Campion a 3-sport winner

Girls basketball: Archbishop Spalding star grows with program, beats the boys in tennis, and muddies her team's soccer fortunes.

January 14, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Deb Taylor, Archbishop Spalding's coach, can offer up some impressive numbers on her versatile senior Amy Campion.

So can Bob Greeno, the Cavaliers' first-year soccer coach. He entrusted Campion with the vital center-midfield position last fall and watched her score goals, dish out assists and blossom into a first-team All-County performer.

That Spalding doesn't have a girls tennis team doesn't deter her from spring sports. Last year, she played No. 1 singles for the boys team -- and won eight of 11 matches.

"It's kind of fun getting to beat the guys," she said, laughing.

Numbers aside, the intangibles Campion brings, whether she's scoring goals, hitting jumpers, or serving aces against the boys, set her apart as an athlete.

"The biggest is how hard she works," said basketball coach Taylor. "She leads by example, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the kids. Whatever we ask her to do, she does it."

"Amy's also very intense and plays with a lot of emotion and the other kids respond to that," Taylor said. "I'm not sure Spalding basketball has ever had the kind of intensity Amy has brought with her to practice each day."

Greeno knew he had a leader in Campion, a team captain, the first day of soccer practice last summer when she lapped a couple of players in warm-ups.

"She was clapping her hands, encouraging them on," said Greeno. "`Come on, girls, we can do better,' she said. Amy leads by example and doesn't ask anybody to do anything she won't do herself."

Said Campion: "I try to work hard every day, and when someone is having a bad day, I try to pick them up, because there's always a day when you may need someone to pick you up."

She knows no other way.

Her parents -- Tom and Peggy -- were basketball players, and older brother Jason, who graduated from Spalding last year, was also basketball and tennis standout.

Sports have always been around her house, but she's kept them in perspective, behind family and education (she carries a 3.8 grade-point average). She said her competitiveness comes mostly from her mother.

"Even today, we can be playing a simple board game at home, and there's a competitive edge to it," she said. "Dad's a little more laid back, so I try to take a little from both those traits."

After going 6-20 in basketball three years ago, the Cavaliers improved to 17-14 last season and at 12-5 are ranked ninth in metro Baltimore.

As Spalding's teams have grown during Taylor's three seasons, so has Campion.

The two-year captain has added 4 inches since her freshman season, her first chance to play varsity ball. She scored 12 points against McDonogh in her first game after being called up from the JV early in the season.

Now 6 feet all, she gives Taylor options and opposing coaches match-up nightmares.

Campion, who plans to play basketball in college and major in business, sees time mostly at point guard, but she also has played every other position, except center. She's averaging 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and 3.4 steals a game.

"If teams use a normal guard on her, we rotate her down low. If they use a bigger kid, we bring her out on the perimeter," said Taylor.

One more intangible for Campion is wanting the ball at crunch time.

"A senior's job is to step up in certain situations. I now feel comfortable with that," she said. "Coach Taylor has been a big influence as far as helping me become a floor leader and how a senior should act. She has shown trust in me, and when she says, `I want you to have the ball at the end of the game,' it gives me a lot of confidence."

Working hard while having fun and winning have become Campion trademarks, which brings back the soccer season and Greeno's second favorite story about the senior standout.

All-day rain seemed likely to postpone a Cavaliers game with fellow Catholic League power St. Mary's. Come game time, the skies cleared, and the rain went away. The mud did not.

"Amy was the first one to go to the ground to start the stretching exercises," said Greeno. "All of a sudden, she picked up a handful of mud and started smearing it all over her face. Three or four others then did the same thing. I looked over to my assistant coach and said, `We're going to win.'"

Sure enough, the Cavaliers upset the Saints in overtime, 3-2.

Guess who scored?

Pub Date: 1/14/99

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