Hernando wants the league title Citrus captured last season.
By JOHN SCHWARB
Published March 31, 2004
Hernando took a big step toward next month's Class A state meet with a dozen notable performances in last week's sub-sectional competition.
Today, the Leopards would gladly settle for being the best in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. After finishing second to Citrus last year in the GCAC meet, Hernando gets a chance at redemption at the Hurricanes' gym. And if it's possible to have momentum in weightlifting, the Leopards should be ready.
At Zephyrhills last week, 12 of the 15 lifters Hernando took to the Class A, Section 5 sub-sectional qualifying event placed in the top four, receiving spots in the April 7 sectional at South Sumter.
The top four at that meet earn trips to state.
Several of the Leopards who shined will contend at Citrus, starting with 199-pounder Addison Chipoletti.
The two-time state champion wrestler tormented many Citrus and Hernando County foes on the mats and is a favorite to do the same on the weights, as at the sub-sectional he hoisted 605 pounds total (bench and clean).
No competitor in any class lifted more.
The Leopards are strong in the lower weights as well, headlined by county champion Anthony Roberts, who benched 300 and cleaned 210 to win the 139-pound division.
Springstead, which competed in a 2A-4 sub-sectional last week at Hudson, brings in champions in Steve Leon (119), Josh Magrini (129) and Charles Gonyea (HWT).
Central and Nature Coast pulled out of the sub-sectionals.
The Bears have a full team but coach Joe Nestor said several lifters had gotten off their regular practice schedules and the squad opted to wait until the sectional to attempt state qualifying.
"I think we've got a little ways to go," Nestor said. "Citrus still looks pretty solid."