Jim Hartman – Yarmouth football

File photo

One year after winning just once, Yarmouth’s football team ascended to the eight-man large school division pinnacle and it wasn’t easy. The Clippers didn’t exactly have a robust roster and weren’t the top seed in the playoffs, but when it mattered most, they took care of business and with the season on the line, facing a deficit against Waterville in the state game, Yarmouth produced a 16-play drive for the ages, a drive that had the fingerprints of Jim Hartman written all over it.

And for leading the Clippers to their first Gold Ball in 11 seasons, Jim Hartman gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Northern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Hartman, who also won this award at Yarmouth in the fall of 2009 and at South Portland in the spring of 2005, has enjoyed a long and varied coaching career, spending time in Portland and Yarmouth, as well as at Waynflete as a baseball coach and South Portland coaching softball. He guided Yarmouth’s nascent football program from the Developmental League into varsity play and after winning just one game in his first two seasons, Hartman turned the Clippers into Class C state champions in 2010 and 2011. He then took over the Portland program and took the Bulldogs to the Class A title game in 2015, 2016 and 2018, but they fell short each time. In 2019, he returned to Yarmouth.

The Clippers reached the eight-man quarterfinals in 2019 and after the 2020 campaign was wiped out by the pandemic, Yarmouth won just once in eight games in 2021. This fall, the Clippers returned to glory, winning their first seven games before losing at Mt. Ararat in the finale. As a result, Yarmouth dropped to the number two seed in the South Division, but after handling Spruce Mountain in the semifinals, the Clippers avenged their lone loss by beating Mt. Ararat in the regional final. That sent Yarmouth to Augusta to take on Waterville in the state game, which wound up an instant classic. The Clippers trailed a back-and-forth game with time winding down, but they would drive 86 yards in 16 plays (all runs, much to Hartman’s pleasure) and won it on a Michael McGonagle 2-yard touchdown burst with just 32 seconds to go.


“This is really beautiful,” said Hartman. “It’s really good to bring this back to the town of Yarmouth and turn this program around.”

Hartman, a Portland resident, is 70 and has overcome his share of health challenges in recent years, but isn’t ready to hang up his whistle.

And that’s great news not just for Yarmouth, but for high school football as a whole. Jim Hartman, our Northern edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, still has the magic touch and knows what it takes to lead his team to the pinnacle.

Prior winners: 

• 2021 David Cousins (Yarmouth golf)
* 2020 Jason Ouellette (Freeport golf)
• 2019 Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)
• 2018 Martyn Keen (NYA soccer)
• 2017 Mike Hagerty (Yarmouth soccer)
• 2016 Paul St. Pierre (Freeport football)
• 2015 David Higgins (Greely football)
• 2014 Brian Berkemeyer (Freeport cross country)
• 2013 Mike Andreasen (Greely soccer)
• 2012 Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)
• 2011 Spike Herrick (Falmouth golf)
• 2010 David Higgins (Greely football)
• 2009 Jim Hartman (Yarmouth football)
• 2008 Mike Hagerty (Yarmouth soccer)
• 2007 Mike Andreasen (Greely soccer)
• 2006 Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)
• 2005 Joe Heathco (Freeport soccer)
• 2004 Mike Hagerty (Yarmouth soccer)
• 2003 Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)
• 2002 Bob Gilman (Falmouth cross country)
• 2001 Mark Luthe (Falmouth golf)



Andy Higgins – Yarmouth soccer

Contributed photo

It isn’t easy to win a championship when you can’t solve your biggest rival/nemesis, fall behind in the biggest games and have to prevail in the state final without your goalkeeper, but Yarmouth’s girls’ soccer team managed to overcome all of those obstacles this fall as it won its first state title in five years.

Nothing came easily for the Clippers, but they wouldn’t have had it any other way as the inspiration of their leader helped set the stage for greatness and in light of Yarmouth’s accomplishments, Andy Higgins is The Forecaster’s choice as our Northern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Higgins played for perennial power Ellsworth High and went on to play in college at the University of Southern Maine. He spent eight years as the Gray-New Gloucester boys’ soccer coach and in 2019, made the move to Yarmouth to take over the Clippers girls. Yarmouth lost to Cape Elizabeth in the regional final in Higgins’ first year and after the 2020 campaign was abbreviated by COVID, the Clippers lost to the Capers in the Class B South Final again in 2021.

Yarmouth entered the 2022 season viewed as the favorite by many, but started with another loss to Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers then lost to eventual Class D champion North Yarmouth Academy and were beaten a second time by the Capers, but when it mattered most, Yarmouth, led by senior standout Ava Feeley and a terrific supporting cast, stood tall.

After blanking Freeport in the quarterfinals, the Clippers shut down Gray-New Gloucester in the semifinals. That set up a trip to the regional final where surprisingly, Cape Elizabeth wasn’t waiting. The Capers had been upset by York in their semifinal and instead, Yarmouth had to get past the inspired Wildcats. It wasn’t easy, but a goal from Feeley in the 78th minute produced a 3-2 victory. The Clippers then had their hands full against Hermon in the Class B state game in Hampden, falling behind early, 2-0, and even worse, losing starting goalie Regan Sullivan to a concussion, but just when all appeared lost, Eden Young stepped in and slammed the door in goal, while Feeley scored twice before halftime to tie it, then finished a Macy Gilroy corner kick in the second overtime to give Yarmouth a 3-2 victory and an unforgettable championship.


Higgins’ first.

“It’s special,” said Higgins, who wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t need much encouragement to show emotion. “They’re just an amazing group of kids. I wanted this for them so badly all year. The girls have the heart of a champion and they don’t quit.”

Higgins is also a special education teacher at Harrison Middle School. He and his team are ready to make another title run next year.

The sky is certainly the limit. As long as Andy Higgins, our Northern edition Fall girls’ team Coach of the Year is pushing the buttons, expect the Clippers to achieve greatness.

Prior winners:

• 2021 Ricky Doyon (NYA soccer)
* 2020 Marcia Wood (Freeport field hockey)
• 2019 Jim Senecal (Yarmouth volleyball)
• 2018 Marcia Wood (Freeport field hockey)
• 2017 Chris Coleman (Yarmouth soccer)
• 2016 Nora Krainis (NYA volleyball)
• 2015 Bob Morse (Yarmouth cross country)
• 2014 Tracy Quimby (NYA field hockey)
• 2013 Gary Powers (Falmouth volleyball)
• 2012 Kelvin Hasch (Greely volleyball)
• 2011 Jim Senecal (Yarmouth volleyball)
• 2010 Rich Smith (Yarmouth soccer)
• 2009 Gary Powers (Falmouth volleyball)
• 2008 Julia Littlefield (NYA field hockey)
• 2007 Jeff Thoreck (NYA soccer)
• 2006 Kelvin Hasch (Greely volleyball)
• 2005 Cathy McGuire (Freeport cross country)
• 2004 Robin Haley (Falmouth field hockey)
• 2003 Robyn Thayer (Greely field hockey)
• 2002 Bob Morse (Yarmouth cross country)
• 2001 Melissa Anderson (Falmouth soccer)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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