Highlight list is listless without enlisting Lisko

December 30, 2004|by ANDY MASON

Honestly, I have nothing against Brian Lisko.

If the 2004 Waynesboro High School graduate weren't such a tremendous athlete, he never would have even been involved in the top two highlights of my 2004 prep sports coverage.

Ironically and unfortunately, he just happened to come out on the losing end - both times.

No. 1

Pound for pound last wrestling season, they didn't get much tougher than Williamsport then-junior Mike McGill and Lisko, who both competed at 135 pounds. These middleweights were Tri-State heavyweights.

McGill capped a near-perfect season by winning his third straight Maryland Class 2A-1A West region title and first state crown.

Lisko won his second straight Mid-Penn Conference tournament title and first state medal, finishing sixth at the ultra-competitive PIAA Class AAA championships.


When McGill and Lisko clashed during their teams' dual meet at Williamsport in January, it arguably was the Tri-State bout of the millennium - and one of the few times this century that McGill entered a match as an underdog.

After a scoreless first period, Lisko escaped for a 1-0 lead midway through the second. But McGill answered with a pair of takedowns and prevailed in a thriller, 5-2.

"Beating him, that's my first really big win in high school," McGill said after the match. "That's the biggest feather in my cap so far."

While McGill went on to win a Maryland title, his state gold might still be lighter than the Lisko feather.

No. 2

Less than three months later, Lisko was the underdog - and seemingly poised to pull off an even bigger upset than McGill's - on the baseball diamond at Chambersburg.

Making his first career varsity pitching start for Waynesboro, Lisko was one out away from a complete-game victory over the mighty Trojans and their star hurler, Irv Sleighter. With the Indians leading 3-2 and the bases empty in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chambersburg was down to its last out.

"He was pitching one heck of a game," Sleighter said. "We couldn't get our heads in there with his curveball, and he had an excellent off-speed pitch."

But this was not to be Lisko's day, either. The Trojans put together an improbable two-run rally on three singles, a walk and a wild pitch to win, 4-3.

"There's just something about our team," said Sleighter, who scored the winning run to pick up the complete-game victory. "We never give up. Couple of key hits, we're back in it."

Chambersburg went on to win the PIAA Class AAA title, while Sleighter, who went the distance in the state championship game, finished the season unblemished at 12-0.

ยท Currently, McGill, a senior at Williamsport, is ranked first in the state at 145 pounds; Sleighter is gearing up for his freshman baseball season at Old Dominion University; and Lisko is a freshman 149-pounder on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy wrestling team.

Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at

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