SULPHUR, Okla. (KTEN)  —At the 2023 state powerlifting meet, the Sulphur Bulldogs celebrated a moment 39 years in the making.

"I squatted 660, benched 300 and deadlifted 585," Boys State Champion Quince Borders said.

For the first time, Sulphur's boys and girls teams both won State Championships.

"For squat I got 530," said girls State Champion Owen West. "For bench, I got 175, and deadlift I got 415 with a total of 1,120."

An already established program took a step up when a new coach rolled into town in 2011.

"Since Coach Garrett's come in ... we've flourished," said Assistant Coach Jeff Flowers. "We've been to six straight powerlifting championships and then a girls championship this year."

As the Bulldogs have hung banner after banner, coach Keith Garrett has never lost the passion that first drove him to the sport.

"We come in here and spend a lot of time working and getting after it," he said. "Our kids bought into being great in this sport. Lots of nights we're walking out of here after dark because, you know, this sport is treated with the utmost importance here at Sulphur."

The origins of this program, like so many others at Sulphur, track back to Hall of Fame football coach and bulldog legend Jim Dixon.

"He truly cared about every kid that would come through the program," said Assistant Coach Brandon Flowers. "He truly wanted them to be successful, so I've learned a lot from him. He means a lot to me."

The entire powerlifting team is still mourning the loss of coach Dixon to this day.

"I've had my father pass away I've had my grandfather... nothing has impacted me as much as Coach Dixon passing," Garrett said.

It was only fitting that in their first year without Dixon by their side, the Bulldogs achieved a program milestone. Despite his absence, everyone in the program unanimously knows exactly what he would say to them: 

"Good job, muscles."