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Cougar football team preview
DIXFIELD -- What transpired last fall was extremely rewarding. However, the Dirigo football team is focused on the present situation. The new-look Cougars have a new cast of players who are determined to develop their own identity.
Dirigo will be ready for its Class D regular-season opening game on September 5, along with head coach Dave Crutchfield, and returning staff Pat Mooney, Scott Holmes, Lou Brann and Devon Roberts.
The Cougars scrimmaged Mountain Valley on Aug. 26 and will host Boothbay, on Friday night.
Dirigo played in the Class C semifinals last season, losing to Winslow. The seniors include linemen Julian Baldinelli (guard), Joey Hebert (center), Jessie Hutchinson (guard) and Gavin Sanders (defensive tackle). Heath Hersom has been solid in the defensive secondary and will also be in the offensive backfield. Zach Demars is a defensive back. "We lost 11 contributing seniors, and are now in the process of reloading. Although many of the returning lettermen saw limited playing time last year, they are very good athletes and are preparing for another shot in the playoff," said Crutchfield.
A trio of juniors will be led by two-way standout Tyler Frost (linebacker/fullback); Kaine Hutchins shined at defensive end and has pass catching potential, with Joe Casey at running back. Sophomores Riley Robinson and Micheal Casey are defensive backs.
Robinson was the JV quarterback last fall and is on track to step-in for Brett Whitemore, who passed for over 1,000 yards. The running game shined with Spencer Trenoweth, but there is reason to think that Brett Beauchesne (transfer from Mountain Valley) will help. Others who can contribute include senior Dylan Kidder, juniors Nick Milligan and Anthony Todd, and sophomores Bennett Doiron, Issac White, Lucas MacDonald, Gavin Arsenault, Barry Campbell, Clay Sweet and David Merrill.
"This year's freshman class has brought many young athletes that will probably see some varsity time in one way or another. There is a lot of heart in the whole bunch and the coaches are excited to see how the Hard work pays off," said Crutchfield.
The new Western Maine Class D league hasn’t changed a lot from the older class C, will have eight of 10 teams making the playoffs. The teams are from Boothbay, Maranacook, Oak Hill, Winthrop, Telstar, Sacopee Valley, OOB, Lisbon, Traip and Dirigo.
Lisbon is probably one of the most Talented this year and as always very well coached. Oak Hill will be looking for some revenge after last year's playoff loss. Winthrop has combined with neighboring Monmouth.