This just in: It is not easy to win a state championship.

Even when you make it look like it is, the way Aidan and Tyler Mahaffey have over the last three years.

It was with a mixture of pride, joy, and relief that the Palmyra tennis twins celebrated their third straight PIAA 3A state doubles championship on Saturday afternoon, May 25, at Hershey Racquet Club.

Read More: Mahaffey brothers set to conclude high school tennis career with potential 3-peat

Given the enormity of the accomplishment — I mean, come on, a state title three-peat?! — pride and joy were the overriding emotions. But there was also acknowledgement from the twins that maybe every step of the journey wasn’t necessarily without its challenges, both Saturday and throughout their high school careers, which were shared with head coach and mom Abbie Mahaffey and assistant coach and dad Keith Mahaffey.

“It never gets old,” Tyler said, smiling, moments after he and Aidan climbed to the medal stand for the final time in their high school career. “That’s about all I have to say.”

“I think we’re definitely happy about it,” Aidan said. “We played pretty well throughout the tournament and did what we wanted to do.”

After breezing through the first two rounds of the tournament on Friday, the twins endured a rough start to their morning semifinal meeting with District 7 champs, Zidaan Hassan and Logan Memije of Gateway, falling behind 4-1 in the first set, before rallying for a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

And even in the 6-2, 6-1 championship triumph over the duo of Rohan Rao and Vohan Markovic of Conestoga, the Mahaffeys were tested at times. But even then, their championship mettle shined its way through in the end.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Abbie Mahaffey said. “Not always sure how that can go. The match this morning pushed them a little bit. That was a little stressful but they pulled it together. That was a credit to not giving up.”

“I don’t think we were protecting our serve very well,” Aidan said of the early struggles. “But we ended up playing  pretty solid and getting some breaks.”

But ultimately Saturday and throughout their state title runs, the Mahaffeys made their own breaks and were rewarded handsomely for it, with family and coaching support from Abbie and Keith and emotional assistance from the throng of supporters that gathered to cheer them on.

“It’s important,” Tyler said of the support he and Aidan have received. “Because they lift us up. To have people behind you is important. It helps keep your eyes on the prize.”

And helps keep things in perspective when the pressure mounts. And it does mount, even on players as talented as the Mahaffeys.

“I think it can definitely make it harder,” Tyler admitted, of the pressure they sometimes feel. “Just the anxiety makes you a little bit tense. I think we’re used to it but it definitely lingers in the background.”

“It’s had its tough times,” Abbie said. “But it’s well worth it. To see them reach their goals…This is what they set out to do, and to see them do it, not once, not twice, but three times, is pretty cool. Not many people get to do this.”

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Pat Huggins covered local sports for the Lebanon Daily News for almost 25 years, beginning in January of 1999. Pat was born and raised in Lebanon County and is a 1987 graduate of Lebanon High School and a 1991 alum of Elizabethtown College. A huge Phillies and 76ers fan, Pat spends his spare time on...


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