Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Uno En Uno With: Richie Campanaro

Yorktown has the most depth and wealth of experience in the trenches. Plenty of returners, such as Richie Campanaro, Justin Vega, and Logan Peters will enforce a hard-hitting brand.

 Yorktown's fleet of foot returns with a shifty, well-built back in Nick Santavicca, he of the potent local football bloodline.

The Huskers are also spearheaded by a mobile quarterback in Ryan Baker, who proved he can scamper during his junior campaign. Baker rolled up 539 yards on the carpet, bolstered by an offensive line laced with adequate tools for protection.

The manpower returns to provide ample space for Baker and several weapons in Mike Rescigno's arsenal to go to work.

We caught up with Richie Campanaro, a veteran captain who shoulders a high-order commitment to the family concept paralleling Yorktown football.

He's experienced signature, enthralling wins, as well as devastating, soul-sucking losses.

Now, the venerable Campanaro wants nothing more than to finish his final season with a bang, helping Yorktown stamp its imprint with hardware and team success that eclipses all expectations.

Campanaro ultimately wants to be remembered as a rugged group that will surely play hard--they know no other way under Rescigno...

ZS: How would you describe your role on this year's team and how do you embrace a captain/leadership position?

RC: My role on this year's team is to bring leadership and experience to the line. As a captain, I embrace the role by leading with example and helping the younger, up-and-coming guys with the plays and whatever else they might have questions about.

ZS: How about the guys in the trenches? How does the experience help shape a group of returning starter's? Where is the focus with this group?

RC: Our line is looking strong this year. We have returning players such as Logan Peters, Justin Vega, and myself. Our previous experience will help us become better this year and complement new guys that will play big roles on the line such as Joe Blume, Joe Costella, and Steven Veteri. Our line's focus is to just come out every game, mash people and make holes for our running backs.

ZS: What do you enjoy most about your position and what do you pride yourself in most on the field?

RC: My favorite part of my position, Guard, is knowing the importance the line plays to the game. On the field, I pride myself most in pulling, blocking, and making holes for our backs to run through.

ZS: What are the team goals and aspirations and what does this year's squad hope to accomplish?

RC: Our team goals for this season are to come out every game, mash people, and win every game. We take everything week-by-week, but one of our ultimate goals is to compete for and win a Section 1 championship.

ZS: How much camaraderie does this senior class have?

RC: Our senior class is definitely a very tight one. Our coach, Mike "House" Rescigno, preaches family and we really buy into it. We're a group of kids that have been playing together for a while now and we're really tight on and off the field. We practice and play hard together on the field and after we're just as close off the field.

ZS: What's the energy been like at practice, knowing this season is right around the corner and knowing this is it for the seniors?

RC: The energy at our practices have been great this week. Everyone is excited for the season. We've been counting down the days for a while now and not counting today, there's only 11 left.

ZS: THE CROP gives you a major advantage at home and even on the road. Do you expect this giant, traditionally-spirited group to go full throttle again this season?

RC: It's always great playing under the lights in front of a crowd as awesome as THE CROP. It really does give us a home field advantage, anywhere we go. I expect them to bring their best every game this year, like they always do.

ZS: A few rough ones last season. High-flying Rye and of course a thrilling overtime loss to Tappan Zee stand out. How eager are you guys to exact vengeance on TZ this season?

RC: Yeah, we still have a bad taste in our mouth from those games. The older guys especially, did not forget how it felt losing to them. We're looking forward to playing them again this year and getting a different outcome, but at the same time we are trying to take things week-by-week and are 100 percent focused on Eastchester in Week 1.

ZS: Favorite class at Yorktown High and why?

RC: If it counts, I'd have to go with lunch because we get to eat there but I'd say global history because my boy, Mr. Egan, teaches it.

ZS: Who has been the your inspirational figure throughout your career here?

RC: There hasn't been just one person it's been more of a combination of my teammates, parents, and all of my coaches who helped me become the player I am today.

ZS: Any future plans/aspirations as a student-athlete, if you can look that far ahead?

RC: I don't really have any plans yet. I'm living in the now and completely focused on football season, especially because it's my last.

ZS: What's the identity of this year's team?

RC: Our identity this year should be a hard-hitting team that can hurt you on the ground and in the air. Our QB, Ryan Baker definitely has improved his arm strength and will have good targets to throw to such as Dan Delbene and Max Costello.

Our backfield is also strong and filled with experienced players such as Tim Forbes, Nick Santavicca, Mike Dedvukaj, and Ryan Brandt who should be able to run the ball successfully with the help of the line.

ZS: Favorite spot to eat in Yorktown?

RC: Edwin's Deli, easily has the best chicken cutlet sandwich in all of Yorktown.

ZS: Favorite football movie?

RC: Friday Night Lights. It's a classic.