Last weekend at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, the Dallas High School Dragons took home their first ever team wrestling title.
"That dream fog was filling in," said senior Ben Rebischke, who also won an individual title. "It didn't feel real. It was amazing."
"I had butterflies," said senior Josh Christenson about the team's win. "If felt really cool."
"We put in the time and effort and we got done what we needed to get done," said junior Brady Andersen. "It feels good."
"I'm just proud of these boys and I'm proud of this community," said head coach Tony Olliff, a former state champion himself in 1987 when he attended Dallas High.
Their shining moment was made even brighter considering the dark days they overcame to win the title.
In February 2011, junior wrestler Charley Englefried collapsed moments after winning a match. The 17-year-old died of a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The team dedicated this season to their fallen teammate.
"I pray to him every single day and ask him for his strength every single day," Christenson said.
"He's not here physically, but just emotionally and mentally he's here," Rebischke said.
"The way it brought everyone together and helped us band together and be strong as a team I think really encouraged this and got us where we're at now," Andersen said.
They accomplished a goal Charley had always wanted for his team and they won the title during what would have been his senior year.
"Wrestling is a sport that's all about hardship," said Olliff. "So it was very natural for them to tough it out."
That toughness led to a trophy for the team and perhaps a lesson for all.
"You can choose to feel sorry for yourself and just go down where nobody will think about you anymore or you can turn it around for the best and you can make everything out of it that you want to come out of it," said Christenson. "I think that's exactly what we did; we showed everyone what we can accomplish and what you can accomplish through the worst times."
Two wrestlers also won individual state titles.
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