Nokomis Regional High School has an old-fashioned quarterback competition going this preseason. With just under two weeks before the Warriors open the regular season at Brewer, head coach Matt O’Connell has three players vying for the starting quarterback job.

Freshman Andrew Haley, junior Sam Whitmore and senior Sam Drew are each in the running for the job, O’Connell said.

“They’re all about even at this point. We’ll have to talk as a coaching staff and figure out who we feel is the best for the job,” O’Connell said after his team scrimmaged Maranacook on Monday. “We probably won’t know until this week’s over after we get back from Augusta.”

The Warriors play an exhibition game on Friday night against Cony in Augusta. Each of the quarterback should get some snaps, O’Connell said.

Friday’s exhibition game also will be Nokomis’ first taste of football in its new league, the Pine Tree Conference Class B. In the last two seasons, Nokomis played in Class C as it built its program. The Warriors went 4-4 in Class C East last season, but because it played under the class in which its enrollment dictated, Nokomis was ineligible for the playoffs.

O’Connell knows his team will face a challenge in the PTC.

“It’s pretty rugged, but it’s a chance to go to the playoffs, which the kids are starting to look forward to,” O’Connell said. “They’re all the same age as we are. They’re more established as a program, but if we want to try and be the best we can be, I think it’s time to try and push that way.”

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Since becoming head coach at Nokomis in 2013, Matt O’Connell has played John Bapst, coached by his brother, Dan, in an exhibition game. Dubbed the Mrs. O Bowl, the brothers used the game as a chance to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis, a disease their mother, Barbara O’Connell, has fought for more than 30 years.

This year, however, there will be no Mrs. O Bowl. With Nokomis changing leagues, the teams couldn’t get the exhibition schedule to work for the game.

“It just didn’t work out for a number of reasons,” said Matt O’Connell, who coached with his brother at John Bapst before moving on to Nokomis. “Maybe we can pick it back up in the future.”

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Although losing a number of key players to graduation, Madison’s starting offense looked sharp in scrimmages against Stearns and Maine Central Institute on Monday afternoon in Pittsfield.

Senior Chase Malloy, who took over at quarterback for Madison midway through his sophomore year, completed seven of his first 11 passes, including one for a touchdown to Hunter Fernald. Operating Madison’s spread offense, Malloy also ran the ball well scoring a touchdown on a 14-yard run against MCI.

Key offensive contributors Cody Soucier, Derek LeBlanc and Jordan Curtis graduated. On Monday, the Bulldogs saw good runs from junior Nick Morales and senior Briar Edgerly.

Madison hosts Dexter in an exhibition game on Saturday. The Bulldogs open the regular season on Sept. 4 at home against Oceanside.

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Around the state: Defending Class B state champion Marshwood will take on Portsmouth, N.H. in its exhibition game on Friday. Noble and York will also play an exhibition against a New Hampshire school. Noble will face Somersworth, while York will take on St. Thomas Aquanis of Dover, N.H. … Lawrence will play an exhibition game at South Portland on Friday. These teams met in the state championship game in 1992 and 1996, with South Portland winning each game.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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