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Season preview: Wrestling team seeks to repeat league victory

Angelina Wang, Author

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Senior Cooper Kim and Who Knows practice in the new wrestling room of the Peery Family Center. "Some quote about how great it is to be able to practice here now," Source said. Photo: Angelina Wang.

Palo Alto High School sophomore Peter Graham (left) and senior Cooper Kim (right) practice in the new wrestling room in the Peery Family Center. “With the new gym for our home meets, we won’t have to go to Gunn [High School], which is great,” Kim said. Photo: Angelina Wang.

 After a successful season last year, Palo Alto High School’s wrestling team is looking to repeat its victory as El Camino League Champions.

Last year, the team was moved down from the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League to the El Camino Division. They ultimately placed sixth out of 14 teams in the El Camino League Championship, finishing 6-0 undefeated in league dual meets and winning the El Camino League Champions.

This year, the team has returned to the De Anza division because of their success last season, and will be facing tougher competition.

Coach Jonathan Kessler is returning for his third year, and believes the team will have a strong season.

“The goal is to always be on top,” Kessler said. “At the league tournament, the plan is to have champions, and qualify wrestlers for the CCS [Central Coast Section] tournament.”

While the team lost wrestlers Sara Aguilar and Seth Goyal, both CCS champions, they remain optimistic regarding the upcoming season.

“It’s tough, but we see it as the next man or woman up,” Kessler said. “Our wrestlers are getting after it and they’re working hard, so we’re looking forward to that.”

Co-captains senior Calvin Grewal and junior Andrew Wang are both players to look out for this season.

Wang believes that the team is well prepared for the upcoming season, even given the higher division competition.

“I’m confident that this season will go very well,” Wang said. “The competition is going to be a little harder than last season, but I don’t think it’ll be an issue for us.”

This season also marks the first time the Vikings will be able to use the updated facilities in the Peery Family Center, rather than sharing a gym with crosstown rival Gunn High School.

“It will be exciting this year to wrestle in our own gym because we won’t have to go to Gunn for our home duals,” Grewal said.

The wrestling season kicked off at 10 a.m. today at the Peninsula Invitational at Half Moon Bay High School.

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