Sports Person of the Week
Soccer Has Always Been Big for Ippolito
After helping the Guilford boys’ soccer squad enjoy a historic season in 2019, Anthony Ippolito was named one of the team’s senior captains for the 2020 campaign. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Ippolito )
Ever since he was a young boy, Anthony Ippolito has had a soccer ball at his feet. Soccer is a staple in the Ippolito family, and Anthony has loved playing the game for quite a long time. Anthony displays his passion for the pitch as a member of the boys’ soccer team at Guilford High School, where he is about to begin his senior year.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was very little. As a toddler, there was never a time I didn’t have a ball with me,” says Anthony. “Soccer was always important in my family. Every weekend, my grandfather [Antonio], who came to America from Italy, and my father [Joe] would watch soccer, and they helped me to love the game. I still remember the celebrations when Italy won the World Cup in 2006. Since I was about 10, I’ve played competitively at very high levels.”
Anthony plays both the forward and midfielder positions for the Guilford boys’ soccer squad. A rising senior, he’s excited to lead Guilford as one of the team’s captains this fall. Anthony takes great pleasure in helping Guilford succeed as he works with a bunch of athletes who he feels proud to call his friends.
“My favorite part of soccer is definitely the team aspect. I’ve made so many lifelong friends through the sport, and I’m grateful that soccer is as big of a sport as it is in Guilford,” Anthony says. “I’ve also even gotten to know people from all over the country because of soccer. I’ve always been competitive, which is perfect for the game. I love to win.”
Anthony and his teammates won plenty of games during a historic 2019 season. Guilford notched 15 victories on its way to claiming the Southern Connecticut Conference title last year. Anthony scored the lone goal of the game when Guilford claimed a 1-0 win over Hand in the SCC final. He finished with five goals and two assists on the campaign.
“My favorite moment from last season was definitely scoring the winning goal in the SCC Tournament,” says Anthony. “It was against our rival Daniel Hand, and being able to help my team win the trophy for our school was an unbelievable feeling, probably the happiest I’ve ever been playing soccer.”
Anthony is serving as one of Guilford’s captains alongside fellow senior Aidan Buchanan this year. Head Coach Curtis Gullette knows that Anthony is going to do an excellent job of leading Guilford in the captain’s role, while continuing to create goal-scoring opportunities for his squad.
“Anthony is one of the nicest young men I have ever coached, and you can tell he truly cares about his teammates and others. He is also a polished forward with the skills to finish off any attack on net,” Gullette says. “Anthony selflessly sets others up for goals, as well, as he is usually one of the top players in assists each year.”
Anthony says that he has always viewed Gullette as a role model. Gullette was Guilford’s JV coach when Anthony joined the program and then became the varsity head coach midway through Anthony’s sophomore campaign in 2018.
“I think Coach Gullette and I have a great relationship,” says Anthony. “I’ve always looked up to him to instill confidence in myself and the team, and I always trust his decisions as a coach.”
Anthony has been working with his teammates throughout the summer in preparation for the 2020 fall season. Anthony also sharpens his soccer skills by competing with his CT Rush Premier soccer team.
“I always make sure to work on my game as much as possible,” Anthony says. “I also try to go running a couple times a week to keep my fitness up.”
Outside of soccer, Anthony enjoys playing the piano and guitar and is an honors student at Guilford High School, where he also volunteers in the Unified Sports program. Anthony already has an idea about what he wants to study in college after he graduates from Guilford.
“I really want to go to college to study science, specifically physics,” says Anthony. “I also really enjoy working with Unified Sports. I’ve been a part of that program for eight years.”