A pause came from River Hill junior standout Michael Campanaro when asked what his favorite moment was during his sophomore year. It was understandable. After playing a big role in helping the River Hill football team reach its first Class 3A state title game, playing running back and in the secondary, Campanaro became the Hawks' starting point guard and helped orchestrate the school's first basketball state championship. He said basketball was always his top sport growing up until football took over when he got to high school. In his first varsity season last year, he accounted for more than 1,600 total yards and scored 18 touchdowns. As for his favorite moment, Campanaro, a B student, goes back to the Hawks' first playoff game - a 27-7 win over North Harford - when he scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 77-yard run on the game's second play.
What did you take from your first varsity season?
It was a great experience being a sophomore and one of the youngest players on the team. Having a chance to play both ways and contribute really made me feel good. Making it so deep in the playoffs - the farthest the school has ever been - to be able to contribute and be a factor really felt good.
How disappointed were you after the 37-18 loss to Friendly [High, Prince George's County] in the state title game?
It was really tough. We definitely knew we were going up against a talented team and we prepared long and hard. We came out pretty strong and felt like we did a great job, but just came up short.
How did you handle the responsibility of being the basketball team's starting point guard as a sophomore?
I knew my role: Try to control the game and set everything up. Coach [Matt] Graves gave me a lot of confidence running the team. I knew my role was to set my teammates up, get them in the best position to score and succeed. So that was big. And then I just tried to do all the little things to help us win.
Back to football: Hitting people or running past people?
I love defense. I come out hitting, and this year I'll be a lot more physical because I'm a little bigger and stronger this year. But I definitely like offense and running past people more.
What's it going to take to get back to the title game?
I think it comes down to preparing each week; we can't look ahead. We dropped a level. We're down to 2A now. But I know there's good teams with us - Gwynn Park, Douglass [of Prince George's]. It's about preparing for each week. The coaches have put a lot in for us already and we feel we're in midseason form. We're just practicing hard and getting ready.
When you're not playing sports or studying, what do you enjoy doing?
Eating. I like to eat. Both my parents are chefs. This year, I was talking to my offensive line and they were saying they have to start coming over for dinner. I told them, if I rush for over 200 yards in a game, you guys can all come over for dinner and my mom will cook up something. And if I go for 100, I told the guys I'll take them out for ice cream. So we got some deals going on. Those are the guys up front making it happen for us.
Ravens fan or Redskins fan?
Redskins. My dad has always been a Redskins fans and I didn't really like them at first, but then kind of caught on. I'm really liking their defense right now. They just have to get the offense going.
What's your favorite television show?
The Sopranos. Kind of upset it went off.
Were you satisfied with the ending?
I don't know. They kind of leave you with a cliffhanger, so you can decide your own ending.