Paul Laurence Dunbar senior Pat Milford says he has changed his mind 100 times about whether he wants to wrestle on the college level.
At the moment, he's leaning toward calling it quits after his high school career.
"Right now, I'm thinking this is probably it," he said, "so I want to go out the best I can."
Milford has a chance to bow out with a perfect championship season.
Milford breezed to his second consecutive 103-pound region title on Saturday, giving him a 45-0 record and a No. 1 seed going into the state tournament in Frankfort next weekend.
"Pat really wants to be a state champ, and to be undefeated would be icing on the cake," Dunbar Coach Prentice Smith said. "He's looking to run the table, and he has the ability to do it."
Milford was state runner-up at 103 to Trinity freshman John Fahy last year.
With Fahy competing at 112 this season, Milford said he doesn't "have any excuses" not to win this time around.
"That's a lot of pressure, and I'm a little nervous, but having been in the finals last year definitely helps. I know what to expect, and I know not to get over-excited."
Milford will try to become the first Dunbar wrestler to win a state title since Tyler Voth did it three years ago.
It takes as much mental toughness as physical strength to win a state championship.
"You can psyche yourself out if you don't have a plan," Milford said. "You've got to try to hit everything just right. If you slip up just once, some kid will capitalize and you'll be in a bad position."
Smith said Milford has shown a sharp focus this season, even in tough situations.
"He's had a couple scares where he's had to dig himself out of trouble. Some kids might panic, but Pat hasn't. He knows how to win close matches."
Whether Milford decides to wrestle on the next level or not, Smith thinks he'll have the sport in his future.
"He's got it in his blood too much," Smith said.
"My guess is, if he doesn't find his way onto a mat to compete in college, he'll get into coaching or officiating.
"He's got too much to offer to never lace up his shoes again."
Jackets repeat as champs
Perennial power Woodford County won its third consecutive region title, but just barely. The Yellowjackets edged Tates Creek by five points thanks to a strong showing in the finals.
Woodford County wrestlers won five weight classes — Mack Logsdon (125), Corey McCall (130), Travis Krauziewicz (135), Chad Goodrich (152) and Trey Gentry (285).
Tates Creek was led by Zac Brown's inspired performance in taking the 112 title.
Brown, who missed the second half of last season with a knee injury, rallied to beat Kyle Marston of Franklin County 8-7 despite being injured midway through the last period. He had to be helped off the mat after running his record to 34-1.
"He pulled a hamstring but just gutted it out," Coach John Griggs said.
The Commodores' Andrew Wright (152) also won his division, while teammates Brandon Abney (119), Chris Kerr (130), Brandon Stockwell (135), Nick LaLonde (140) and Stephen Kimbrell (145) were runners-up.
"We're taking 10 wrestlers to the state; it was a great day for us," Griggs said.
Lexington had three other champs — Lafayette's Will Bryant (119) and Shamon Brown (215), and Henry Clay's Joe Whalen (145).
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament in Frankfort next weekend.