Scarborough’s Kilson Joao recorded 16 goals and 12 assists as a junior last fall. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Quinn Alessi, Traip Academy senior, forward: The Rangers went 12-4 last year, with three losses to Class C state champion Waynflete. Alessi was a big reason for the Rangers’ success, with seven goals and 12 assists. Traip returns three starters but has better depth and expects to contend again.

Ethan Berry, Mt. Ararat junior, center back: Athletically gifted, Berry leads the Eagles, who are coming off a 12-2-2 season. With lots of travel team experience, Berry can dominate from the back and push forward when needed.

Junior Beyoko, Brunswick junior, forward: The defending Class A champion Dragons graduated 16 seniors, so there is plenty of room for new players to make a mark. Beyoko’s speed and on-the-ball skill will get him noticed quickly, said Coach Mark Roma.

Cam Brown, Camden Hills junior, forward: A high-energy player, Brown followed up a 13-goal sophomore season by being named to the Maine Soccer Coaches Association Northern Maine State Team. He and Charlie Pons are top scorers for a team looking to move up from its fifth-place finish in Class A North last season.

Spencer Carpenter, Wells senior, midfield: A four-year varsity player, Carpenter moves with and without the ball to command the midfield and start the play for Wells, which has 19 upperclassmen and 41 total players intent on making the playoffs after a 3-11 season.

Connor Cass, Lincoln Academy senior, midfield: Cass is one of 11 returnees from the KVAC Class B league champions, who went 11-2-2. He and Casey Duncan form a strong midfield for a squad that may get more in-season tests, with games against Western Maine Conference teams York, Gray-New Gloucester and Freeport.


Jeremiah Chessie, Thornton Academy senior, midfield: A three-year varsity starter and also a standout baseball player, Chessie will bring needed experience to a squad that lost eight starters – and 16 of 24 varsity players – from last year’s 6-7-1 team.

Sam Cochran of Cape Elizabeth leaps to make a bicycle kick during a game against Yarmouth last fall. He was named to Southern Maine Class B all-star team in 2022. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Sam Cochran, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfield: Effective with the ball at his feet and off the ball, Cochran sees the field well. He was named to the MSCA Southern Maine Class B all-star team in 2022, one of only three juniors so honored.

Lucas Drinkwater, Bonny Eagle senior, forward: The Scots’ captain has been limited by injuries in previous seasons but still impressed enough to be an honorable mention SMAA pick as a junior. New defense-first coach Cody Elliott thinks Drinkwater’s size and ability to play with the ball at his feet or in the air will make him a scoring threat.

Jonny Fulton, Yarmouth senior, defense: Strong and athletic, Fulton is one of the leaders on the defending Class B champions and part of a defensive foursome that Coach Mike Hagerty proclaims “the best back four in the state.”

Kilson Joao, Scarborough senior, forward: The only junior chosen to the 2022 Maine Soccer Coaches’ Association all-region (essentially all-New England) team, the dynamic, rangy forward who seems to be worth a highlight play a game tallied 16 goals and 12 assists as a junior.

Dylan Jones, Kennebunk senior, keeper: Jones joins fellow senior captains Andrew Burnham and George Lazos to form a tough defensive core. Jones is a three-year starter and strong shot stopper for a Class A sleeper. Kennebunk returns six starters from a 6-6-3 team that lost to Falmouth in penalty kicks after beating No. 2 Deering and No. 4 Gorham in the final weeks of the season.


Nivaldi Locarto, Fryeburg Academy junior, forward: The first-year dorm student from Brazil is “probably the most skilled player I’ve had in the past five years,” said Coach Bob Hodgman-Burns. Locarto can score with either foot for a team with few returnees from last year’s 11-6 team that lost 1-0 to Yarmouth in a Class B South semifinal.

Cheverus’ Shane McGrath, left, should be among the SMAA’s top midfielders. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Shane McGrath, Cheverus senior, midfield: Midfield should be a strength for the Stags with McGrath, Anton Behuniak and Henry Huntley. Cheverus graduated several key players from a 6-9-1 team. New coach Ben Schulz (formerly at Windham) says McGrath projects to be among the SMAA’s top midfielders with his ability to create for himself and teammates.

CJ Marenghi, South Portland senior, midfield: A returning starter, Marenghi excelled a year ago and is one of several experienced players on a balanced squad looking to improve on last season’s 11-5 record.

James Melino, Marshwood senior, midfield: Melino, a returning starter, led the team in assists last season and will anchor the midfield for a squad that lost nine starters to graduation.

Baptista Muanda, Portland sophomore, midfield: The first-year Bulldog has impressed veteran coach Rocco Frenzilli with his ability to quickly meld with the team and use his skill, pace and vision to engage teammates in a positive way.

Hamza Nabi, Westbrook senior, midfield: After scoring four goals as a sophomore, Nabi had nine a year ago in a team MVP season as the Blue Blazes got back into the playoffs with a 5-6-3 record. This is his second year as team captain.


Mohamedi Ngido, Medomak Valley junior, midfield/forward: A returning MSCA Class B North all-star, Ngido will move from center back to attacking positions to use his speed and ball control. Last season the Panthers started 0-5 when Ngido was injured, then went 6-3-1 with him, including an overtime playoff loss at Greely. Medomak returns to Class B North this season.

Sam Paladino, Poland senior, keeper: Coach Josh Kennison expects Poland to improve on its 3-11 season and make the playoffs, and Paladino is one key reason for optimism. The returning second-team WMC pick should receive more offensive support this season.

Kristopher Rankin, Biddeford junior, midfield: The Tigers’ engine can do a “little bit of everything for us,” said Coach Paul Illiano, including initiating the attack and settling the defense for a team that was injury-riddled in a 2-12 campaign in 2022.

Owen Rusiecki, Freeport senior, midfielder: Coming off a 7-5-5 season, the Falcons have shown they can compete with WMC elites like Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth and expect to again this season. Rusiecki is a powerful force in the middle who can control his area and be the focal point of the attack.

Deering’s Peter Sargent, left, will shift from a more offensive role to being the center defensive midfielder for the Rams. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Peter Sargent, Deering junior, midfield: One of the Rams’ captains, and a three-year varsity player and returning starter, Sargent will shift from a more offensive role to being the center defensive midfielder. With a high soccer IQ and work rate, Sargent will be a leader on and off the pitch for a squad that graduated three all-SMAA first-teamers.

Jacob Woodman, Waynflete senior, midfield: A four-year varsity player, the 6-foot-2 Woodman will be counted on to both win the ball in the midfield and be able to move forward and get involved in the scoring for the four-time defending Class C champions.

Sam Yoon, Falmouth junior, midfield: Yoon is a rare returning starter for the Navigators, who graduated nine seniors, then lost nine projected starters because of injuries or departures. He and defender Griffin Parr will shoulder the load early in the season.

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