A schools through club lacrosse activities.


“Class A has always been kind of a dream for us to play in,” she said. “Pushing us to that level will be good for us. Those (crossover) matchups have always been close games.”

Leading up to last year’s state finals, Yarmouth won two playoff games by a combined 24 goals and Kennebunk won three by a total of 43 goals. The classification change may tighten up some of those tournament contests. Any Class A teams that underestimate Yarmouth or Cape Elizabeth do so at their peril.

“Everybody looks at Class A as the big boys,” said Holt, in her 17th year as Yarmouth coach. “So we’ll see. We’re doing it in a growing year, but that’s OK. The team is up to the challenge.”

Clearly, for the Clippers and Capers, the time has come to show their A game.

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