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High school sports

Handful of Panther sports shift to Class B South

Similar regular-season opponents, but Medomak Valley playoff foes to include different schools
By Mark Haskell | Oct 01, 2019

Waldoboro — A handful of sports at Medomak Valley High School — namely, soccer, baseball and softball — have taken their talents south, for at least the next two seasons.

The decision was made at the annual Maine Principals’ Association spring conference in April at the Samoset Resort in Rockport that the Panthers, who have toiled in Class B North in those sports for years, would shift to Class B South.

MVHS athletic director Matt Lash, who is beginning his third year on the classification committee, said the MPA is trying to balance the regions as evenly as possible, which is an arduous task where “70 percent of the schools in Maine have less than 500 kids and enrollments continue to shrink.”

“Our schedules aren’t going to look a whole lot different,” said Lash. “We’re still part of the [Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference], so who we play in the regular season primarily will stay the same.”

Gardiner and Erskine Academy of South China, in addition to Medomak Valley, also transitioned to Class B South in those sports.

Lash pointed out that Leavitt of Turner, Morse of Bath and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle already are in Class B South, which should make the shift less of a shock for players, parents and fans.

“The travel isn’t going to be much different for the postseason,” said Lash. “You could go to Hermon or Bar Harbor [Mount Desert Island] for a prelim [in Class B North] or Caribou or Presque Isle for that matter, so going to Cape [Elizabeth], Greely, York or Poland for a postseason game is no different.”

Other teams the Panthers could see in playoff games are Yarmouth, Freeport, Gray-New Gloucester, Lake Region of Naples and Wells.

“Certainly in competition we’ll see some new faces and there’s equally talented teams in all those sports in the north as well as in the south," Lash said.

In boys soccer, if the season ended on Monday, Sept. 30, the Panthers would have been the top-ranked team in Class B South, as Medomak Valley and Yarmouth were the only remaining unbeaten teams in the region at that point.

On the girls side, the Panthers are the seventh-ranked team in the region.

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