June 11, 2014

Editorís Note: June is always a big month around high schools. There is graduation and the end of the scholastic careers for seniors, plus Fatherís Day. During previous Junes, Tom Williams has turned over his column to Stephanie Gaitley, Matt Woolley, Jeff Boyd, Allison Rinck, Erik Geisinger, Doug Colman, Allie Moreland, Tracey LeFever, the Degenhardt sisters, Chelsea Bruno, Danielle McNally, Dave & Casey Beyel, the Donahue sisters, Allison Travers and Shaune McLaughlin, among others, to write about their fathers.
This week, two Cape-Atlantic League graduates Ė Mike and Matt Campo Ė write about their father, Frank, the longtime Atlantic City High School athletics director who is retiring at the end of this month. Mike had a great baseball career at St. Augustine, set Big 10 records at Penn State and hit .299 in five years of minor league baseball in the Angels, Athletics and Red Sox systems. He is currently working as the Assistant General Manager of the Cleveland Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation. Matt was an all star wrestler at St. Augustine who is pursuing his Masterís degree in Health Administration from the University of Scranton.


MIKE & MATT CAMPO
Guest Columnists


When given the opportunity to write about our dad for Fatherís Day, the first thing we thought was how could we possibly capture the true essence of our dad and explain what he has meant to us in a few paragraphs. The simple answer is we couldnít, but we tried our best.
Everyone praises our father for his 43 years of hard work at Atlantic City High School and how he has made a difference in so many lives throughout his career. But what they donít know is how he has made a difference in the lives of his two sons. We will attempt to define the core values of our father and how he successfully instilled them into our lives today.
Quite simply our father is the most selfless, loving, down to earth, hard-working and caring man we have ever met. He has and continues to always be there supporting us in everything we do, from academics to athletics, and even picking us up at 4:00 am in our college years. The true measure of the success of a father is the values he instills into the lives of his children. The three predominate values our father engrained in us are hard work, knowledge, and family.
Hard Work Ė Dad will be retiring from his position as the Director of Athletics at Atlantic City High School where he has worked for 43 years. Seeing his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the students, faculty, and staff of ACHS throughout the years has had a profound impact on us. An example of a story that speaks to his work ethic is the Thanksgiving Day game back in 1989, when a bad snow storm hit South Jersey and blanketed the football field (Bader Field) with snow. The game could not be cancelled so dad took it upon himself to rent and operate a snow blower to help remove the snow in time.
Another story that stands out is when he would come home from work covered in poison ivy all over his face, arms and legs. We remembered asking him how in the world he got poison ivy at work? He replied something to the effect that he was just helping out to get the fields ready for the spring season.
Our father was not a man who would say ďI donít think that is in my job descriptionĒ Ė he was a man who did what needed to be done.
Knowledge - Another value that he instilled in us was the importance of education. We both participated in athletics growing up and he always stressed that any successes on the field are nothing compared to successes in the classroom. This really began to resonate with us when we saw our parents make sacrifices to ensure that we both received the best education possible. Our parents were not tempted by shiny new cars or a fishing boat to take out on the water. They knew what they wanted and were ready to sacrifice anything for us. Words cannot describe how thankful we are for their unwavering commitment to the betterment of their children.
Family - The amazing thing about Dad is that he has always been there for us throughout the years and still continues to be there with unconditional love and support with whatever we need. Growing up, he always made time to help us with our homework, brought us fishing and crabbing, coached on our athletic teams and took us down to the fields to practice. To this day, if any one of us needed anything at all, no matter how big or small, he will always find a way to be there. He lives by the philosophy that family is not only an important thing, itís everything.
Our father is the most selfless and loving father in the world and there is only one way we know how to repay him (other than buying him a boat or sending him to vacation in Sicily) and thatís doing the same for our children.
So Dad, we hope we donít embarrass you too much by all this. We just want you to know we appreciate all you have done for us throughout the years and for being a great role model. Congratulations on your retirement from ACHS after 43 years and entering the next phase of your life. With all this extra time on your hands, try not to blow all your Social Security income on fishing trips or lost golf balls.
Happy Fatherís Day and happy retirement! Look out, fore!



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