The junior wrestler finished in first place at the Central League Championships at 172 pounds Feb. 6, defeating previously ranked wrestlers in the semi-finals and in the finals. As a sophomore, he posted a 30-10 record, finished third at the District 1 AAA Section South meet, and was first at the Radnor Holiday Tournament for the second consecutive year. As a freshman, he posted a 25-11 record and finished fifth at the District 1 AAA Section South meet. Last fall, Lledo played quarterback and safety for Lower Merion’s football team, receiving All-Main Line honors.
Q: What is your favorite memory of the Central League Championships, and what do you think was your best match of the meet?
A: I remember hanging out with my friends from other schools who I haven’t seen in so long because of COVID, and I was really happy to see them again after so long. My best match of the tournament was the semifinal against Strath Haven (14-4 win against Alex Hemmingway). I felt I wrestled very well against a solid opponent, and ended up scoring a lot of points; something I try to do every match.
Q: What do you consider your biggest strength on the mat and what you are working on most currently?
A: I think I’m definitely best in neutral/on my feet, where I can get takedowns. Right now I’m working on my top game so I can hold people down and get more pins.
Q: What do you think was the best match of your sophomore season, and what do you think was the highlight of that match?
A: My best match of last year was in the district quarterfinals against Interboro (4-3 win against Jake Finley). He had beaten me earlier in the season, and when I got my rematch I think I wrestled very well and it was one of my most well managed matches ever. The highlight was a scramble at the end where either of us could’ve scored the takedown, and I ended up on top and sealed the match.
Q: Your brother James had a stellar Lower Merion wrestling career, and is currently wrestling for the University of Pittsburgh. What do you think has been the most important thing(s) you’ve learned from him, on and off the wrestling mats?
A: James is a great role model and teacher. Obviously I pick his brain as much as I can for different techniques or strategies, and he has taught me so much. But he has also taught me great lessons like proper preparation, a good mindset, and respecting your opponents. I’m really thankful to have an older brother like him.
Q: Tell us about your start in wrestling – what sparked your initial interest? Who have been your most important wrestling mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I started pretty late compared to most wrestlers – 8th grade. Seeing the success that James was having led me to try it out. I quickly fell in love with the sport, and I attribute my growth in wrestling to the love of the sport and desire to improve. My mentors include my brothers, parents, Lower Merion coaches Perri, Keyser, and Kaplan, and countless other club coaches, supporters, and friends. They have taught me dedication, hard work, intensity while on the mat, and respect while off the mat.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-match preparation the day of a match.
A: Usually I don’t eat much, but drink a good amount. I pray, go to school, then head to the wrestling room and relax or take a nap. Maybe I’ll listen to music or just hang out with my teammates. After weigh-ins I get in a really good warmup and prepare myself mentally, while trying not to put any pressure on myself.
Q: What do you think you would like to major in at college? Do you plan to wrestle in college? Is there a particular career field that interests you at the present time?
A: I’m not quite sure what I want to major in, but I’m really interested in human anatomy and physiology. I’ve thought about being a doctor, and I think I’d really enjoy doing that. For college, I still haven’t decided between wrestling or football, but I will definitely play one of them.
Fun facts – Jack Lledo
Favorite TV show: The Mandolorian.
Favorite movie: Revenge of the Sith.
Favorite athlete: Conor McGregor.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: “Anything by Kanye.”
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite pre-meet meal: Wawa chicken parm hoagie.
Person I most admire, and why: “My grandfather (P-Pop), he introduced me to sports and was my role model.”
Family members: parents Jim and Izzi, sister Ava, brothers James and Sam.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)