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Campiotti bound for NAU

Manteca QB to play for winningest coach in Big Sky

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Campiotti bound for NAU

Manteca High quarterback Gino Campiotti is joined by his parents, Debbie and Gino Campiotti, as he officially signs his Division I college letter to play football for the Northern Arizona Lumberjac...

POSTED February 8, 2018 2:02 a.m.

Gino Campiotti made it official Wednesday.

The Manteca High quarterback inked his Letter of Intent to play football for Division I Northern Arizona Lumberjacks of the Big Sky Conference.

The 6-foot-3 Campiotti shared this first official day of the signing period with his family, including his folks Debbie and Gino Sr., not to mention his teammates, coaches and administrators in the MHS cafeteria.

“I liked everything about the school,” he said, recalling his recent visit to the Flagstaff campus.

Campiotti was also impressed with the Lumberjacks’ football program under longtime head coach Jerome Souers — he’s also the Big Sky’s all-time winningest coach — in particular, their wide-open offense.

“They throw the ball about 50 times a game,” he said.

Northern Arizona finished third in the Big Sky last year behind Weber State and Southern Utah. Campiotti, who plans to study Criminal Justice, was also being recruited by Weber State, according to his mother Debbie.

The Big Sky also includes UC Davis, Sacramento State and Cal Poly.

A three-sport star, Campiotti is one of the most talented athletes produced by the Buffaloes. In basketball, he’s a key player for coach Brett Lewis’ squad and will soon follow that up by playing baseball under Neil MacDannald.

“I’ve known Gino since he was this tall,” said MacDannald, sticking his hand out chest high. “There are few things about him.

“No. 1, he’s a competitor — he wants to win. He has tremendous physical tools. And he’s very smart.”

MacDannald served as a football assistant under Eric Reis, who recently stepped down as the Buffaloes’ head coach, adding: “(Gino) wants to be a quarterback.”

The last time they were all on the gridiron together was the 28-23 loss to eventual CIF State Division II-A champion St. Francis of Mountain View in the CIF Division II-A NorCal Regional Bowl Game. Campiotti, who led the Buffaloes to back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Division titles, was 26 of 48 passing in that game for 322 yards and two touchdowns.

“St. Francis had seven D-I commits (on signing day),” Reis noted.

He was extremely proud of Campiotti.

“This is a special, special day for our football family,” said Reis, who’s well aware of the hard work Campiotti put in to reach this point. “If one of us makes it — we all make it.”

For Campiotti, his dream was to earn a full-ride scholarship. He did just that, crediting his teammates for helping him achieve that goal.

“They’re great athletes who made me better,” he said.

During this past season, Campiotti, who was the MVP of the Valley Oak League, completed 221 of his 357 passes for 3,265 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also converted 47 of 55 PATs with two field goals as the placekicker.


To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail

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