---- — 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
Promising newcomers: Mike Vitale, Sr., SS/2B; Geoff Kayo, Soph., 2B/P; Matt Nolan, Jr., P; Ben Byerly, Jr., OF
Captains: Ryan Moloney, Brett Evangelista, Colby Joncas
Returning leaders: Mike Ryan .320, 10 RBIs; Robbie Del Signore .295, 11 RBIs; Jake Cassidy .292, 10 runs; Jake Welch .282, 18 runs; Brett Evangelista .265, 13 runs; Ryan Moloney 5-4, 1.64 ERA, 45 Ks, 55.1 innings; Tom Corey 2.53 ERA
Returning honorees: Jake Cassidy and Ryan Moloney, second-team All-Division 1; Robbie Del Signore and Mike Ryan, third-team All-Division 1
Odds and ends: A matchup with “Fab 5” implications could be in the works May 18 when the Lancers collide with Andover for the first time. ... Ryan Moloney will pitch on scholarship at UMass. ... Jake Cassidy will play at Plymouth. Jake Welch is headed to Southern Maine, and Austin Marino is going to play at Keene State.
Assistants: Dan Grant, assistant; Evan Leary, JV; Jim Marron, freshmen
Coach Brent Demas (11th year, 138-77): “We’re pretty solid all the way through. We have pitching depth. Our lineup is deeper than most, but defense is where we have to work hardest. We’re going to need a 1-to-9 effort with the offense, too. Colby Joncas will be one of the best catchers in the state by the time he’s a junior or senior. He’s a smart, smart kid.”
2012 season: 9-10, lost in Division 1 first round
Returning starters (4): Andrew Herlihy, Sr., P/1B; Brandon Paquin, Sr., P/3B; Nate Rossi, Jr., C; Tom Diskin, Soph., SS
Returning lettermen: Rick Casey, Sr., P/OF; Matt Marchman, Sr., OF; Stefan Burnett, Sr., P/OF; Ryan Day, Soph., C/INF
Promising newcomers: Cam Riley, Jr., INF; Niko Jr., P; Connor Donahue, Jr., OF; Chris Gerossie, Jr., P; Eric Byrne, Jr., OF; Ryan Flammia, Jr., OF; Mike Aldetski, Soph., Utility; Zach Lippert, Soph., OF; Joe Murphy, Soph., INF; Riley Cahill, Soph., OF/P; Jericho Howell, Soph., INF
Captains: Nate Rossi, Andrew Herlihy, Matt Marchman
Returning leaders: Tom Diskin .407, 12 runs, 11 RBIs; Brandon Paquin .270, Nate Rossi .262; Andrew Herlihy 2-1
Returning honorees: None
Odds and ends: Ron Manseau stepped down after 30 years. He had a 267-252 career record with one state title (1986) and two state final appearances (1986, 1995). ... At times, the Astros could have 4-5 sophomores on the field, including Riley Cahill on the mound and Ryan Day behind the plate.
Assistants: Mike Lynch, assistant; Todd Royce, JV; Ryan Piper, freshmen
Coach Steve Campo (1st year): “We have a lot of talent. So much is going to depend on pitching. Andrew Herlihy and Brandon Paquin have some serious mound experience. We’re going to count on them. (Sophomore) Tommy Diskin is a talented ball player. He hits it hard. We’ll have to see how things go for us.”
2012 season: 10-11, lost in Division 1 first round
Returning starters (4): Joe Lemenager, Sr., OF; Dan Morin, Sr., 1B/3B/P; Mitch Dufton, Jr., OF; Jake White, Jr., C
Returning lettermen: Dom Gigante, Sr., 1B/P; Brent Barrett, Jr. P/OF; Jared Williamson, Jr., INF; Cody Soucy, Soph. 2B/SS
Promising newcomers: Bret Desrochers, Sr., C; Matt Survilas, Sr., OF/P; Dan Barbin, Jr., INF; C.J. Beaulieu, Jr., OF/P; Ethan Glynn, Jr., OF; Alex Mahn, Jr., INF; Pat McCarty, Soph. INF/P; Dom Palermo, Soph., OF/P; Josh Perrault, Soph., INF/P; Matt Meisner, Frosh. OF/P; Nick Shumski, Frosh., INF; Matt Vartanian, Frosh., INF/P
Captains: Joe Lemenager, Dominic Gigante, Dan Morin
Returning leaders: Joe Lemenager .382, 25 runs, 19 RBIs, 21 steals; Mitch Dufton .309, 20 runs, 14 RBIs; Jake White 10 runs; Dan Morin 12 RBIs
Returning honorees: Joe Lemenager, Eagle-Tribune All-Star
Odds and ends: Last year was Salem’s first losing season since 2001. ... Brent Barrett’s three innings vs. Andover last year, represents all the returning varsity innings ... Freshman Nick Shumski has the inside track at the starting shortstop spot. Both he and Matt Vartanian saw extensive varsity hoop minutes. ... Coach Dan Keleher calls Joe Lemenager one of the best leadoff guys in the state. If Lemenager goes on to play in college, Bentley is interested. He’s also looking at UNH, where he would not play.
Assistants: Bob Larsen, JV
Coach Dan Keleher (17th year, 215-126): “We don’t have any pitching back from last year. Dan Morin didn’t pitch at all last year, after throwing a little as a sophomore. Dom Gigante will have to step up. We’re pitching to contact. That’s all we can ask from this group. And I think we’ll make the plays behind them. If the preseason is any indication, our top six in the lineup could be pretty good. I think people are projecting us in the lower eight, but we could surprise some folks.”
2012 season: 14-6, lost in Division 1 quarterfinals
Returning starters (7): Jake Cameron, Sr., 3B; Josh David, Sr., OF; Pat Mahoney, Sr., SS; Ryan McCarthy, Sr., OF; Matt Grant, Sr., OF; Jameson Collins, Sr., 1B; Jake Damphousse, Jr., P
Returning lettermen: Nate Baker, Sr., INF; Sam Fay, Jr., P; Justin Pasters, Jr., INF
Promising newcomers: Brady Bonnell, Sr., P; Kyle Dechane, Sr., INF; Zach Downey, Jr., OF; Aiden Newell, Jr., P/INF; Aaron Sickel, Jr., C; Tyler Cameron, Frosh., C; Jason Hughes, Frosh, INF/OF/P
Captains: Jameson Collins, Ryan McCarthy, Matt Grant
Returning leaders: Jake Damphousse 7-0, 3.21 ERA, 45 Ks, 53.1 innings; Jake Cameron .321, 14 runs, 15 RBIs; Ryan McCarthy .302, 16 runs; Josh David .286, 19 runs; Cam Toohey .283, 10 runs, 11 RBIs; Matt Grant 11 runs, 2-1 record; Jameson Collins 11 RBIs
Returning honorees: Jake Damphousse, Eagle-Tribune All-Star; Jake Cameron, second-team All-Division 1
Odds and ends: Last year’s 14 wins were the most by the Owls since they went 17-7 in Class I in 1995. ... The prep school hockey rash hurts the Owls as Cam Toohey (.283, 10 runs, 11 RBIs) is at Berwick Academy. ... Ryan McCarthy is headed to Bates.
Assistants: Kevin Fitzgerald, assistant; Dylan Mullin, JV; Jim DeFillipo, Freshmen
Coach Jamie Fish (12th year, 95-129): “I like us. We have a lot of character kids, who are fun to coach. Jake Damphousse’s track record speaks for itself, and Sam Fay is a lefty with a lot of upside. But every Monday-Wednesday-Friday is a challenge in this league.”