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Armstrong Hall welcomes another Brochetti

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Years before discipline became a matter of life or death for Adam Brochetti, it factored into the Kittanning graduate's chances of winning wrestling championships.

Capt. Brochetti, an alumnus of the Naval Academy and a member of the Marine Corps, was a standout football player and wrestler for the Wildcats about a decade ago. His excellence on the field and mat earned him a spot in the 2012 induction class for the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame, which includes a few of his family members.

"I would say sports are really a big reason that I am where I am today — aside from other external factors like parents, friends and mentors," said Brochetti, who graduated from Kittanning in 2002. "Winning and losing, that type of stuff, I can't say it's the most important thing in life. But the things that you learn along the way are priceless."

Brochetti served two deployments in Afghanistan after his time at the Naval Academy. He completed Ranger School at Fort Benning in Georgia and now works with wounded Marines at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Such experiences can test the mettle of a man. Brochetti credits athletics for instilling mental toughness.

"With wrestling, the grueling practices, the weight-cutting, the competition, the mental stress, the stress your body takes ... the grind, I've never really seen anything like that in sport," he said, "I knew, doing that and being somewhat successful, that there was really nothing I wouldn't be able to sustain or push through."

At Kittanning, Brochetti was a three-year letterman as a running back and defensive back. In wrestling, he won three Section 1-AAA titles, claimed a WPIAL crown and, as a senior, reached the PIAA semifinals. He finished with a career record of 111-10.

A three-year starter at Navy despite persistent injuries, Brochetti went 51-19. Two shoulder surgeries and knee surgery were setbacks that added to an already challenging life as he juggled school, sports and officer training.

"Just balancing everything was a true art," he said. "Few people can do it and be great at everything. It's natural for something to suffer."

Brochetti is the latest in a series of family members to join the hall of fame. Frank Brochetti, Adam's uncle, will be inducted posthumously this year. Frank, a star athlete at Shannock Valley, died in combat in Vietnam. John Brochetti, Adam's grandfather, was honored last spring, and Adam's father, John F., entered the hall in 1977.

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