BANGOR — Joe Stanevicz has yet to begin his senior year at Bangor High School.
But the lefthanded pitcher already knows where he wants to continue his baseball career on the collegiate level — at Division I University of Maine.
“I made that decision a couple of weeks ago,” said Stanevicz, who is taking part in preseason workouts for the Bangor High football team. “[Maine coach Steve Trimper] offered me a spot on the team. He came and saw me play a couple of times and he met with me a couple of times, and it basically came down that I think this was the best option for me and my family and for my education.”
Stanevicz also considered instate Division III powers University of Southern Maine and Husson University as well as several other programs both in Maine and out of state.
“I think it was pretty important for me to decide early,” said Stanevicz. “This was a very good chance for me, plus it’s been my dream to play D-I, especially for a good school like Maine.”
Stanevicz will be part of a group of several prominent Maine high school baseball players who will join the University of Maine baseball program during the next two seasons.
That group includes reigning Mr. Maine Baseball Matt Verrier of Oxford Hills of South Paris and fellow Mr. Maine Baseball finalist Eric White of Brewer this fall, as well as Luke Morrill of Rockland, Scott Heath of Westbrook and Sam Balzano of Deering of Portland in 2011.
Stanevicz went a combined 16-2 for the Bangor High School and American Legion teams this year.
He went 8-0 during the spring while leading Bangor High School to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Eastern Maine Class A semifinals. Stanevicz was a first-team All-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference selection for his efforts with coach Jeff Fahey’s Rams.
Stanevicz then went 5-1 with a 0.92 ERA with 34 strikeouts and just 18 hits allowed in 30¤ innings during the American Legion regular season while helping the Bangor Comrades post a Zone 1-best 14-2 record.
Named Zone 1 pitcher of the year for that work, Stanevicz went on to go 3-1 during the American Legion postseason while helping coach Dave Morris’ Comrades earn a berth in the state tournament.
Stanevicz did not indicate that he would be receiving a scholarship to join the Maine program but said he would participate in the work-study program while on campus.
“When they offered me a spot on the roster, I was already sold on the idea of going there,” he said. “Now I’ve got a lot to look forward to. And I’ve still got two more seasons left, [high school] varsity and American Legion, before I go there. It’s going to be a good year.”
Football for a cause
The Belfast and Mount View of Thorndike football teams will share an extra cause when they meet in a preseason football game at Belfast on Saturday.
Proceeds from admission fees to the game will benefit breast cancer awareness efforts through the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In addition, both teams will be wearing pink socks and wristbands in recognition of the effort, and coaches will be wearing pink shirts.
The idea for the game came from Gerry Brady, the wife of Mount View coach Jack Brady. Her mother Rose and youngest sister Cathy both died from cancer, which in each case began with breast cancer.
Gerry Brady suggested to her husband the idea of donating gate receipts from the game to breast cancer research, and Jack Brady then talked with Belfast coach Chris Bartlett about the idea during a chance meeting at a grocery story.
Bartlett agreed it was a great idea, according to coach Brady, and then contacted Belfast athletic administrator Mark Babin, who ultimately contacted the Komen Foundation to formalize the fundraiser.
The game is the final test for both teams before their regular-season debuts on Labor Day weekend. The opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m.