Overcoming numerous injuries and making a strong comeback, the Palo Alto High School wrestling team (3-3-0) wrapped up its season last weekend, sending two qualifiers to the California Interscholastic Federation Championships last weekend.
Senior Calvin Grewal and junior Andrew Wang both competed at the CIF Championships, with Grewal finishing with 1-2 and Wang finishing 2-2.
“We had a successful season,” Grewal said. “The last time we sent anyone to States was [in] 2015.”
After returning to the De Anza Division of the the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, the team has significantly grown, according to senior Elliot Clark.
“We had two state qualifiers for the boys this year as opposed to none last year, so that’s a massive improvement,” Clark said. “The girls team also performed extremely well at CCS, forecasting a strong season for next year.”
While several varsity wrestlers ended their seasons prematurely due to injuries, the team still placed in all competitions, winning the Peninsula Junior Varsity Tournament and Los Gatos Frosh/Soph Tournament and placing third and fourth in the Peninsula and Webber Larson Varsity Tournaments respectively. The girls’ team placed 14th at the Central Coast Section Championships, earning three medals.
“Our strategy throughout the season is [was] nothing other than coming into practice working hard and figuring [out] your purpose in this sport,” coach Jonathan Kessler said. “We have a great coaching staff that motivates our athletes to reach their fullest potential, one of the best wrestling rooms in the country, parent support that is second to none and athletes that are eager get better everyday.”
Though the team will be losing Grewal and CCS placer Aishaah Maas to graduation, Clark is confident other wrestlers will step up to “fill the gaps.”
“I have no doubt they [the team] will reach their 2018/2019 season goals,” Kessler said.