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.”