Achieving a level of athletic success unprecedented since the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, the Palo Alto High School wrestling team exploded at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) championships, with a horde of wrestlers qualifying for the upcoming Central Coast Section (CCS) tournament.
The Paly wrestling team, which finished last in the league a year ago, improved to sixth place out of 13 participating teams, marking a significant improvement as a result of more experience as well as increased participation, especially among underclassmen who will be leading the team during future wrestling seasons to come.
The team, which appears to be a approaching its peak as a force on the wrestling mat, has exhibited an intensity and drive that few opposing teams have been able to figure out.
The team’s success this season included junior Elliot Clark who has consistently performed well all season, as well as star seniors Seth Goyal and Sara Aguilar, who are two of Paly’s most talented wrestlers in recent history.
Aguilar, who has had one of the most illustrious girls wrestling careers in Paly history, qualified for the State championship for the third year in a row by way of a monumental win at the CCS championship.
Goyal and Clark, alongside fellow wrestlers Callum Day-Ham, Andy Wang, Calvin Grewal, Aidan Gans and Alex Daw, all qualified for the prestigious CCS championship by winning their respective bouts.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the team’s success has been the younger wrestlers. Wang and Daw are both sophomores, while Gans is a freshman.
On top of that, there is a huge variety in weight classes this year, with Day-Ham competing at a weight of 113 pounds, and Daw competing at 220 pounds.
Aguilar, who has had one of the most illustrious girls wrestling careers in Paly history, qualified for the State championship for a third year in a row.
The team, fresh off of a successful season, is a strong contender to finish first in the championship next year as its young core gets more time to develop both physically and mentally on the mat.
This apparent rise of younger athletes among the Paly wrestling team is far from the only novelty impacting the team.
Beginning next year, the team will have access to a state-of-the-art wrestling facility built specially for the team located within the multi-million dollar gyms currently being built.
“I am so excited to see the new wrestling facility,” said junior Bryan Tsang. “I would love to see the new gym and how it will allow us to improve next year.”
As a whole, the team aims to improve its record in the league and finish first as its younger stars develop throughout their time at Paly, bringing with them the next era of Paly wrestling.