Participating in perhaps the most physical sport in the realm of Palo Alto High School athletics, the men of the wrestling team grapple each other, colliding as they try to pin each other to the mats.
With conditioning beginning in September, the wrestling team has eagerly prepared itself for the grueling season ahead. The season opens with three tournaments in just three weeks.
“We’ve been working hard all through the offseason and now have practices six days a week. We’ve put in effort to improve as a team and individually.”
Calvin Grewal, junior
Every day after school, the wrestlers change into athletic clothes, and make their way to the wrestling room for an intense workout.
Their routine consists of drills, grappling practice and 30 minutes of conditioning.
The team placed sixth overall in the Peninsula Invitational in Half Moon Bay on Dec. 2 with an outstanding performance from senior Sara Aguilar, who came in first place, and from senior Seth Goyal, who also came in first place.
The team and head coach Jonathan Kessler intend to regain ground lost last year in the divisional standings.
With more combined experience than ever, the wrestling team has set their sights on a top seed in the El Camino League. Headed by Goyal and Aguilar, the wrestling squad definitely does not suffer from a lack of talent.
Goyal, whose junior season was cut short by injury, looks for redemption this year.
“I genuinely believe [Goyal] has a chance to win states if he doesn’t get injured like last year, or at least place high at that tournament,” Grewal said.
Several other wrestlers bring support to the team’s two captains. This support comes mainly in the form of the team’s strong components, including sophomore Andrew Wang and junior Calvin Grewal. Wang and Grewal bring vitality to the team, and both committed to making an impact this year on varsity.
The team has a very encouraging season in front of them, even though some of the athletes are dealing with injuries and illness. However, the wrestling team looks forward to a competitive season and has high hopes for their performance.