Oran Huff was one of 56 wrestlers that stood at the very top of the state wrestling podium. With eight losses to his name, Huff entered the Class 2A 126-pound bracket looking to do something special for himself and for his teammates at Lyons.
Two pins and two decisions later, he claimed gold at Pepsi Center. He was just a sophomore, but he carried his way through the state bracket like a seasoned veteran. He had come so close the year before, but fell in the quarterfinals on his way to a fourth-place finish.
This year, he's removing all doubt that anyone can beat him. Mainly because no one has beaten him.
Huff is one of 10 wrestlers who have wrestled 20 matches this season and walked away victorious in each and every one of them. He's gotten better and better each season and taking an undefeated record into the state tournament is a good way to be better this season. It's also a way that it's easy to feel pressure.
Luckily for Huff, he's not about the end of the road as much as he is taking in the moment. And in the individual moment, pressure isn't something that gets to him.
"I don't feel like I'm dealing with a lot of it," he said. "I'd like to to go undefeated, but losses happen and I'm going to lose eventually be it whenever it happens. Hopefully it doesn't happen within the season."
Of his 30 victories this year, only seven of them have not been by fall. He's been truly dominant as the 2019-20 season has played out.
For the most part, so has Colorado Springs Christian's Jake Hamilton. The Lions' senior started the season wrestling in the 160-pound division, but has since dropped to 152 which is where he plans to make his run at state.
"We've been to a couple of easy tournaments where the competition wasn't too hard there," Hamilton said. "I've had a couple of close matches where I was pretty lucky to win. I just walk out on the mat with so much confidence where I know that not a single person can finish a shot on me."
That's half the battle right there is the mentality.
Each time these undefeated wrestlers get their hand raised they start looking toward their next opponents and a big reason why they keep winning is their belief that they can do so.
That's been the case for Doherty's Tyson Beauperthuy who has more wins than anyone in the state at 31. That's the case Windsor's Dominick Serrano who at 29-0 will go for his fourth state championship in just a few weeks.
Even more impressive is that Serrano has yet to lose a high school match in his career.
Serrano's season doesn't come as a surprise as he has already finished three undefeated seasons, but that isn't the case for the other competitors. Even though Huff has continued to get better in his career, not having a loss to his name with state just around the corner is a bit of a surprise, even to him.
"I've had some really close matches that could've gone either way," Huff said. "I haven't expected to have this kind of season, but I'm really happy about it."
Wrestlers head to regionals on Feb. 14 to try and qualify for the 2020 state wrestling tournament at Pepsi Center.
With the level of competition rising from here on out, staying undefeated will be an impressive achievement for those wrestlers without a loss to their name.