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Wrestling optimistic for strong season

On Dec. 10, the athletes of Paly’s wrestling team imbibed in the sweet taste of victory, charging up the tournament rankings at the annual Webber Lawson tournament to finish tenth out of 48 local teams. The team of 35 students participates in both league matches as well as tournaments like Webber Lawson. The team performed well last season, and this season, the team has ambitious goals.

However, many Paly students are unfamiliar with specifics of high school wrestling. A wrestling match is won by the first wrestler to pin his or her opponent’s shoulders or upper back to the ground for two seconds. If neither combatant manages to hold his opponent down, the win is given to the athlete who has the most points. Points are awarded when a wrestler takes his opponent down, escapes from the clutches of his challenger or comes close to pinning his opponent to the ground.

The team practices extensively to improve their skills and aims to perform well at competitions late in the season.

One key component to their success this year will be the presence of more seniors, as last year there were none on the team. This year, the team will look to seniors Seth Goyal and Sara Aguilar to wreak havoc on any opponent foolish enough to challenge them. Overall, the team is optimistic about the season, and believes that this year will kick off an extensive run of dominance for the wrestling program.

The team recently flexed its muscles at the prestigious Mid California Invitational tournament in Gilroy on Jan. 28, with Goyal going an impressive 5-2 and winning his first three matches.

Goyal also came back to win fifth place at the tournament by the way of a thrilling 10-2 win over Del Oro High School’s James Winston.

“Our ultimate goal is to win leagues, move up a division and send as many wrestlers as possible to the CCS and State tournament,” said junior Elliot Clark.

The goals for the team have been simple, but they have set a high bar for themselves. They expect to send many representatives to tournaments and win many dual meets. Nevertheless, they remain confident about their chances to achieve them as the season progresses.

“We have a lot of really good freshmen who came out this year and almost everyone from the team last year returned this year,” Clark said. “We’ve been placing pretty high at most of the tournaments we go to.”

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