Cole Macek will be entering a new phase of his life on Saturday, but he will not be able to tell anyone back home about it ... at least not right away.
"We're not allowed to have contact with anybody during our first three weeks of basic training," said Macek, who recently graduated from Montour High School. "That includes not speaking to anybody, not even our parents."
Macek will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point on a football scholarship.
"We start football practice immediately after our three weeks of basic training," Macek said. "I've been training for both since the high school wrestling season ended. I've been doing a lot of squats, lifting and running."
Macek, who wrestled and played football at Montour, is penciled in as an outside linebacker for the Cadets.
"I will be attending a prep school on campus in a year-long program that prepares us for the academy," Macek said. "Our first year is considered a redshirt year, but I'm eligible to play. That means I can play five years, if I'm good enough."
Part of Macek's training has been to get to bed early so he can get up at the appointed time.
"We will be up at 5 every morning and have our day scripted," Macek said. "It's a very disciplined atmosphere, which is something that will benefit me. It will be a huge change in my life. I'm as ready for it as I'll ever be. I'm actually looking forward to it."
After his five years at West Point, Macek will have to serve as a commissioned officer in the Army.
"I will have to serve five years minimum," said Macek, who is welcoming the opportunity of traveling. "I've never been out of the country. I've always wanted to travel. At the same time, I can fight for my country. It's a win/win situation for me."
Macek, like all members of the service academies, has no idea where he will be stationed, but could have his choice.
"How high I rank in my class will play a big part in where I go," Macek said. "The cadets with the highest ranking get to choose where they are deployed."
Macek was a four-year starter on Montour's wrestling team, and a three-year starter on the Spartans football team.
"Cole has the natural ability to be successful in any sport," Montour wrestling coach Jason Bombardier said. "He was also a very good baseball player, but gave it up because the demands of being a three-sport athlete were too much."
He set Montour's mark for career wrestling victories by posting a 137-26 record. He was a three-time section runner-up and one time-champion. He was also a three-time PIAA place-winner after finishing third in the WPIAL twice, and winning the 195-pound title in March. He also placed sixth in the state.
"I wrestled for 12 or 13 years," Macek said. "I didn't reach my ultimate goal of winning a PIAA title, but I'm very pleased with what I was able to accomplish in my career. I'm going to miss it, but I'm ready to move on."
Macek was able to wrestle with his brother Roman this past season. Roman Macek made his Montour debut as a 220-pound freshman and posted a 16-10 record. He placed third in the section to earn a WPIAL berth, but made a quick exit after two losses.
"Roman did a good job in his debut," Cole Macek said. "He qualified for the WPIAL tournament as a freshman. You don't see many freshmen qualifying in that weight class."
Roman Macek is also a football player.
"Roman has a good chance to be a two-way starter this year on the offensive line and as a defensive end," Cole Macek said. "His first love is football, but he's really coming along as a wrestler."
Just like his brother, Roman Macek would like to play football in college.
"Roman told me he wants to go to the Naval Academy so he can play against me in college," Macek said.
Both Macek's will have to wait a few years before that can happen.