Central Cambria's Tony Risaliti, like most teenagers, lives at home with his parents, but he doesn't spend much time there during the winter.
Risaliti is, of course, a wrestler who has qualified twice for the PIAA Championships, and he placed seventh at 152 pounds in Hershey last season.
But he's also a swimmer. In fact, last year, the Southwest Regional Tournament ended early enough for him to go from Johnstown to compete in the backstroke at the swimming regionals in State College.
On Wednesdays in the winter, he'll go to wrestling practice from 3-5 p.m., be at swim practice 45 minutes after that and then go to Young Guns Wrestling Club at Richland. Whew, sounds tiring just reading about it, doesn't it?
"It's grueling," he said. "It's kind of a good motivator. After Wednesday, the week is halfway done. Mentally, it is very tough getting up while it's dark and going home after dark. It takes a lot out of you, but it makes you mentally tough."
"He's been doing that for four years," CC coach Bob Nikolishen said. "He really doesn't have a social life, except with his family. He maintains both sports, his academic load and he's a national honor society member. He almost needs something to do. He does community service and does things with the church. I don't know how he can do it. He demands an awful lot out of himself."
Risaliti says he's gotten used to the demands of his schedule.
"It's hard at the beginning of the season," he said, "but you kind of get used to beating up your body and then having Saturday as a resting day."
Have no doubts, though, that wrestling is his winter sport.
"I'm okay with swimming, but I'm not at the higher points of swimming," Risaliti said.
There wasn't much of an offseason where Risaliti could rest his body. He tore his ACL in his right knee wrestling at the NHSCA National Championships in Virginia Beach after last season, and he underwent surgery in July. He rehabbed the knee four or five hours per day, and he couldn't run in cross country.
"When it happened, the doctor gave us a few choices," Risaliti said. "He said I could wrestle with a torn ACL or get it surgically repaired, rehab and come back. There was still an uneasy feeling if I would get back in time. I was definitely worried. There is the occasional pain, but I'm surprised how well it's held up."
"I wasn't concerned about him coming back to wrestling," Nikolishen said. "I was concerned about what he would have to go through to do it. His confidence was kind of shot down. He knew he had to push himself harder than he should have. I knew he'd be as strong as he was before. He's not satisfied with anything other than his best."
Risaliti has continued to excel on the mat. He's 11-1 with eight pins at 160 pounds, and he captured his 100th career victory on Dec. 22 against Mount Union. The only fly in the ointment was a 10-7 loss to Forest Hills' Cody Law at the Sheetz Holiday Classic. Law is one of Risaliti's Young Guns workout partners.
"Going into the match, I knew it would be a tough one," Risaliti said. "He knows my moves and I know his moves, and it was a surprisingly high-scoring and good match. It's going to be a good battle the rest of the season. It helped to motivate me for the rest of the season."
Risaliti, who began wrestling when he was 4, placed twice at the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships, including a third-place after his freshman season.
He made a name for himself as a 125-pound freshman, going 22-13 with 10 pins and placing fourth at the District 6 Tournament. Always a pinner - he has 64 in his career - he went 33-9 with 21 falls as a 145-pound sophomore and 35-3 with 25 pins as a 152-pound junior.
He lost to Portage's Shawn Perich in the district finals as a sophomore, but he finished fourth at regionals to qualify for Hershey. Last year, he beat Penn Cambria's Tommy Hanlon, 11-3, in the district finals and took third at regionals to make another states trip. He was winning his Hershey opener when Seneca's Joe Hibbler pinned him with 18 seconds left. More motivation.
"Last year boosted my confidence," said Risaliti, who is considering UPJ and Bloomsburg to continue his wrestling career. "It got me motivated for this year to see how far I can go. I got caught in my first match at states. I feel where I placed is not where I should have placed. I know I could definitely be in the state finals this year."
Nikolishen has confidence in his team leader, who is like another coach in the wrestling room.
"I think the rest of the season is all up to Tony," Nikolishen said. "He has a plan. His goal is he wants to be on that top spot on the podium at Hershey. He doesn't want to be below that. I hope when it's all said and done he can be satisfied with his accomplishment. He's always talking about wrestling with people. He's a senator for wrestling. He has a very special gift."