This week in SPORTS -- The HYA

This Week In SPORTS

By Wayne I. Elliot

The Hampton Union & Rockingham County Gazette

Thursday, October 4, 1962

IRVING "SOUP" CAMPBELL and JOE PELLEGRINO -- Familiar names? To some, yes, while to others, no. Yet, if an athletic Hall of Fame were to be established within Hampton, these two names should be at the head of the list of the initial entries.

For many years, "Soup" and Joe, aside from the school teachers and coaches, have probably contributed more to work with local youth, especially pre-teen age youngsters interested in athletics than any other two Hampton men. Briefly, Joe has long been active with local boy scouts and more so with the local Pony league baseball teams. "Soup" not only masterminded and still heads the Tid Bit basketball program, but was, among other things, instrumental in returning organized track to the Hampton schools.

Although we could write many words about these men, and we hope to at some future date, our purpose for mentioning them is two-fold. Over the years, many groups and many individuals have joined at various times to provide the youth of Hampton with outside interests in athletics. We can think of a few such groups including the Kiwanis club which was instrumental during the late 1930's and early 1940's with a dynamic summer Park League baseball program. This was headed by the late James W. Tucker, Sr. with Mr. Campbell's assistance. Later came active Booster's clubs. The old Hampton Community club also worked with youth. And through the years, the efforts of the local Recreation Commission has become increasingly beneficial. All of these organizations served their respective purposes for periods of time and then, with the exception of the Recreation Commission, because singular individuals could not continue to carry the load, they gradually dropped again from sight.

Last fall, 1961, a group of men met at the home of Raymond St. Pierre, Belmont circle. With the encouragement of Winnacunnet football coaches Ernest Gregorowicz and George Bossi behind them, the Pee Wee football and wrestling leagues were born through the generosity of these men and others who assisted with the program.

Later, in the spring of 1962, these same persons were joined by other interested men of Hampton. They asked themselves, "Why should such individuals as Joe Pellegrino and "Soup" Campbell be asked to contribute to the growth of our youth when we are doing little or nothing?" They answered this question with the formation of the HAMPTON YOUTH ASSOCIATION, INC.. This association was designed to supplement and incorporate existing youth athletic programs such as Pony league baseball, Tid Bit basketball and Pee Wee wrestling and football.

It has been a long time since this writer has seen such enthusiasm among a group of individuals. The need is definitely here. These men, such as Ted Hunkins, president, Charlie Pierson, vice president, John Hebert, treasurer and Ray St. Pierre, secretary, have realized this need and have gone all out to make the new program click. The group has big plans for the future of Hampton youth. But they can't do it alone. They need the help of every parent in Hampton.

The only means of financial support in this non-profit organization is through membership dues at $1 per year and through private individual donations. We strongly urge your support in this group. To date, several merchants have contributed both with the giving of equipment and money. Father Casey of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church kicked things off by vastly helping the Pony league teams last summer. To date, only 475 persons out of some 5,000 resident of Hampton are members.

From time to time, we will be doing everything we can to support the work of this group. This week, we would like to leave you with a quote from the by-laws of this organization which was founded May 29, 1962:

"The objects of this association shall be to foster and develop a true spirit of competition, to elevate the intellectual, moral and social conditions of its members, to establish and encourage a high standard of skill, to cultivate harmonious condition among the participants, to settle all disputes and to endeavor to promulgate good will."

What a wonderful town ours would be if all of us would assist these men who are giving hour upon hour of their time gratis to see that the youth are instilled with a sense of competition and fair play in this thing called growing up.

But our eye was caught by another section of the by-laws which we, as parents of these youth, would do well to abide by. "It shall be the first duty of every member to conduct himself as a true and loyal American citizen and foster good sportsmanship."

And what names head the list of directors? None other than Joe Pellegrino (baseball) and "Soup" Campbell (basketball). These men have already done more than their share. Now, however, others such as the other directors Ray St. Pierre (football), Foster Greene (baseball), Ted Hunkins (football), Vic Forsythe (basketball), John Hebert (football and basketball), Bill Berry (basketball and baseball), and Ken Miller (wrestling) are helping."

Others are pitching in to make this worthwhile project hit the top. Are you?