DENVER - Dove Creek senior Tyler Ebberts earned a hard-fought bronze medal in the Class 2A 138-pound division Saturday.
"It was OK," Ebberts said about his third place, still disappointed that he didn't make the finals.
The semifinals was a razor-close match that Ebberts eventually lost 8-6 to W.D. Arnold of La Veta, who later dropped the title match.
For Ebberts, it took the rare feat of having to beat the same wrestler twice in the tournament to take third.
In the quarterfinals, Ebberts held off Clay Seemann of Baca, 9-8 to earn a shot at making the finals. After losing the close match in the semifinals, Ebberts had to face Seemann in the third-place match.
"My quarterfinal match was way tougher and I think I choked a little in the semifinals. I should have been in the finals," Ebberts said.
Ebberts subdued Seemann with a 6-1 decision to win the bronze.
Dove Creek coach Shane Baughman said it was a great effort by Ebberts to get third.
"I thought he was right there (in the semifinals) but then he came back and beat the same kid he beat before," he said. "To beat the same guy twice in the same tournament is tough and that shows character, and he's got character. "I was really proud of him today.
The only other Dove Creek wrestler to earn a medal besides Ebberts and Cole Baughman, who placed second at 132 pounds, was Cole's brother Case Baughman. Case finished sixth at 113 pounds.
Chance Randolph, who placed third last year, didn't medal this year wrestling at 120 pounds. Other Dove Creek wrestlers at state included Colin Hobbs, Nick Jones, Dalton Randolph, Wyatt Applin and Tyson Smith.
As a team, Dove Creek finished fourth with 83.5 points. Class 2A powerhouse Paonia won the team title with 205.5 points. Paonia sent three wrestlers to the championship round, but for the second-straight year, sophomore Jesse Reed (120) was the only one to win a title.