Panama City Beach, FL---Our area will be well represented down at the boy's State Weightlifting meet next week in Kissimmee.
Among the squads taking several lifters south, 3 time 1A team champs Arnold, which is led by one gifted lifter in particular.
Coach Frank Padula watching five of his lifters qualify at last week's sectional. That includes senior Danny Anderson in the 219 pound class. This will not be Danny's first trip to State.
"He is gonna be the only one that we have ever had that is going to place, that has placed all four years." coach Padula says. "I know he's not the only one in the state that's done that but I know that it's a very short list, that he's a big part of."
"I got into weightlifting when I was about in 8th grade." says Anderson. "I just wanted to be strong, I just wanted to be that guy."
So obviously Danny is motivated, but that motivation comes from a rather simple place.
"I just like doing it. And doing it with all my friends from school and everything. It just makes me feel good, and it makes me want to keep on progressing. I guess just the urge to try to win. I guess that's my biggest motivation."
375 on the bench, 275 on the clean and jerk, a 650 total punching Danny's ticket to State. Those numbers make him a contender to win his class, says Padula.
"So far he's been able to place every year, since a freshman. I think he came in 4th twice, and 6th once. So he hasn't got up there, quite to the top of the podium. But this year he's definitely gonna make a run at it."
As for being that rare lifter who makes it to state all four years!
"It means a lot to me." Danny tells us. "I mean I know when I go down there. There's a lot of good guys down there. I just gotta do what I've gotta do."
Kris Sipe, Michael Moore, Stephen Benedik, and this lifter, Zach Riley, the other Marlins qualifying for state. So with five going, there is some chance Arnold could compete for a 4th team title.
Vernon's also sending five lifters to State, North Bay Haven three, including a freshman going. Those stories in the next few days.