DeAngelo Already Thinking About Another State Crown
With no state tournaments in 2020, this past fall marked the third-straight Class S championship for the Old Saybrook boys’ soccer team, which also won the title in 2018 and 2019. After seeing a brief varsity appearance is his freshman year, Cameron DeAngelo became integral part of the Rams as a junior and already has his sights set on continuing that trend next season.
“We had a great season, were undefeated, and our character as a team was great,” says Cameron. “I think we’ll be very strong and have a good chance of winning of making it far next year.”
Cameron, a striker, finished his junior season with 28 goals and 6 assists for Old Saybrook, including 6 goals with 4 assists during the Rams’ state tourney run. Head Coach Steve Waters credits Cameron for being an “offensive workhorse” during the 2021 season. One of Cameron’s biggest moments was when he converted a clutch penalty kick with Old Saybrook in the state semifinals.
“Cam provided the team with a tenacity to attack in a sportsmanlike manner with timely goals and game-winning goals,” Waters says. “His PK in the semis versus Somers with two seconds showing on the stadium clock as he faced the clock and our team’s destiny showed how competitively cool he is as the ball banged into the rear pole of the goal.”
Cameron’s PK sent the semifinal game into overtime, where he scored the go-ahead goal in a 5-3 victory. The Rams went on to notch a 4-1 win versus Canton in the state final to solidify the Class S three-peat. In addition to its state title, Old Saybrook also earned a share of the Shoreline Conference crown as part of an undefeated season.
Cameron was named the Most Valuable Player of the Class S state championship game. His other accolades include being named to the All-Shoreline Conference First Team, the All-State First Team, the All-England Team, and the New Haven Register All-Area Team.
While the titles were highlights for Cameron, what he enjoyed most was spending time with his teammates at pasta dinners and those post-game trips to the diner. The Rams were also excited to be playing in front of their fans again this year. In Cameron’s sophomore season, there were many COVID restrictions that included limiting fans in the stands.
“This season, we had a lot of team bonding with pasta parties at Fireman’s Field, where we’d eat and play games, or going to eat together after a game. It was really special,” says Cameron, who was a varsity starter as a sophomore. “This year, the fans were great and pushed us through to give the motivation we needed. That was a big support that wasn’t there when we played during COVID.”
Cameron has been playing soccer since he was 4. He started with a park and rec program before playing for Old Saybrook’s soccer program. Cameron also played for the CT Rush out of Guilford from age 10 to 13 before deciding to focus on the town league.
However, two years ago, Cameron decided to try out for the 2005 CT Rush Select team, which is made up of players from all over the state. Even now, during Old Saybrook’s offseason, the team practices in North Branford twice a week and has a game on Sundays. The team also participates in tournaments and is traveling to Florida for one this weekend.
“When you do the bigger tournaments, you get a lot of time with your team off the field, so you get to build a really close bond with teammates, and it shows on the field,” Cameron says. “You’re more connected and play better when you understand the person more.”
Cameron attributes his growth and success to the influence of many people in his life, including his parents, Kelli and Frank, as well as past teammates Shon Ryan and Colin Shulmeister, who were both seniors when Cameron was a freshman. He also appreciates the leadership of both Coach Waters and Greg Cumpstone, his coach with the CT Rush.
“I don’t know how they do it. Sometimes they drive three hours to a 90-minute game and back. They’re definitely committed to helping me in my soccer career,” says Cameron of his coaches. “Coach Waters has been really influential in building my skills as a player, as well as my mindset in how I look at the game. Coach Cumpstone has been a great influence, and I know he’ll continue to be as he helps me through the college recruitment process to play soccer.”
Cameron has started to look into options for college and hopes to continue his soccer career at the Division I or Division II level. An honors student, Cameron plans to look at schools with a finance program as he is considering becoming a financial advisor.
Cameron wouldn’t be the first in his family to play sports at the collegiate level. His older brother Cody is currently a pole vaulter at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
Like his older brother, Cameron not only plays soccer at Old Saybrook, but is also a member of its boys’ indoor and outdoor track teams. Cameron joined the program as a freshman, took his sophomore year off, and is now back with the Rams for his junior campaign, primarily competing in the 55 hurdles and the 1,600 sprint medley relay. During the outdoor season, Cameron runs the 100 and is also a part of the 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams.
“I joined it to keep my physical strength and speed up,” Cameron says. “It’s a great individual sport, and it’s definitely getting me faster and my leg strength is getting better.”
Even though Cody played soccer for Old Saybrook, the two brothers didn’t get to play much together since Cody was a senior during Cameron’s freshman year. However, next season, there will once again be two DeAngelo brothers on the field when Cameron’s younger brother Casey joins the Rams’ program.
“I didn’t play much varsity when Cody was there, but Casey is pretty decent, so hopefully he works his way into the lineup, and I’ll be able to play with him during the high school season,” says Cameron. “It’ll be super fun to play on the same team.”