The alarm clock next to Dylan Weston's bed goes off at 5 a.m. The Tyrone senior has an internal debate about whether he should get up or not.
He's up that early because he's going to lift weights and then go for a run before school starts so he can be at his best for practice or the match that night. It's something he does three times a week during the wrestling season, but for many it's way too early.
The internal debate ends, and Weston gets up because he knows he has to.
"Sometimes when I wake up, I question myself," he said. "Then I think nobody else is doing this. It gives me an edge over everybody else."
Whatever he's doing seems to be working. Weston is 27-4 with 15 pins and three technical falls and is ranked second in the Mirror rankings at 145 pounds. Coach Blair Packer said he expected that from the four-year starter. What he wanted to see was senior leadership from Weston on a team that only had six starters returning from last year's team.
"I wanted for him to show what he knows in terms of how he handles himself in matches, how he warms up and how he prepares and pass what he's learned on to the next generation," Packer said. "He has shown that very well."
What has stood out about Weston is his relentless offensive attack. When he wrestled Philipsburg-Osceola's once-beaten Logan Walstrom, who is ranked ahead of him, Weston kept attacking as Walstrom, down to 145 for the first time, cramped up.
"He is like that," Packer said. "It's frustrating to me to have a wrestler that doesn't push or attack. I grew up in an era when attacking was what you learned. He keeps after it."
Weston admits, though, that his attacking style gets him in trouble sometimes.
"Even when I'm winning I continue to go after it," he said. "Against Kittanning [in the Richland Duals], I was winning by a point, took a shot and got taken down. When I get caught in a bad situation, I should back off and wrestle defensively."
Weston was recognized for reaching the 100-win plateau in the consolation semifinals of the Thomas Subaru Tournament, but a re-check of team, Mirror and District 6 records shows he actually got the 100th in a physical 11-3 victory over Everett's Chris Eichelberger, 11-3, in the third-place finals.
"Getting 100 wins was overwhelming and amazing," Weston said. "To be the 10th wrestler in Tyrone history is an unexplainable feeling. Ever since my freshman year, I've been counting down and seeing if I could do it."
Weston came up to the high school level as a freshman 103-pounder - three years after deciding to take up the sport because his older brother, Jimmy, was practicing moves on him - and went 15-13.
"When I moved up in ninth grade, I expected it to be hard," Weston said. "I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. I lost a lot. Moving up made he improve."
As a sophomore, he went 26-12 and finished sixth at 119 pounds in the District 6 Tournament, coming up one win shy of qualifying for the Southwest Regional Tournament.
"I wish I could have done more," Weston said, "but I was happy with my sophomore season."
Last year, Weston made it to Johnstown, placing third at the district tournament at 130 and going 2-2 at the regionals, finishing with a 33-7 record.
"Last year was not as good as this year," Weston said. "I accomplished some goals. My main goal was to make it to regionals and win one match, and I exceeded my goals. The regionals definitely helped me. I learned how tough the competition is and how prepared you have to be."
Spurred on by his success, Weston did a lot of lifting and not as much wrestling. He got stronger and bigger, which might have helped him decide to play football for the first time. Actually, he make a deal with friend Markus Wagner that if he went out for football, Wagner would have to go out for wrestling.
Weston played on special teams for the Golden Eagles, who lost to Lancaster Catholic, 17-7, in the PIAA Class AA championship game.
"I think I got the better end of the deal because Markus says wrestling is the toughest thing he's ever done," Weston said. "He's always beat up and sore. Body position and leverage helped me out a lot on special teams."
Weston is planning on attending the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades near Philadelphia. He's not sure if he's going to go out for the wrestling team there. He says he would miss wrestling, but he won't miss the 5 a.m. wakeups.
Before that happens, though, the postseason begins in less than two weeks. Once that begins, he'll be focused on advancing past the district tournament to a very tough regional. If he does get out of regionals, he'll reach one other goal - the PIAA Championships.
"He's highly capable of being in the state tournament," Packer said. "He should be in the top four at districts and the top five of regionals. He's moved up in weight and handled that. As some kids move up in bigger weights, they can't handle it. I definitely believe he can place at states."