Caleb Wright had already penned quite the story by qualifying for state despite joining the team just a week before regionals began.
But the Brookfield East junior decided the ending wasn't quite completed by simply making it to Madison, as Wright became the first Spartan wrestler to reach the podium at the WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament since 2011 by taking fifth place at 220 pounds.
"Caleb's growth on his short season continued," Brookfield East coach Andrew Mueller said. "He looked better and better every match and was able to pin his opponent to take fifth place.
"I was excited to see the growth of the team throughout the season and look forward to seeing if we can continue that growth through next year."
Wright (14-6) was pinned in 56 seconds by eventual state (champion or runner-up) Cole Godbout (40-4) of Hudson in the opening round Feb. 23 but received a wrestleback with Godbout moving on to the semifinals.
He opened with a 3-1 decision over Miguel Chestnut (36-15) of Sun Prairie before winning 6-3 over Luther Egerson (39-9) of Racine Case to move on to the consolation semifinals.
Wright was pinned by third-place finisher Wyatt Wells (54-2) of Beaver Dam in the consolation semifinals but then earned a fall Berkley Corvino (42-9) of D.C.Everest in 2 minutes, 47 seconds in the fifth-place match.
"The best way to describe this all is as surreal," Wright said. "As soon as my last match ended, I wasn't mad or sad, just proud. Just being proud to represent East and the wrestling program. That was very important to me.
"To be honest, I never thought I'd have a chance to get this far. Once I won my second wrestleback on Friday (over Egerson), I realized that I can go against these guys who have been out all year. I realized I can really complete."
Saif Ibraheem (31-10) won 5-3 by sudden victory in overtime over Greg Fischer (27-15) of DeForest to reach the quarterfinals at 160 pounds but then lost a 4-2 decision to sixth-place finisher Jesse Fryda (39-8) of Sussex Hamilton.
The senior bounced back to grab an 8-2 decision over Logan Stegemeyer (40-13) of Slinger in his first wrestleback, but fifth-place finisher Kalyn Jahn (48-10) of Holmen ended his state run with a pin in 4:04.
"Saif Ibraheem had a great first match winning a tough fought opponent to get the win in overtime," Mueller said. "He then lost a tough battle 4-2 in the semifinals where he almost reversed the results of the (Greater Metro) conference finals."
Junior David Holzem (26-14) lost his lone match at state, falling 5-1 to Port Washington's Preston Makoutz (29-15). He did not receive a wrestleback into the consolation bracket as Makoutz lost in the quarterfinals.
"I thought he was in a tough spot on the bracket," Mueller said. "But he wrestled well and gave himself a chance to win in the end and fell just short."