The high school soccer playoffs will feature some teams returning from long hiatuses and others seeking to assert themselves in new classes.

Teams now know where they stand, and in most cases who they’ll play, with the Heal points being finalized on Wednesday. The preliminary round is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with the winners advancing to quarterfinal action scheduled for Oct. 27-28.

In Class A North, the Lewiston boys and Camden Hills girls are the top seeds. In Class B, the Maranacook boys and Greely girls earned the top spots in the South, while Ellsworth (boys) and Oceanside (girls) are tops in the North. The Hall-Dale boys and Sacopee Valley girls are the No. 1 seeds in Class C South, while Class D South has the Buckfield boys and Richmond girls atop the seedings.

In Northern A, Cony is in a regional quarterfinal for the first time since 2008. The No. 6 Rams will face No. 3 Camden Hills (10-2-2). The Windjammers moved up to Class A this season and beat the Rams in their only regular-season meeting, 7-0, on Sept. 10 in Augusta.

“Camden is a really good team,” Cony coach Jon Millett said. “We didn’t do so well against them the first time around but we’re much better than we were then.”

Millett said the Rams are a much more complete team than the first time they faced the Windjammers, playing stronger team defense and moving the ball better on offense to help out leading goal-scorer Connor Perry (17 goals).

Don’t expect the Rams to be satisfied with ending their playoff drought. Millett said they are looking to make a deep run.

“We’re pretty excited to be in the playoffs and we feel pretty optimistic about our chances,” Millett said.

Defending regional champion Lewiston (14-0-0), which out-scored its opponents, 100-7, is the top seed. No. 2 Hampden (11-3-0) awaits the winner of Saturday’s preliminary round match in Oakland between No. 7 Messalonskee and No. 10 Brewer at 2 p.m. Both teams are 5-7-2.

Maranacook spent the last two years in Class C and didn’t lose a game. The trend continued when the Black Bears returned to B this year, going 14-0-0 to earn the top seed in the South. Their last loss was to Falmouth in the 2012 regional semifinals. They will host the winner of the prelim between No. 8 Fryeburg and No. 9 Wells.

Maranacook coach Don Beckwith, whose team is 48-0-2 since that loss, hasn’t let the veterans on his team forget the last time the Black Bears played in the Class B tournament.

“There are some guys like (Kent) Mohlar and Chris (Beckwith) and (Jason) Brooks who remember that feeling, and I remind them of that feeling quite regularly,” he said.

Beckwith said the Black Bears are prepared for every game in the B tournament to be a grind.

“Every game means something now,” he said. “We’re not going to have any 4-0 games. We’ve got to come ready to bring it.”

In Class B North, Ellsworth (11-2-1) is the No. 1 seed, followed by Winslow (12-1-1). Saturday’s prelims include No. 5 Waterville hosting No. 12 Hermon and No. 10 Erskine traveling to No. 7 Mount Desert Island.

Hall-Dale clinched the top seed in Class C South with a 12-0-2 record. The Bulldogs await the winner of the prelim between No. 8 Lisbon and No. 9 Traip. Monmouth also earned a bye to the quarterfinals as the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 North Yarmouth Academy. The other prelim pits No. 7 Carrabec against No. 10 Mt. Abram.

Buckfield (13-1-0) claimed the top seed in D South, followed by defending state champion Richmond (9-4-0). The Bobcats will face the winner of the prelim between No. 7 Vinalhaven/North Haven and No. 10 Valley. No. 8 Rangeley hosts No. 9 Pine Tree Academy in the other prelim.

Like the Maranacook boys, the Camden Hills girls moved up a class this season and earned a top seed. The Windjammers (13-0-1) will host the winner of Saturday’s 2 p.m. prelim between No. 9 Mt. Blue at No. 8 Brewer. Bangor is the No. 2 seed. No. 4 Messalonskee will host No. 5 Mt. Ararat in the quarterfinals.

Oceanside (12-0-2) topped the Class B North Heals. The Mariners will meet the winner of Saturday’s prelim between No. 8 Caribou and No. 9 Nokomis. Defending champion Waterville is the No. 3 seed and awaits the winner of the prelim between No. 6 Presque Isle and No. 11 John Bapst in the quarterfinals. Winslow also earned a bye to the quarterfinals as the No. 4 seed and will host the prelim winner between No. 5 Mount Desert Island and No. 12 Gardiner.

No. 7 Erskine hosts No. 10 Mount View in the other prelim. The winner earns the right to face No. 2 Hermon in the quarterfinals, but Erskine coach Ryan Nored insists his Eagles won’t be looking past the Mustangs.

“This is not the matchup I wanted. They are a dangerous team and we won’t take them lightly,” he said.

“We are in the playoffs and have a home game, so we are happy with that,” added Nored, whose team did not face Mount View during the regular season. “But this is a tough game.”

Greely (12-2-0) is the top seed in Class B South. No. 5 Oak Hill hosts No. 12 Fryeburg in a prelim.

In Class C South, Sacopee Valley (13-0-1) is the No. 1 seed, followed by Madison. No. 8 Mt. Abram hosts No. 9 Traip in a prelim, with the winner drawing the Hawks in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs await the winner of No. 7 Lisbon vs. No. 10 Carrabec. No. 4 Monmouth and No. 5 Hall-Dale will meet in the quarterfinals. Richmond seeks its sixth consecutive regional title as the top seed in Class D South. With a seven-team playoff field in the region, the Bobcats (13-0-1) are off until the semifinals on Oct. 30, when they will host the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 4 Searsport and No. 5 Vinalhaven/North Haven.

Bobcats coach Troy Kendrick is hoping a scrimmage with St. Dominic on Friday can help ward off some of the rust. Regardless, he’d rather worry about keeping his players sharp during the layoff than the alternative.

“We’re always looking for that No. 1 seed,” Kendrick said. “You want to host some playoff games. You don’t want to be traveling this time of year.”

No. 2 Rangeley hosts No. 7 Pine Tree in the quarterfinals.

Sports editor Bill Stewart contributed to this story.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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