WARRENSBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over the past five years, Section II athletes have looked across the line of scrimmage, or across a mat, seen Tristen Hitchcock, and known they were in for a long day.

The Warrensburg High School senior has guided the football and wrestling teams to unprecedented success since being called up to both programs as an eighth grader. Now he’s headed to the U.S. Military Academy West Point next year to continue his wrestling career.

“I got the call from West Point—I mean, I had been thinking about going into the Army for a couple of years—but then that kinda sold it,” said Hitchcock. “Then I went down on a Monday and looked, and it was just a beautiful campus; it’s a lifetime opportunity. And it’s definitely nice to be able to go out and represent the country, and also continue my academic and athletic careers.”

Hitchcock possesses a work ethic you simply don’t see in many high school athletes, which drew the attention of his head wrestling coach very early on. “When he was an eighth grader we had a couple of studs at 215 (pounds) and 285,” said Warrensburg/Lake George head wrestling coach Mark Trapasso. “His only shot was to get to 182, and I think he weighed 210, 212, something like that. And he dropped that weight. He got down there so he could be on varsity. I knew then that he had something special, and the motivation to succeed. He’s been great for us.”

After winning three section titles on the gridiron, and claiming a state title in wrestling last year—the only state championship in school history—the decision between pursuing football, or wrestling was a difficult one. But the Black Knights coaching staff made it easier.

“(Had a) great connection with the coaches when I went and had the tour with Coach (Kevin Ward), and he was a great guy,” said Hitchcock. “And you can kind of feel that it was just the right place going into the room; and just seeing the huge ‘Army West Point’ name on the back walls. You can just feel that that’s the place to be.”

Hitchcock has cemented himself as perhaps the most decorated athlete in Warrensburg history. But so much of those accomplishments he attributes to his leaders.

“We’re really fortunate—especially for me with football and wrestling—to have two great coaches,” said Hitchcock, referring to Trapasso and Warrensburg/Lake George/North Warren Central head football coach Mike Perrone. “You can just pick their knowledge, and it’s just great to have college-level coaches in a high school room. It’s perfect. And you just have such a great opportunity wrestling here.”

Hitchcock will put his undefeated, 37-0 season record on the line Saturday as he leads the Burghers into the Section II Class D tournament.