Brentwood Boys: A Reward Well-Deserved
A REWARD WELL-DESERVED
On January 18, 2008, generations of wrestlers returned home to Brentwood High School and to the gym that had for 20 years been owned by them and their coach, Joe “the Gov” Campo. And now, that gym would bear his name forever.
Before Brentwood’s 42-16 victory that night, the sold-out gym was named in honor of the then-retired Campo, and the floor was once again his.
“I never felt so much love in all my life,” the 83-year-old man told the full house. “I just hope and pray that I deserve it.”
It was the classic humility of a hardworking “Brentwood boy.” Here was a champion in wrestling and at life; here was a man who helped beat the Nazis and who, as a coach, helped beat more than 450 opponents (452-38).
And he just wanted to make sure he deserved it.
"We come across some students that are angry with their misfortunes and their situation," KC Beach said. "They use these misfortunes to participate in negative behaviors. But you see Alex and Ricardo who have been dealt one of the worst hands people can ask for, and they could’ve made every excuse to be a gang member, a drug dealer but they found some positive influences and surrounded themselves with people who wanted to help them."
Joe Campo '49 (left) and Bob Panariello '86 at the 2008 dedication of Brentwood's gymnasium to Campo. Photo submitted
THE FINAL WHISTLE
The legendary Joe Campo ’49 died in 2010, at the age of 85.
Bob Panariello ’86 is now director of health, physical education, and athletics for Islip public schools, a 15-minute drive from Brentwood.
Carlos Restrepo ’02 coached wrestling at Brentwood High School from 2002 to 2009. He is now at Sachem High School East, where he coached his son to a state title in 2015. Jakob went on to wrestle at the University of Maryland.
KC Beach ’05 was director and coordinator of the Brentwood youth wrestling program for seven years and an assistant varsity coach at Islip High School before taking the job as head varsity wrestling coach there last fall. He helped coach Carlos Toribio ’17 to a New York State title there before sending him to Ithaca College. He also coached the Gomez-Perez brothers, as well as Josue Mendez '13 and Josue Escobar '17, who all wrestled for Ithaca College.
Ricardo Gomez-Perez ’14 majored in accounting at IC and is now an accountant for Cornell University.