PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– This Week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week sponsored by Perry and Young P.A. is Charles Campbell Jr. of Bay High.
“The things I love about CJ he works hard, he’s here every day, I never hear him complain,” Bay High head football coach Keith Bland said.
The senior is outstanding both in the classroom and on the field, but things haven’t always been easy. When he was seven-years-old he came home from school to learn his world was changing.
“There was a man waiting at the door from OCS… my mom was like they are taking y’all away from me, but I mean it was hard for us from the start she was a single mom and my dad was in jail at the time,” Campbell Jr. said.
Campbell was in foster care for a month until his father was released from jail. He said those weeks were very impactful for him.
“Afterworlds we went back with my dad and then that’s when everything started turning around for me, you know I started making way better grades started playing sports and now I’m here,” he said.
Now he is at Bay High School with a 4.15 GPA as a leader on the football, track, and weightlifting teams.
“I’ve been in education for 29 years and coaching for half of that, I don’t think I could compare another young man that I’ve seen that’s worked as hard as CJ does,” Bland said.
The running back and safety leads his teammates by example. He is leaving an impact on all of the Tornadoes, but especially his two younger brothers. One is on the junior varsity and another is the teams’ manager.
“Being that bigger role model for them is real important,” Campbell Jr. said.
His desire to succeed comes from wanting to play for a bigger purpose. On the football field, he wears the number five in honor of his late grandmother.
“I don’t play it just to play I do everything I do for her and the guy above that’s it,” he said.
The scholar athlete hopes to play football at the college level.
“He’s the total package as far as student athletes go and schools have been talking to him and getting ready and I know he’s anxious about that as well and he’s gonna have bright future,” Bland said.