St. John’s Prep senior Stephen Camarro has committed to Merrimack College and will give the Warriors a much needed kicker, something the football program has lacked.
Camarro was Mr. Automatic for the Super Bowl champion Eagles last fall, but football was not always his first love.
“I was bullied a lot in middle school,” said the North Reading resident who received a partial scholarship from Merrimack. “I went out for soccer at the Prep, but I got sick and was cut my sophomore year. I decided to go over to the football field to kick, and my second day there they had a scrimmage. They called on me to try a 25-yard field goal and I put it over the net they had up.
“That’s when I first started thinking ‘I could be good at this.’”
With the thought of playing college sports in the back of his mind, Camarro worked with his father to come up with a plan that enabled him to do so.
“I’ve gone to about 12 kicking camps, and for about three years I’ve been working with kicking coach Rick Gonsalves (of Gloucester),” said Camarro. “Consistency is the key to kicking, and through practice and working with him I’ve become better.”
Camarro was at the New England Elite Clinic when he was a sophomore and a coach from Merrimack came over to talk to him. Ever since then, Merrimack was at the top of his list. He also considered Bryant, Assumption, Stonehill and Bentley.
“I’ll have a very good chance to kick for four years at Merrimack,” said Camarro, who plans to major in business and finance (with a minor in law). “Merrimack hasn’t had a true kicker in a while and was using a wide receiver. Joe Clancy (of Newburuyport) is back at quarterback for his fifth year, so they should have a good offense. I’m looking forward to it.”
The induction ceremony into the national Italian American Hall of Fame Massachusetts chapter is something Salem native Sean Stellato will never forget. He and former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi were inducted last weekend in Boston before over 250 people.
“It reminded me of my wedding,” said Stellato, the NFL player agent who signed veteran NFL players defensive tackle Steve McClenden and wide receiver David Gilreath of the Steelers, along with long snapper Andrew DePoaola of Tampa Bay, recently. “My family, clients and a lot of friends were all there to support me.
“In my speech I had a chance to thank so many people and tell them what they meant to me, all the way from my Pop Warner coaches and Ken Perrone at Salem High to my The Gunnery, Marist and Arena (League) coaches. I told the story about my grandfather Pasquale making the voyage from Italy to follow the American dream. My father has been with me every step along the way teaching me the value of hard work, and my mother has always been my biggest fan. My brothers set the stage, and I couldn’t have done it without my wife, who is not only my soulmate but greatest supporter.”
Stellato said the tribute production in his honor was very moving. Two of his clients, Kyle Arrington of the Patriots and Isaac Redman of the Steelers, gave their agent a video tribute, and he also received a caricature.
“I was blown away by the caricature, which was done by an 89-year old gentleman,” said Stellato, who was given the nickname ‘Italian Stallion’ by his Arena League coach Jeff Brohm because he used to run around the whole stadium at Louisville after practice every day.
“What an honor to go into the same Hall of Fame as Rocky Marciano, Phil Esposito, Tony Conigliaro and Mark Bavaro. Andruzzi is such an inspiration, and I admire him so much. This was one of the biggest honors I have ever received.”
Beverly’s loss is Bishop Fenwick’s gain. After 18 years as boys’ outdoor track coach for the Panthers, Nelson Desilvestre has departed and joined Jay Smith’s staff at Bishop Fenwick.
Dave Jellerson, the veteran girls’ coach is now handling both jobs for the Panthers.
“We’re very fortunate to have Nelson and Jocelyn Almy-Testa to compliment Ali Souris and Steve Czarnecki,” said Smith.
Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at email@example.com.