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Chipoletti's passion pays off for Leopard

Three-time wrestling state champion has shot to cap Hernando career with one last accolade.

By EMILY NIPPS
Published April 22, 2005


BROOKSVILLE - Addison Chipoletti doesn't mind being called an "ironhead." Sure, he spends a lot of time in the weight room, and yeah, he takes it pretty seriously.

"I like it," the 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior said. "I like taking care of my body, and it's better than sitting on a couch and watching TV."

There's more to it than that, though. The three-time wrestling state champion is hoping to end his high school athletic career with one last accolade: a state weightlifting title.

Last season, Chipoletti finished eighth in the Class A meet 199 weight class. This season, he's tied for the first seed in the 199 division and has a much better shot at first place.

Even more confident in a state-title performance is his senior teammate, Anthony Roberts, who won a 139 championship last season and is far and away the top contender for another. The 5-foot-4 Roberts lifts 310 pounds in the bench press and 200 in the clean-and-jerk (530 combined), which is 25 pounds more than the second-seeded qualifier in his class.

The Leopards, sending five qualifiers to state, are looking to improve on last season's fifth-place performance. "This year, we're looking pretty good," Chipoletti said. "We're hoping to finish at least in the top three."

Jason Singer (119), Chad Sanders and Robert Smith (139) are among the guys coach Bill Browning considers the serious lifters, the ones who do more working out than socializing in the weight room. In a sport that usually attracts football players who simply want to stay in shape during the offseason, Browning finds a strong work ethic refreshing.

"It's rare you have somebody (such as Roberts) who wins back-to-back state titles in weightlifting," Browning said, pointing out Roberts' self-discipline in repeating a strong performance in the same class as last season.

It's also rare to see a wrestler excel in weightlifting, despite what some may think about the similarities in the body types between wrestlers and weightlifters. Wrestlers tend to shed weight during the winter season, while weightlifters try to pack on the pounds.

"Last year, I didn't see one wrestler I knew at the state meet," Chipoletti said.

"It's highly unusual for someone to win titles in both sports, if anyone has," Browning said.

He hopes to see all of his lifters excel, but titles for Chipoletti and Roberts would be extra sweet. Not only has he watched the two work hard the past four years, but he sees a little of himself in Roberts and Chipoletti.

"I'm an old ironhead myself," Browning said.

[Last modified April 22, 2005, 00:44:19]


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