At 29 years old, Steve Campo had to finally grow up a little and bury that hatred of youth.
Funny how a tremendous career opportunity can do that to a guy.
A Londonderry High Lancer to the core, Campo will trade his “Royal and Red” garb for a more traditional “Red and White” of arch-rival Pinkerton Academy.
He takes over as head coach of the Astros baseball program for veteran Ron Manseau, who stepped down after 30 years with a 267-252 mark.
“It’s just an incredible opportunity, one I couldn’t think of passing up,” said Campo, a teacher at the Hood Middle School in Derry.
Campo breathes some youth into the Astros program, as he comes off only one season of high school coaching at the JV level in Londonderry last year. Previously, he coached three years for the Hood team.
“I’m proud of him, and I’m pulling for him,” said Londonderry coach Brent Demas, who coached Campo for one year. “On the other hand, he’s at Pinkerton. And we understand what that means.”
Campo steps in at a rebuilding time for Pinkerton, which returns just four starters and four more lettermen. The Astros open the New Hampshire Division 1 season against Alvirne on Wednesday.
The division looks to be pretty balanced with Londonderry and Timberlane being talked about in the upper echelon along with Bishop Guertin, Trinity, Spaulding and others. The Astros and Salem will each look to gain experience and make a second-half playoff push.
2012 season: 11-9, lost in Division 1 first round
Returning starters (9): Jake Cassidy, Sr., OF; Austin Marino, Sr., DH; Ryan Moloney, Sr., P/1B; Jake Welch, Sr., 2B; Brett Evangelista, Jr., 3B/P; Tom Corey, Jr., P; Rob Del Signore, Jr., P/1B; Colby Joncas, Soph., C; Mike Ryan, Soph., SS;
Returning lettermen: Kelly Smith, Sr., OF/P; Tim Jennings, Jr., OF/C; Zach Tavano, Jr., OF