Citrus coach Jonny Bishop said before the season his team was young, inexperienced and in a complete rebuilding phase.
Talk about playing coy.
Through three matches, the Hurricanes are 2-1 and look as if they again will be one of the area's top squads. Their lone loss was to state power South Sumter, 45-44.
"We're getting a lot better," Bishop said. "I just hope we have time to get as good as we can for when we get to regionals (in four weeks)."
Senior heavyweight Dan Marinelli, a Times all-area selection in 2002, has been Citrus' top lifter. He bench pressed a school-record 400 pounds last week and has a season-best clean and jerk of 285.
Bishop expects Marinelli to set a school record in the clean today at home against Lecanto (3:30 p.m.).
"Dan's getting a lot better," Bishop said. "He was on a plateau for quite some time. He finally broke through that. I had to change the intensity of our workouts. I change that about every 10 days. Right now he's pretty pumped."
Junior Rob Holdaway, at 139 pounds, also has shined. Holdaway's best total is 475 pounds, about 80 pounds more than in 2002.
"He has busted his butt since last season," Bishop said. "Rob's a great kid. Weightlifting is his thing. He'll spend every waking second in the weight room. I have to kick him out of there."
FUN JOB: First-year Crystal River coach Charles Brooks, a 35-year-old Crystal River native, is having a blast.
"I'm really enjoying myself," Brooks said. "It's everything I thought it would be. The only thing that has surprised me is that I don't have as many participating as I thought I would."
The Pirates have 20 lifters, none in three classes (119, 154, 183).
Brooks said he does not plan to recruit Crystal River students. He thinks winning will take care of that.
"If we get this thing going, it could be something special," he said. "When kids start participating and winning championships, other kids will see them. The other thing about weightlifting is that you can leave fingerprints on other programs, like football and baseball."
The Pirates are 0-2, but have shown promise.
Junior Scott Guastella (169) is unbeaten with bests of 280 and 225 in the bench and clean, respectively.
"Scott's a worker," Brooks said. "He comes in and gets his workouts done, and he does some extra stuff after he finishes a workout. He'll go do dips or reverse dips. He has the work ethic to be great. That's how you make a good player great and a mediocre player good."
Keith Niebuhr can be reached at 860-7337 or online at niebuhrsptimes.com.