Hempfield and Latrobe tennis teams come together to celebrate the vision of the late coach
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 9:52 a.m.
Enrico Campi has been instrumental in developing the growing interest of many Westmoreland County tennis players during his nearly three decades of ownership of the Greensburg Racquet Club.
Five years after his death, the girls he once educated came together to commemorate him as their high school tennis seasons drew to a close.
On October 4, players from the women’s tennis programs Hempfield and Latrobe met in the regular season final. Latrobe won the game 5-0, but the day was more devoted to remembering Campi.
“He used to say to them when they were little, ‘One of these days, girls, you’ll be in your last year of high school and playing against each other,” Hempfield coach Susan Barbe-Stas said.
“But never forget to be friends. ‘”
And this is exactly the case with programs.
When they’re not fighting for set wins, they’re cheering each other on.
“Latrobe, we are so proud of them,” said Alexis Smith, senior at Hempfield. “They were second in state last year. But, you can win and you can win, and no one will remember your victories unless you are kind and have good sportsmanship.
“I think that really marked us. They’re so accomplished, but only because they’ve been so nice to everyone along the way.
Before the game, the teams joined with Campi’s widow Molly and daughter Cassandra for a minute of silence.
“It was a great time,” Smith said. “We were all a bit of one. We all grew up training together, and it didn’t really matter that we were split into two different school districts.
Barbe-Stas said: “It was a homecoming for the girls to see Molly and Cassandra. When we made the moment of silence, it was really very moving. It was like we were one team. It was perhaps the best moment of the whole evening.
The players gave flowers to Molly Campi. Signs were hung with Campi’s favorite sayings printed on them. During the match, the girls wore lime green ribbons, Campi’s favorite color. And, afterwards, they enjoyed some of her favorite snacks.
“It was amazing,” said Kimberly Smith, Alexis’ mother who spoke at the commemoration. “And when the kids started competing, there was so much friendship. It made everyone smile.
Considering the success of programs like Latrobe and Hempfield over the years, it’s clear that Campi’s impact on the court has been invaluable. But the bonds formed between players, parents and coaches, and the emphasis on sportsmanship, could carry much more weight in the future.
“Yes, we are in competition, but overall we are one with tennis,” said Barbe-Stas. “It’s thanks to his leadership.
Tags: Hempfield, Latrobe