Soccer pocket book: Bangor, Oxford Hills vying to maintain tempo with Class A powers

Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal and Bonny Eagle’s Kevin Cooper are impressed – however not shocked – that Bangor and Oxford Hills be part of their very own squads as 3-0 groups atop the Class A soccer standings.

Bangor will play at Thornton Academy at 6 p.m. Saturday and Bonny Eagle can be at Oxford Hills at 11 a.m. Saturday. Each video games have been moved from Friday due to the forecast for rain and attainable thunderstorms.

Bangor beat Scarborough, 37-36, final week regardless of having 21 gamers in COVID quarantine, 12 of whom would have began on offense, protection or a particular groups group.

“You have a look at what Bangor did final week, to take care of that and win on the highway towards an excellent group, that’s fairly particular,” Kezal mentioned.

Bangor received the sport on the ultimate play. Senior quarterback Max Clark, attempting to sneak in from the Scarborough 1, had the ball stripped free by a Scarborough defender. The ball bounced ahead and was recovered ultimately zone by Clark’s sophomore brother, 6-foot-6 extensive receiver Landon Clark.

Max Clark accomplished 30 of 46 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns, two to his brother and one to tailback Joey Morrison, who additionally ran for a landing. Keegan Cyr had 13 catches for 205 yards.

On the day earlier than the Scarborough sport, Max Clark informed his teammates, “That is the group we’re going with. We will’t make excuses, and earlier than the sport the children did an incredible job of not specializing in an consequence and simply attempting to remain within the second,” in keeping with Bangor Coach David Morris.

With this week’s sport being moved to Saturday, Bangor’s quarantined close-contact gamers can be out there.

Oxford Hills began its season by shutting out Lewiston, 54-0, and Sanford, 43-0, earlier than profitable final week at Class B Skowhegan, 27-13.

“All of us in Class A may see this coming from Oxford Hills,” mentioned Cooper, noting how exhausting the Vikings play on either side of the ball. “And so they’ve been superb with this group on the freshman and JV ranges.”

Within the Vikings’ case, the advance has been gradual. In 2018, the ultimate yr of the previous North-South Class A, Oxford Hills went 6-2 within the common season (with a win towards Bonny Eagle) and superior to the North closing. They adopted that up with a 6-5 season in 2019, the primary yr of the single-division Class A. However the Vikings misplaced 4 video games towards southern powers Thornton, Bonny Eagle and Scarborough and have been outscored 164-43.

Bangor received 4 video games from 2015-18, and simply as soon as over these closing three seasons. The Rams acquired out of the basement in 2019, going 4-6. However they weren’t aggressive with the so-called Huge Three, going 0-4 and being outscored 201-10.

Thornton and Bonny Eagle have mixed to win seven of the final eight Class A titles. They may meet in Standish subsequent Friday evening. However first we’ll discover out if the 2 energy packages actually do have some new firm on the prime.

Cooper believes they already do and “It’s an excellent factor. I believe Maine highschool soccer is healthier for it.”

CHEVERUS AND LAKE REGION have been on the sphere nearly prepared to start out their eight-man soccer sport final Saturday. Then a telephone name alerted the Lake Area workers that its group had a COVID drawback.

“5 minutes earlier than kickoff. You couldn’t have set us up and chopped us down any tougher. It was a giant blow for each groups,” mentioned Cheverus Coach Mike Vance.

Vance mentioned there was uncertainty if the participant who examined optimistic was even in attendance. Cheverus’ athletic coaching workers provided to manage fast exams to all the Lake Area group. “Which we did, and extra exams got here again optimistic, so we canceled on the spot,” Vance mentioned.

Cheverus (1-0) additionally had its Week 2 sport canceled due to optimistic instances at Maranacook.

“It was actually exhausting. A letdown, two weeks in a row,” Vance mentioned. “Our children simply wish to play. There are greater issues than highschool soccer, however this can be a problem for them.”

Vance credited his captains, Marshall Fowler, Sebastian Merrill and Braden Smith, for his or her regular affect to assist the group deal with the emotional setbacks with maturity.

GET YOUR PANCAKES: Based mostly on his weekly highlights posted to Hudl, Bonny Eagle’s Thomas Horton, a 6-foot-1, 260-pound senior, is aware of tips on how to serve up pancake blocks as a pulling guard. Horton can also be a disruptive pressure as a defensive sort out/nostril guard.

“We expect he’s one of the best lineman within the state,” Cooper mentioned. “There are in all probability some coaches who will dispute me on that, however he’s particular on either side of the ball and so good at so many issues.”

SCHEDULE CHANGES: With Friday’s climate forecast calling for thunderstorms, search for extra video games to be shifted to Saturday. South Portland (2-1) at Marshwood (2-1) now can be performed at 6 p.m. Saturday … As of Thursday, there have been three COVID cancellations of scheduled video games this week: Winslow at Previous City, Oceanside at MCI and Houlton/Hodgdon at Dexter. Dexter had a alternative sport lined up with Ellsworth, however that was canceled when Dexter developed a COVID concern.

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