Jack Janczuk was at the center of seventh-inning comeback wins over York in the Class B South semifinals and Greely in the regional final as Yarmouth advanced to its second straight state championship game. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

YARMOUTH — Andrew Cheever and his Yarmouth High baseball teammates haven’t had to look far for motivation this season.

Cheever can look inward and know that as a senior, his three-sport high school career is about to end. He can look at his teammates, 10 of whom are senior classmates, and know he wants to play for them. Like nearly all of the other players, he can draw strength from past athletic experiences in other sports that led to state championships.

And on those days when maybe Cheever or another Yarmouth player needs just a little more inspiration, all they have to do is turn their head and look at the three-story storage area/press box erected right behind home plate that is now called the 17 House in honor of Gibson Harnett, who died Jan. 4 at the age of 24 from a rare and incurable form of sarcoma. Harnett, a beloved former Clipper who wore No. 17, capped his high school career by throwing a two-hit shutout to win the 2017 Class B championship, 3-0.

“We built this house in his name. The 17 House, his number back in high school, and this is all dedicated to him,” Cheever said. “There will be a huge plaque on it on the other side and a giant silhouette of him. It’s right there, and also in the back of our minds knowing that that kid was in our shoes in 2017. He was a big part of that team, and I think that’s going to be a huge motivator for us.”

Sam Lowenstein, a senior pitcher/outfielder, said Yarmouth Coach Mark Halstead recently pulled up a picture showing many of the current Clippers as fans at the 2017 championship game.

“We were all idolizing (Harnett), wanting to be on that mound, pretending to be him,” Lowenstein said.


Yarmouth (15-4) will take all its motivational tools into Saturday’s state final against Caribou (12-7), scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Part of the Clippers’ motivation is a desire to finish what they couldn’t quite get done last season. Yarmouth lost in the state final to Old Town, 1-0.

“I definitely want to get a championship with these guys,” said senior outfielder/pitcher Sam Bradford. “I’ve played with these guys my whole life, and that just motivates me every single day. I want to do it for all these other guys around me.”

Winning a state championship is something many athletes have experienced in recent years at Yarmouth in a variety of sports. Having won previously heightens the desire for more, and prepares the players to perform in critical moments, said Bradford, who has earned titles in football (2022) and hockey (2024).

“I definitely want the three sports. That would be like a cool legacy to have,” Bradford said. “I feel like we definitely know how to win games, how to dig deep in the final innings. Especially if we’re behind, we know how to win. I think that winning culture definitely helps us out.”

Call it culture or something else, but this year’s Yarmouth baseball team has pulled out two astonishing playoff victories.


With his team down 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning in a regional semifinal against York, Jack Janczuk put down a squeeze bunt that scored both the tying and winning runs. Then the Clippers were down to their last strike against rival Greely in the regional final before junior second baseman Alec Gagnon – a soccer state champion – lashed a two-run triple for a 2-1 victory.

Seniors Matt Gautreau, Max Gilbert, Sam Lowenstein and Ian O’Connor and junior Bobby Wolff were also on the soccer team that won its fourth straight state title in fall. Cheever, David Swift and Bradford were on the Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op hockey team that won the Class B championship in March. Cheever was a scoring member of the 2021 Class B golf title team. Janczuk and Gautreau were sophomore reserves on the 2022 Class B basketball championship team.

“Having everyone … in big games before, the moment’s not too big for us. We can know what to expect,” Lowenstein said. “We’re going to keep within ourselves and not try to do too much. In terms of wanting another one, it’s just no better feeling than graduating high school and winning a state championship with your boys.”

Yarmouth has not been overpowering this season. Lowenstein, known more for his pitching, leads the team with a .375 average. None of the other regulars are hitting above Cheever’s .325. No player has more than nine RBI.

Yarmouth is averaging a rather modest 4.0 runs scored while allowing 2.7 runs per game.

“To be able to be where we are right now, it’s not a solo effort. It’s a team,” Cheever said.

A team with one key motivating trait shared by any successful high school team: the desire to win for their friends.

“There’s 11 (seniors), seven of them start. So (we know) each at-bat that we’re playing for the guy next to us, and I think that’s probably the biggest motivator, winning for this team,” Cheever said.

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