Unfamiliar as the Cony High School football team’s first opponent might be, coach B.L. Lippert had to acknowledge that, when he looks at the Falmouth squad on tape, it’s a bit like looking in a mirror.

“We have seen them a little on film, and to be honest, they kind of look a lot like us,” Lippert said. “With the spread and the formations, kind of their route concepts look like us.”

And that’s pretty much it for the familiarity. Opening week is full of uncertainty for every team in the state, but it’ll be a bit more prevalent for Class B North’s Cony, which will open with what Lippert said is its first-ever game against the B South Yachtsmen.

Week one is all about getting off to a good start. And that becomes even tougher when it comes against a relative stranger.

“I think the fact that we don’t know them and the fact that we’re playing Week 1 is both exciting and also makes you a little nervous, because you’re not going to have a lot of tape on them, to understand what they do,” Lippert said. “Whether or not we can defend it or they can defend us, I guess we’ll find out on Friday night.”

Of course, guessing games are par for the course on opening week. Graduations shake up depth charts, players on the bench as sophomores join the lineup as juniors, and teams change their sets and philosophies to fit their players’ skill sets. According to Lippert, however, there’s always a degree of familiarity to bank on between common opponents.


“I think when you play Mt. Blue, Skowhegan or Messalonskee, we kind of know what they’re going to do based on what they did in previous years, at least schematically,” he said. “Falmouth, we can base it off on a couple of scout films we got from an exhibition and a scrimmage that their ones haven’t played a ton in. I guess I would rather have it later in the year, but it’s week one and they’re a really good team from B South, so it’s a great test for us early on.”

That part has been consistent from year to year. Falmouth went 6-2 last season, making it to the regional quarters, and went 7-1 en route to the B South championship game the year before. The Yachtsmen have been a playoff fixture since 2010, missing the postseason only once in that span.

“They have Jack Bryant, at least a three-year starter at quarterback and might be a four-year starter at quarterback, so they put the ball in his hands and let him make decisions,” Lippert said. “As they should. He’s a really good player, a really good athlete. … It’s not the easiest task, in week one to go against a spread attack that can really attack you short, medium and long.”

Of course, Falmouth will have its own challenge in trying to get a read on Cony, which will hand the reigns to its pass-happy offense to senior Anthony Sousa.

“What I’ve been most impressed (by) with him is his leadership,” Lippert said. “He’s just a tough kid. When he gets in the huddle, he commands the huddle. There’s nobody in there talking.”

• • •


Anyone watching Cony’s scrimmage against Lawrence Friday night would have seen an odd sight: Jordan Roddy, the team’s star receiver, on the sideline in street clothes rather than in pads and on the field.

And if anyone watching took that as a warning sign, Lippert said there’s no need for worry.

“He was banged up at the end of basketball season and he was cleared in early August for all activities, but we thought it was best for him to sit out the exhibition and scrimmages,” he said. “Just give him two more weeks of non-contact. He certainly wanted to play, I know that.”

Lippert said that Roddy would be a go for Friday’s game against Falmouth. The senior caught 67 passes for 1,074 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.

“We were watching the film on Saturday, he was absolutely going crazy on the sideline in his khaki shorts and jersey on the sideline, cheering on his teammates,” Lippert said. “He’s one of our captains for a reason. He celebrates the success of others, just like he would his own.”

• • •


Winthrop/Monmouth’s last test before the season began had a little bit of drama to it.

The Ramblers finished off the preseason with a scrimmage Friday against Lisbon, its opponent in a dramatic 20-17 loss in last year’s Class D South final. It was the only time this season — save for a postseason rematch — that Winthrop/Monmouth and Lisbon will be on the same field, and coach Dave St. Hilaire said there was a little extra on the line, especially for a scrimmage, given the way things went the last time the teams met.

“Our kids looked at it as a playoff game,” he said. “But we kept stressing that it’s not about playing Lisbon, it’s about our three goals. … Be better than we were the week before, we wanted to execute offensively and defensively, and we wanted to stay healthy. And we accomplished all three of those goals.”

St. Hilaire said the scrimmage was an encouraging sign going into the new season.

“The final score was 20-13, but it was a 14-13 game before we put the JVs in in the fourth quarter,” he said. “It was a pretty even battle, and we liked figuring out where we’re at. … (We have) youth and inexperience, so you rep the drills and then they kind of see it on film, ‘this is why we’re repping the drill.’ And they seem to take that, learn it and have a good outlook.”

• • •


Around the state: Winthrop/Monmouth opens the season Friday night against Wells, a new addition to Class D after winning the Class C championship … Maranacook plays its first game as a Class E team Friday night against Camden Hills. Class E was created this season to allow teams struggling with numbers to rebuild their programs. … MCI plays its first game as a Class C school Friday night against Oceanside. The Huskies moved up after winning the Class D title.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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