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February 21, 2014

Fightin' Chicks take first steps toward state in Del City regional



Last year it was Jacoby Brown who won back-to-back state championships, the first wrestler to do that at Chickasha in program history. Latham said he keeps that achievement by Brown, a close friend of his, as motivation, but his thoughts are strictly on this campaign and the landscape of competitors in front of him.

That's because the landscape was changing right up until the Thursday weight deadline. There is plenty of maneuvering, or at least talk of it, ahead of this year's regionals. Hill, who has wrestled most of the year at 160-pounds and sits at 40-2, may stick to his weight or be bumped up to 170. Whatever happens, Hill said he is prepared.

"It doesn't bother me; it's just another match," Hill said. "If coach Randle wants me to bump up to 170, I'll bump up. I feel great. I've lost two matches, but that just makes me hungrier for the title. I'm going in knowing I'm not the best, so that makes me compete even harder."

Hill and junior Williams have been improving their footwork all season, Randle said, making them a bigger threat on offense. He said they have made big improvements and he doesn't see why they can't compete with the best. Williams will most likely compete at a very competitive 182-pound weight class.

For all wrestlers at this level, Randle said he stresses mental toughness at this stage of the season the most, since it will make the biggest difference late on in close matches that could make or break a season.

"Everybody's going to be tired and exhausted in the big matches," he said. "The key is the kids that are going to be able to gear their thinking toward winning or scoring a point instead of how tired they feel. Weaker minded kids think more about how they feel, while the stronger minded kids bypass that to get the job done. We'll see if we can get that job done later."

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