While Maine high school football faces a new look with the introduction of 8-player football and a revamped large-school division, reclassification has had a modest impact on other fall sports.
In soccer, Brewer was moved up from Class B North to Class A North, while Washington Academy of East Machias and Mount View of Thorndike were shifted from Class B North to Class C North. Piscataquis of Guilford was moved in both class and region, from Class C North to Class D South.
“Our kids are ready,” Brewer Athletic Administrator Dave Utterback said of the Witches’ return to Class A soccer. “They really enjoyed their opportunity in Class B. For the girls program, especially, they had two years in a row of double-digit wins during the regular season, and I’m not sure that had ever happened at Brewer High School. They’ve been building to the point of being a perennial contender in B, and now we’ll see what we can do in Class A.”
Utterback said the hard work put in during the offseason by coaches and athletes means Brewer teams will be prepared — especially since the Witches have developed more of a soccer culture behind the scenes.
“The girls are going to be young, and the boys are bringing back a pretty, deep veteran, experienced team that knocked off Mount View in the playoffs last year and then went up to Presque Isle, which is the state champion for a reason,” he said.
Other soccer programs making moves are Gardiner, Erskine Academy of South China and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro — all from Class B North to Class B South. Spruce Mountain of Jay, Oak Hill of Wales and Mountain Valley of Rumford have shifted from Class B South to Class C South.
State finals for boys and girls soccer will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, with Classes A and D at Hampden Academy and B and C games at Falmouth High School.
Volleyball welcomes three new programs in Class A Sanford and Class B Nokomis and Westbrook, bringing the number of schools statewide playing the sport to 40. Washington Academy jumps from Class C to Class B.
Volleyball state finals are Nov. 1 at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham for Classes A and B and Nov. 2 at Hampden Academy for Class C.
Field hockey experienced only geographical changes in Class C with Spruce Mountain, Mountain Valley and Dirigo of Dixfield moving from South to North, while Boothbay, Winthrop and Hall-Dale of Farmingdale shift from North to South.
This year’s field hockey state championships will be held Nov. 2 at Messalonskee High in Oakland.
Cross-country changes have Gardiner and Lawrence of Fairfield dropping from A North to B North, Greely of Cumberland Center moving from A South to B South and Oak Hill and Mountain Valley shifting from B South to C South.
The cross-country state meet will be Nov. 9 at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland.
Regular-season competition is scheduled to begin Sept. 4 in field hockey, Sept. 5 in soccer, and Sept. 6 in cross-country, football and volleyball.