Lignelli is versatile, 13-1

January 06, 1995|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

There seems no end to Jeremy Lignelli's interests.

He's sung in the church choir. He loves playing rock and roll, jazz or classical music on his guitar, or scratching out rap or hip-hop music on a turntable as a deejay.

And, were it not for the time required for wrestling or playing football, each of which he's done since he was 7, or maintaining a B averages in his honors courses at Glenelg, Lignelli might have tried out for a role in the school play.

"I like a lot of different things, like making up stuff on the guitar," said Lignelli.

He's also exceptionally good at improvising on the mat, where he's got a chance to become Glenelg's first state wrestling champion.

"He's extremely smooth at hitting moves on the takedown," said Glenelg coach Jeff Kent. "And he's very good at controlling opponents from top or the bottom."

Although Lignelli won the county title and the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler award last season, his 19-6 record was marked by the erraticism often experienced by freshman wrestlers entering middle weight classes in high school.

Lignelli's 6-3 county-title decision over Hammond senior Brian Law avenged an earlier loss. Law went on to place second in the region and fourth in the state after losing, 8-2, to North Carroll's Tommy Kiler. But Lignelli finished fourth in the region and lost to Kiler by technical fall in the first round of the 1A-2A states.

In the first round of the regionals, Lignelli had a 12-8 loss to Dunbar's regional champ Hermondez Thompson, who later edged Kiler, 10-9, atthe states.

But two bouts after wrestling impressively against Thompson, Lignelli was pinned by Rockville's Jeremy Pedone, who finished third in the region. One match before wrestling Pedone, Lignelli had looked great in an 11-3 decision over Oakland Mills' Casey Moffit, who earlier had pinned Pedone.

"My moves worked fine, but I wasn't finishing off or putting the matches away. Maturity was definitely a factor," said Lignelli, 15. "This year, it hasn't mattered what the other guys weigh."

Lignelli (13-1) has proven that, getting 11 of his victories at 152, including winning the Chopticon Tournament title for the second straight year, despite weighing 150.

A 14-9 decision over South Carroll's regional runner-up and former junior league teammate Charlie Conaway also came at 152. Conaway had been unbeaten with a title at the Chesapeake Tournament to his credit.

"He had dropped some weight to get to 152," said Lignelli. "I got the jump on him with an arm drag [takedown.]"

Lignelli was even more impressive with his runner-up effort at 145 pounds in last week's Francis Scott Key Invitational. He pinned two opponents, including Old Mill's regional champ, Mike DiLeonardi, who dropped from 152 and was coming off a 9-3 upset win over top-ranked 3A-4A state champ Mark Chesla of Arundel.

"I had heard all about who he had beaten, but I watched his first match of the tournament and I knew I could take him," said Lignelli. "After the first period, I knew I would stick him."

Lignelli got a lesson in strategy during his 9-2 title-bout loss to Francis Scott Key's two-time state champ Randy Owings, ranked third in the state.

But there will be ample time for Lignelli to rebound, whether at 145 or 152.

"I feel good about the way I've been wrestling and I think I can hang with some of the best," said Lignelli. "But with any match, you can lose. You have to keep everything in perspective every time you wrestle and just take them one at a time."

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