Members of the Mt. Ararat football team flock to the captains prior to a game against Cheverus last season in Topsham. Photo provided by Jason Eggleston

BRUNSWICK — The 2023 Midcoast area high school football season opens Friday, and some new local rivalries in eight-man Large South will begin while an old one between a pair of Class D teams continue.

With numbers declining a year ago, Brunswick will enter the eight-man fray and will compete against Morse and Mt. Ararat, all within a 10-mile radius on Route 1.

While Class D state runner-up Lisbon will face another familiar foe in Freeport, and both will battle for another playoff run. The Greyhounds defeated the Falcons in the Class D semifinal a year ago.

Here is a preview of the Midcoast teams:


The Dragons will make their debut in eight-man football Friday evening when it travels to Gray-New Gloucester for its first game under new head coach Mark Renna.


Renna comes to Brunswick after two years as defensive coordinator for Yarmouth, last year’s eight-man Large School state runner-up, and was head coach at Gray New Gloucester from 2014-16.

Mark Renna is the next Brunswick High School football coach. Photo provided by Mark Renna

After a 2021 that ended early and an abysmal winless season in 2022, 2023 promises a change with over 30 student-athletes out for the team this year.

Coming to the eight-man Large South, Brunswick will take the new energy and move forward.

“The program is looking to bounce back to the Brunswick football program of the past with strong leadership from the seniors,” said Renna. “(We) have a strong and talented junior class and (returning) sophomores; that makes the Dragons a deep and dangerous team while the future looks very good with a large freshman class with lots of talent.”

The seniors are led by offensive lineman Noah Gaghan and defensive lineman Hunter Duval with wide receiver/defensive back Colin Merrill. Classmates Nate Beaucom and Lucas Colfill also return.

The junior class is highlighted by Liam Scholl (RB/LB), Cam Beal (QB/DB), Tyler Maxim (C/LB), Trevor Gerrish (RB/LB) and running back/linebacker Jimmy Cook. Juniors Brady Marzakis and Robert Bowen are also returning juniors.


Sophomores Christian McMaster and Preston Larrabee return and help provide depth.

After Friday’s opener, the Dragons host Morse (Sept. 8), visit Greely (Sept. 14, a Thursday), before returning home to host Lake Region on Sept. 22. Brunswick closes out its regular season with games at Spruce Mountain (Sept. 29), at home against Mt. Ararat (Oct. 6) and at Yarmouth (Oct. 13).



The Shipbuilders are returning several athletes, including a pair of all-conference players, and look to get back to the playoffs in eight-man Large School South division, where they will play after a spending year in the North.

Morse fell in the regional semifinal to eight-man Large School state runner-up Waterville, 22-12.


“(We) have a large returning class of seniors and large incoming freshman class,” said head coach Jason Darling, who is entering his 14th season on the Shipbuilders’ sideline.

Calin Gould (QB/DB) and Braylon Williams, both all-conference, return as does Tyson Pinkham (RB/LB), Braeden Cunningham (RB/LB), Ashford Hayes (OL/LB), Michael Martin (C/DE), Gage Creamer (OL/DL), Darius Goulette (TE/DL), and Brody Shiers (TE/LB).

Newcomers to the team this year are Hunter Nadeau (OL/DL), Nick Heaberlin (RB/DE), Miles Norris (RB/DB), Garrett Burden (RB/DB), Jackson Murray (QB/DB), and Eric Brown (OL/DL).

Morse opens at home Friday at McMann Field against Camden Hills. Other home games on the schedule: Spruce Mountain (Sept. 22), Mountain Valley (Oct. 7) and the season finale on Oct. 13 against Mount Desert Island. Road contests include Brunswick (Sept. 8), Waterville (Sept. 16), and Mt. Ararat (Sept. 30).




The Eagles had continued success last year with a 7-1 record before losing in the regional final to Yarmouth, 20-18.

The loss of Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist Shea Farrell is a big hole to fill, but head coach Frank True expects his young group to be competitive.

Junior Dash Farrell returns after an all-conference season as linebacker and also will carry the ball some for the Eagles. Wes Wallace and Parker Lohr also returning and provide senior leadership to the young squad.

Mt. Ararat opens the season Friday on the road with a playoff rematch against Yarmouth. The Eagles host Waterville in their home opener on Sept. 8 and play on the road for the next two contests, Gray-New Gloucester (Sept. 15) and Greely (Sept. 22). The Eagles host Morse on Sept. 30 and travel to Brunswick on Oct. 6, before closing out the regular season at home against Lake Region (Oct. 13).

Freeport’s Adam Michaud tries to break free from a Foxcroft Academy defender last season at Freeport High. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer




The Falcons graduated a lot of talent from last year’s team, but ninth-year head coach Paul St. Pierre has hopes thanks to arrival a promising young core of players added to their returning veterans.

“We’re going to rely on our speed and agility again this year. It’s clearly our strength. We’re inexperienced at some key positions, but our players are very eager to learn, get better and gain experience in the varsity game,” said St. Pierre. “If we can keep pushing ourselves to improve mentally and get stronger physically each week, we will be competitive.”

One key change is junior Teddy Peters moving from wide receiver to quarterback; he is expected to take charge on both offense and in the defensive secondary.

The secondary — which has the most returning players and experience, according to St. Pierre — features Peters, junior David Ulrickson and seniors Adam and Noah Michaud. Seniors Mattie Coffin and Cooper DeLois return as starting linebackers.

Offensively, the Falcons will be mostly new, with only Peters and junior tackles Lincoln Petrillo and Jacob Sawyer returning. St. Pierre expects the Michaud brothers, DeLois and Ulrickson to all help the offense this season.

Contributions are expected from seniors Connor Slocum (LB/WR) and Colby Burgoin (RB/LB), junior Daunte Mitchell (LB) and freshman Ethan Binekey (C/NT).


Jacob Benjamin, a sophomore guard/defensive tackle and two-way starter last season,  suffered a foot injury during the summer and won’t return until midseason.

“We lost an exceptional group of offensive players to graduation. We graduated our all-conference QB, RB, WR, TE, LG and C, many of which played defensive line and linebacker for us last year, making all-conference honors there as well,” said St. Pierre. “We showed some flashes of our potential (in the preseason), but also saw that it’s going to take some time for our players to adjust to their new positions and get the right mix of players on the field.”

The Falcons could surprise some with their veteran coaching staff and seasoned players in key positions.

“Overall, we should be an entertaining and competitive bunch. It is going to be a fun and interesting experience for everyone. This group is very energetic, enthusiastic, and eager to get better,” added St. Pierre.

The Falcons, who finished 6-4 last season, will compete in the Class D South and will square off with Winthrop on Friday at Lewiston High School while the Ramblers are having a new turf field installed. They host Lisbon Sept. 9 in their home opener. After a Saturday game at John Bapst/Bangor Christian/Central, the Falcons play at home against Poland (Sept. 22), visit Oak Hill/St. Dom’s (Sept. 30), greet Oceanside (Oct. 6), visit two-time defending Class D state champion Foxcroft Academy (Oct. 13) and close out the regular season at home against Cape Elizabeth (Oct. 20).




Lisbon peaked late last year, making it to the Class D State Final before falling to Foxcroft Academy.

The Greyhounds lost a lot of starters from last year’s team and a number of returning players will be looked upon to fill those spots. Those players include: seniors Adam Hayes (WR/CB), Emmett Mooney (LB/RB), Chris Lavelley (WR/LB), and Caden Morales (WR/DB).

Juniors include Demetrius Clark (OT/DE), Kaiden Lavalley (OL/DL), Caleb Hayes (RB/DB), Michael Bobrowiecki (OL/DL) and Jayden Camp (RB/LB).

Other newcomers that are expected to step up for Lisbon and provide depth are: senior Kaden James (OL/DT); juniors Cody Osmand (WR/DB), Brady Keefe (OL/DL), Dylan Bailey (OL/DL), Hayden Versey (QB/DB) ;and sophomores Aiden Fortin (OL/DL), Jacoby Tuplin (LB/RB), Keeghan Morrisette (QB) and Hunter Ladd (OL/DL).

Lisbon opens its campaign on Friday when it travels to Freeport. The Greyhounds’ home opener is Sept. 15 against Fryeburg before heading back on the road to York for a Saturday afternoon game on Sept. 23. Next are back-to-back home games against Winslow (Sept. 29) and Wells (Oct. 6) before a trip to Winthrop (Oct. 13), followed by the regular-season finale at home against Oak Hill (Oct. 20).

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