In the hallways of the Pepsi Center, Cheyenne Mountain coach Tyler Seaney looked hopeful.
Nico Gagliardi had just lost in the Class 4A 195-pound final.
Seaney offered support to the star freshman, telling him he did his best out there. Soon after, the coach talked about his program's future while feeling encouraged about the way his wrestlers performed at this year's state tournament in Denver.
"I'm just really happy with the way they performed," Seaney said.
The Indians finished sixth in the standings with 70 points, highlighted by Gagliardi's runner-up showing. Three others also had podium finishes: Chase Johnson (fourth, 120), Kevin Hooks (fifth, 145) and Rudy Juvera (sixth, 152).
It was the highest finish for all Pikes Peak region teams, regardless of classification.
A year ago, they finished 10th.
Seaney's guidance helped him land this year's Gazette Preps Wrestling Coach of the Year honor.
Nicholas Grizales (106), Jake Boley (170) and Colton Bellew (220) also contributed to Cheyenne Mountain's state tournament run this season by scoring points in their classes.
Pueblo East won the state title, thanks to six state finalists.
For the Indians, they're already looking at next season.
That's because they're returning seven sophomores and juniors. Nine qualified for the state tournament, and only two were seniors.
"We got a couple medals out of some guys who we didn't necessarily anticipate getting medals out of," Seaney said.
And the coach couldn't be happier.
He also knows that Gagliardi, the freshman, will likely lead the way because of his performances so far. He finished with a 37-7 record, but not before he advanced to the state final against Pueblo East senior Zion Freeman, who won via pin with seconds left.
"We learned a lot about Nico and not to underestimate what he can do," said Seaney after Gagliardi's match. "He's very talented. He's a hardworking kid. He's so humble. That's the part where people will underestimate him. He listens well and he's very polite. It's not your stereotypical mindset. He approaches it one match a time and is always looking to do better."