Sam Bradford of Cheverus/Yarmouth moves up ice with the puck during the Class B South championship game on Wednesday night in Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Two weeks before the start of the season, Cheverus/Yarmouth boys’ hockey coach Dave St. Pierre received the text message he’d hoped to get for three years. It was from Sam Bradford.

“It said, ‘Coach, I’m playing.’ I was like, ‘Really?'” St. Pierre said.

Bradford gave up hockey in middle school to focus more on baseball. Now a senior at Yarmouth High, Bradford was looking to get back onto the ice. He went from rusty in November to reliable in March, and his play has helped Cheverus/Yarmouth advance to the Class B state championship game.

Cheverus/Yarmouth (17-2-2) will take on Camden Hills (15-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. It’s the first state final appearance for Cheverus/Yarmouth since forming a co-op program four years ago.

Bradford’s seven goals and 10 assists place him third on the team in scoring, behind Quinn McCoy and Andrew Cheever. Bradford scored a pair of goals in a 5-3 win over Greely in the South semifinals on Saturday.

Over the last few years, Bradford’s ice time consisted of occasional loose games of pond hockey. It took him a little while this winter to get reacclimated to the sport. Still, he picked up an assist in four of Cheverus/Yarmouth’s first five games as he adjusted to the speed of the game. He scored his first goal in the sixth game of the season, a 7-3 win over the Mt. Ararat co-op.


As he’s gotten his skating legs back, Bradford’s production has increased, with five goals and five assists over the last 10 games. He said he sees more power in his shot now than early in the season.

“Our first captains’ practice, I was pretty rusty. It took a second to get back to it, but I think I’m right back where I was now,” Bradford said after a 3-1 win over Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Poland in the South final Wednesday night at Cross Arena. “I’m glad to be back with the boys.”

Sam Bradford, right, of Cheverus/Yarmouth chases the puck during the Class B South title game against the Leavitt co-op team on Wednesday. Bradford is third on his team in scoring this season despite not having played organized hockey since middle school. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Over the last three seasons, Bradford never seriously considered coming back to hockey, no matter how much St. Pierre or his friends asked. Last fall, Bradford went to a Yarmouth soccer game with David Swift, a Yarmouth senior and a co-captain on the hockey team. Swift made his pitch – you’re a senior, this is a great opportunity, we can really use you – and this time, Bradford listened.

“It’s probably one of the greatest decisions I’ve made, going to that soccer game. If I don’t go to that game, maybe he doesn’t convince me to play hockey this year,” Bradford said.

Swift said after watching Bradford play football as a quarterback and defensive back for the Clippers, he thought he’d have a good chance to convince his friend to come back to hockey.

“I think he came back for the physical part of the game. He loves football, being physical, making a hit, making a play,” said Swift, a defenseman. “We knew if he came back, he could do the job for us. We’re psyched to have him. I couldn’t imagine if he’d played all four years, he’d be a monster.”


St. Pierre knew Bradford from seeing him come up through youth hockey, and knew the type of player Cheverus/Yarmouth was getting. St. Pierre has used Bradford in a number of ways this season, including on the power play and penalty kill. Bradford’s athletic talent helps him make up for the time he missed away from hockey, St. Pierre said.

“Despite my trying to convince him to play (earlier), he just wasn’t ready for it,” St. Pierre said. “I was through the roof for it. I was excited for him, because it’s an opportunity for him to do something special in his high school career. He’s been a huge add for us. He’s put us on his back from time to time. He’s a great locker room guy. He’s a quarterback, so he knows how to lead teams.”

Baseball remains Bradford’s top sport. A starting center fielder who helped the Clippers win the Class B South title last spring, Bradford will continue his baseball career next year at UMass Dartmouth.

“I’m focused on hockey now. I’m focused on getting that state championship,” Bradford said.

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