Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 5:43 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 5:43 a.m.
WINTER HAVEN – Never give up. Luke Chichetto certainly hasn’t, and the mantra recently landed him a Major League Baseball American League Championship ring.
Chichetto received the crowning jewel as a strength and conditioning coach for the Texas Rangers organization after the team appeared in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants last October.
The 1999 Winter Haven High School graduate spent three years in the organization, first with the Bakersfield Blaze (2008) followed by two years with their Double A team, the Frisco Rough Riders, in Texas.
But like most achievements, the ring didn’t come easy.
“I was always told you won’t be the top strength and conditioning coach. And I was told you won’t play college football because you’re too short. When I pursued all these jobs I just wouldn’t give up,” Chichetto said, who did get to play college football at Murray State in 2001.
Chichetto was a baseball catcher and fullback in football during his prep years. He attended Lake Region High School (1996-97), where he played for Charlie Pell, before transferring to Winter Haven.
He was also 189 pound wrestler but along the way he fell in love with weightlifting.
“I always had a pretty good clean and jerk. Randy House (Lake Region) taught me pretty much everything I know as a weightlifter. He was a big influence on me,” Chichetto said.
“I lifted at Winter Haven and won a trophy for 1,000 pounds of combined weight, bench, squat and clean and jerk.”
After a year of college football Chichetto transfered to the University of South Florida where he immediately became involved in weightlifting.
…. READ MORE