Denver There was a small smile on the face of Steamboat Springs golfer Paul Berry as he exited the 18th green after Tuesday's final round of the State High School Golf Championships.
It was a rare smile for the Sailors, who had headed to this year's state championships with high hopes but left disappointed.
Berry was the top Steamboat golfer tournament, which was held at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs on Monday and Tuesday.
He finished tied for 10th, at 152, along with Pueblo West's Dane Rice and Fort Morgan's Lee Harris.
"I was relieved," Berry said. "It was a little bit of a struggle today. I had to work pretty hard for a few good shots."
It was a feeling shared by most of his teammates.
As a team, the Sailors played better during the second round, improving from a 239 on Monday to 233 on Tuesday. But it was not good enough to move up in the team standings on the final day of the championships.
Cheyenne Mountain, which took the lead in Monday's opening round with a score of 218, maintained its lead down the stretch to take the title from last year's champion, Montrose.
The Indians, led by Tom Glissmeyer, who posted the lowest individual two-day total of 142, won the state title with 445 points. Montrose, a team that Steamboat beat by 15 strokes at the regional championship two weeks ago, finished second at 459.
Pueblo West was third with 465 points, Mullen finished fourth with 471 points and Steamboat finished fifth at 472.
Berry shot a 4-over-par round of 75 on Tuesday. He finished with a two-round total of 152 and was the top Steamboat finisher in the tournament.
Senior Ryan Brees shot 78 on the final day to finish at 157. Kenton Gamache and Hans-Peter Bacher both shot rounds of 80 on Tuesday. Gamache finished with a stroke total of 163, and Bacher finished at 164.
"Sure, I'm disappointed that we didn't finish better as a team, but I'm still proud of the team," Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. "It just didn't happen for them on these two days, but it doesn't take anything away from a great regular season. This is just a special group of kids, and I'm disappointed for them -- especially the seniors."
But the coach said the team's finish at the state tournament was not because of a lack of effort by his players.
"I played as well as I could have," Brees said. "I gave it my all, but it just wasn't enough."
Brees might have been disappointed that the Sailors didn't bring home the state trophy, but he said his final high school season was full of fond memories.
"I'm going to forget this tournament," Brees said. "But I will always remember the other guys I played with this year."
Teammate Kenton Gamache, who marked his final high school tournament by tossing his putter in the lake, agreed.
"This was a tough course, but it was a really great experience," Gamache said. The senior played in the state tournament the past three years and was, along with Brees, part of the Steamboat team that finished second to Mullen in 2002.
This year's individual state title was won by Cheyenne Mountain's Glissmeyer. Glissmeyer sunk a putt for par on the No. 18 hole to hold off Mullen's Jacob Erisman for the title.
Erisman attempted to force a sudden-death on the final hole, but his birdie putt was about a foot short.
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