August 9, 2011
Last summer Josh Campi's senior football season ended before it could begin after the Louisa County lineman was diagnosed with leukemia. After more than a year of fighting for his life, the former Lion is back on the Lions' sideline this fall as a volunteer assistant coach and what's better, he's cancer-free.
"It's a miracle honestly, Campi said at the first official preseason practice. "It was really tough, the hardest experience of my life and I just want to share that with my brothers here."
"Unreal," is the first word that came to mind for head coach Jon Meeks. "I remember visiting him in the hospital last year and had some times of doubt about what exactly his status was. He didn't look like the same kid...this is Josh, this is the Josh I remember."
For Josh, his return has been bittersweet.
"It's hard...because I missed my senior year and I just want to help these guys get more out of it than I ever could."
And his teammates have taken notice, admitting their struggles could never compare.
"Can't nobody say what we're going through is hard even though it's the hottest day of the summer and we have full shoulder pads on, and coach is making us do hard sprints, said senior John Dennis. "Because this man is standing right here that went through the ultimate fight."
Coach Meeks replaces Mark Fischer as head coach of the Lions after spending the last six years as the defensive coordinator. As Louisa continues preparation this summer, they aim to improve on a 11-1 record from 2010, complete with a perfect regular season and playoff berth.
The reigning Jefferson District champions open the year August 26 at Eastern View.