The 6-foot, 210-pound Freeman will be out there, performing all game at outside linebacker and sharing fullback duties with Alex Murray. As recently as a few days ago, his status was iffy.
Not because of injury, behavior or grades. Because he needed to spend a long time weighing Future vs. Present.
Freeman boasts offers from Army, Navy and Virginia Military Institute, and all three have indicated his academic credentials are sufficient. But the way Freeman figures, why take a chance?
"I really wanted to take the SATs this Saturday," Freeman said, "so I could have the best possible score on my transcript. That could have meant missing the game or getting there really late.
"I decided I couldn't do that to my teammates. We've been through too much together. I'm too close to these guys. So, I'll take the SAT again in January."
Fluck said he asked PIAA honchos about switching the game to maybe 2 p.m., but was told the time would stand. He's not angry. He's just sad that players such as Freeman, whose whole life journey could be affected by a standardized test, find themselves in such a precarious spot.
Ah, Tristin's used to it.
You know how rumors are swirling that West is on the Philadelphia Archdiocese's chopping block? Been there. Done that. From the sixth through ninth grades, Freeman attended Scotland School for Veterans' Children, near Chambersburg, Pa. Financial issues forced its demise, and Freeman wound up at West, as did two other football players, 2010 grads Marcus Burwell and Erik Harper.
Freeman chose West because his godbrother, star wideout Rodney Blango ('08), spoke so highly of his experience there.
"I was devastated when Scotland closed," Freeman said. "I'd been there since sixth grade and I was planning to graduate from there. It was good being away from your parents, so you could learn how to discipline yourself and make sure you got your work done. West has the same kind of nice, family atmosphere. I like all my teachers.
"It's pretty sad to think that both schools I went to could be closed. This is a good place. Lots of history. It shouldn't have to close."
The one time Freeman does not mind hearing the word close is when it's mentioned in connection with what he does to ballcarriers/would-be passers. He really loves to close. Then uncork, of course.
A look at www.burrsfootball.com shows Freeman leads West in tackles made behind the line (13, worth 67 yards). He has a team-high 7 1/2 sacks. He also owns 46 total stops, along with one interception and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
"I like linebacker for the simple fact you get to hit people all the time," Freeman said. "Defense is where everything starts. That's where the tone gets set.
"I didn't know much about linebacker until I was put there by my eighth-grade coach. I love it."
West's defense includes ends Jaryd "Burger" Jones-Smith and Murray, nose guard Devante "Butterball" Ford, inside linebackers T-J Waters and Avery Davis, outside LBs Freeman and Marquise Gordon, cornerbacks Shaquille James and Tyler Gallashaw, and safeties Kevin Malone and Blaise Schieler. Often, someone moves up to form a 3-5 alignment.
Waters is being eyed by the same colleges as Freeman, so . . .
"Can't tell you. That's a secret," Freeman said with a laugh. He relented, then added, "It's a great possibility we'll go to college together.
"T-J, that's like my brother. I always go to watch college games with his family, so we're tight. I always tell him if he's doing something wrong. And he does the same for me. We look out for each other."
Freeman, who lives on 26th near Dauphin in North Philly, figures he'll major in engineering or communications, and he'd have no trouble fulfilling a military obligation, "because I know I'd be well taken care of while doing my service."
Though formerly a basketball player, he'll opt for indoor track this winter and stick with that sport come spring. His events will include everything from sprints to weights, and all should help him, he figures, to better prepare for college football.
First things first, though. Like Saturday's game.
"Around the state, it's like everybody always says negative things about us," Freeman said. "That makes for pressure, but then again it doesn't. What it does is give us the motivation to work even harder. When everyone's out to get you, you don't want to give them the satisfaction."
And you don't mind practicing very close to pianos. Yes, two of them.
As Daily News staffer Ed Barkowitz put it, "As good a place as any to find the keys to victory."
Online high school coverage at philly.com/rally.