Maine Class B Boys Pre-Season Poll
Western B will see Kennebunk, Maranacook/Winthrop, and Gorham join while Eastern B welcomes Waterville one of historic programs not only in state but the country with 20 state championships which is fourth in the nation.
No. 5 Gorham reached the Western Class A regional semifinals last season before bowing out to eventual Class A State Champion Falmouth. Maranacook/Winthrop lost a high scoring affair to Bangor in the Eastern A quarterfinals. No. 10 Kennebunk failed to make the playoffs but should be in the mix in Western B year in and year out.
Gorham is excited about the upcoming year.
“This year’s team is deep and talented,” said Gorham head coach Jon Portwine. “Six seniors return this year, (Tucker) Buteau and (Jared) Wood broke out last season offensively, add in transfers (Shawn) Sullivan and (Carl) Bear and the Rams should have some fire power. Defense will be the strength being lead by (Dylan) Turner and one of the best goaltenders in the state, (Justin) Broy.”
The Kennebunk Rams look to rebound from last season.
“Looking for a young Rams team to build upon last seasons success,” said head coach Sean Smith. We asked a lot of our freshman last season and looking for the youth to push our talented senior class to be a playoff team and a top five (in Western) Class B.”
In Eastern B, No. 1 Messalonskee and No. 2 Brewer will be the favorites to meet in the Eastern B Championship game.
“I am expecting another strong season in trying to get back to the State Game, but a lot of hard work to come,” said Messalonskee head coach Mike Latendresse. “Overall, we have a difficult schedule.”
Coaches in Eastern B believe the No. 8 Hampden Academy Broncos will be a challenger along with newcomer No. 6 Waterville who had a rebuilding year this past season.
The Northern Maine contingent – Presque Isle and Houlton/Hodgdon – always find away to be in the mix at the end of the season. Presque Isle is still a young team but last year’s experience will be helpful. The Blackhawks of Houlton/Hodgdon will have a new coach and will look to be competitive.
In the east, coach Andy Dube moves from No. 7 Maranacook/Winthrop to Winslow.
Out in the west, the dynasty in No. 2 Greely will have plenty of challengers. They will have to replace some offense from last year’s squad. They do bring back probably the best goalie in the state in Kyle Kramlich.
“A major challenge will be to replace the points contributed by departing players and also to develop consistent depth,” Greely head coach Barry Mothes said. “The team will be looking to get better week by week and hoping to be a big part of the playoff picture come late February early March.”
No. 4 Camden Hills will challenge the Rangers once again this season after a very impressive season last year. That experience and bringing back a core of veterans make the Windjammers very dangerous.
No. 9 York will be a team to look out for in the second half of the season.
It will be a rebuilding year for the York team,” York head coach Michael Vessey said. “We will try to be competitive this coming year and improve from game to game.”