Titans’ Hunter Campese Chooses Queen’s U. over Florida’s Pensacola C.C.

by Jim Stewart

Titans’ 18U southpaw Hunter Campese had offers from three US universities including a full ride scholarship to powerhouse Pensacola CC in the Sunshine State.  Such golden prospects are the dreams of many Canadian high performance baseball players. However, in the end, Campese turned down three excellent American schools and will join his brother Dylan at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for the 2020-2021 school year.  His decision-making process was clear.  The Barrie, Ontario resident believes that “Queen’s is a great Canadian University with a reputable Engineering program. The atmosphere there is great, and I feel like I am at home when visiting that campus compared to some other universities that I have visited throughout the course of high school.”  This comfort level kept Campese in Ontario where he will be studying electrical engineering and making “a significant impact on the starting rotation as a freshman” on the Gaels baseball team. Hunter also had offers from Niagara University and Pittsburgh University, but he spurned opportunities in both these enviable baseball destinations to throw for the Gaels.

Hunter—one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in Ontario-- also acknowledged the challenges of playing baseball in the rapidly-improving OUA loop: “When entering college ball, it will be important for me to stay focused on what I am doing on the mound, and be self-critical in my mechanics as a pitcher, as well as get stronger, and throw harder. Mental and physical growth is important for success moving forward for me.”  Hunter’s potential for success was evident in these remarks and echoed by his head coach, Lawrence Vera:  “No doubt Hunter will be an impact pitcher in the OUA and should be a top arm throughout the province. Hunter is a gamer on the mound and helped us win a championship in 2018.  I know that he will help push Queen’s in that direction as well.”

Coach Vera’s best memories of his talented starter were evident and Hunter added his own reflection on his time as a Titan:  “My best memory playing Titans baseball would have to be when I hit my PR on the mound during a live bullpen session. Although I have only been here for one season, Titans baseball really developed fast with the best travel ball facility that I have played in, making the offseason workouts and practices super easy to focus and progress as a player. Within that season, the Titans coaching staff helped me clean up my pitching, and resulted in me topping out in my velocity this year.”

Hunter—a senior at St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS in Barrie-- also acknowledged the dedication of Coach Vera and his coaching staff:  “I owe a lot of my success as a player and student to them. I noticed that Coach Vera and the coaching staff of the Titans are super involved with each one of their players personally. They push me in the weight room to hit PR’s, checking report cards to push us in the classroom, and on the bump during practice. When I was struggling on the mound, Coach Vera and Coach White worked with me for countless hours analyzing my mechanics, and helping me to make adjustments to get back on track. The time and effort that Coach Vera and the coaching staff put in with me greatly prepared me for post-secondary school.”

Hunter’s advice for his younger Titans’ teammates was clear and personal:  “For incoming Titans players:  the Titans coaching staff knows a ton about baseball, so I encourage you to listen to what they tell you, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. They have been in your position, and they want you to succeed. The coaching staff cares about your progression as a player, and they want to see you improve as a player. As long as you put in effort to better yourself as a player, the coaching staff at Titans will put in the same amount of effort if not more.” 

Coach Vera offered this closing assessment of the Titans’ 6’1”, 160 pound southpaw’s talents and his laudable priorities as a student-athlete:  “Hunter was one of the top LHP prospects in Ontario having offers to Niagara U, Pittsburgh U, and a full ride to Pensacola CC, but elected to stay in Canada and take advantage of our great education system.”

The Titans baseball organization extends its congratulations to Hunter Campese and his choice to accept Queen’s University’s offer of admission.