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Highlanders handle pressure, secure traditional team title after dual crown

For the MacArthur wrestling team, winning the dual state championship was great. But winning the individual state championship in Oklahoma City Saturday ensured this would be a season that won't soon be forgotten.

Prior to the Highlanders' victory at the dual championships Feb. 11, it had been 27 years since the school had claimed a dual title. That 1990 team also captured the individual state crown, etching its name in Mac wresling lore.

Current head coach Bobby Cook believed his 2017 team was capable of repeating that feat, but wasn't sure how it would handle the euphoria of a state championship.

"Being here before, wrestling in the dual state finals and then having to regroup for the regional and state tournament, it's not something that's easy to do," Cook said. "These guys have been through fire, so to speak. I think they kind of knew what to expect. The only difference was, instead of bringing home a silver, we brought home a gold from the dual state state tournament. I was a little leary about what the impression would be. I wanted to make sure it was understood we had another title to go chase."

The weeks between the dual and individual tournaments featured practices that weren't as long as usual, but more grueling.

"They were a lot shorter, the practices, but they were two times more intense than a normal practice would be," senior Dylan Rowland said. "A lot of technique and it would just be rapid drilling the whole time."

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