If it were up to him, Moffat County High School senior Ty Weber would be able to wrestle and never talk to the media about it.
But when his championship match in the 4A State Wrestling Tournament this weekend was the only one of 56 to pit two undefeated wrestlers against each other, the media was harder to escape than his opponents.
"I'm a pretty shy guy with people I don't know," he said. "I guess I'm humble and just really don't like talking about myself to others."
But others like talking about Weber.
After his first match Thursday night, he was bombarded by Denver's Channel 4, both Denver newspapers and several other Western Colorado newspapers.
Weber earned the recognition by dominating opponents throughout the season with only two matches in which his opponent finished within three points. One of those matches came in the semifinals Saturday when Berthound's Mike Jeffery earned near fall points on Weber twice in the third period to pull within 11-8.
"I wasn't ready for the Grandby (the name of the defensive move that twice resulted in back points for Jeffery)," he said. "It surprised me a little."
Weber had built up a 7-0 lead in the second period before Jeffery scored six in the third to make it close.
"Ty had trouble with his length," said coach Roman Gutierrez. "But he built up enough of a lead to get the win."
The win set up a final with Liberty's Brandon Wilson, who defeated Pueblo Centennial's Matt Montoya, 3-1, to remain undefeated. But an undefeated opponent wasn't the main concentration of Weber.
"I thought he was going to be the same as any other tough kid but not unbeatable," he said. "I was more focused on winning because I had lost last year."
On the Mat's Tim Yount said it was the most frustrating championship match he had ever watched because, "Weber was doing everything he could to win and he couldn't."
Weber lost to Montrose's Dusty Vaughn in double overtime as he couldn't escape from the bottom of referee's position in the allotted 30 seconds.
Despite Weber's 167 career victories and two state championships, he said last year's loss will be the one he'll remember the most.
"Winning this year helps take away a little bit," he said. "But I'll always remember trying to escape and not doing it."
The first period of the championship match was close, as Wilson earned the first takedown and Weber countered with an escape and a takedown himself.
Weber opened up the second period with an escape in the down position and, with 10 seconds remaining, he took the lead with a takedown. Williams escaped in the final second to make the score 6-3, in favor of Weber, going into the final two minutes of the match.
In fitting style, Weber opened up the third period with a Mills, a move that several schools at the tournament called the "Moffat," and took an 8-3 lead. Williams got back to 8-5 with a reversal, but an escape and a takedown with 41 seconds remaining sealed it for Weber.
"The last minute seemed like it took forever," he said after the match. "My body was exhausted and I was just holding on all I could."
The Bulldog senior was Gutierrez's 13th state title winner, and his first undefeated wrestler.
"Ty is someone who will be hard to replace," he said. "He is so full of energy and he keeps the guys' spirits up in practice."
The stocky 152 pounder is a third-generation wrestler and, with each generation, there has been improvement. His grandfather was a state qualifier, between his two uncles and his dad there are two state championships and now Ty has two of his own.
When asked if that put pressure on any future son he might have, he just nodded, shyly smiled and said, "I guess."
Colleges are after the quiet leader and Weber said he wants to stay in state, which leaves Adams State, Western State and University of Northern Colorado as his options.
With wrestling now over, except for a possible trip to the Rocky Mountain Nationals tournament in March, Weber said he will "just get a job or something and hang out."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.