The M-A girls are overwhelming favorites to repeat as PAL champions. After all, the Bears are also the defending Central Coast Section champions. Half Moon Bay and Terra Nova are other top programs in the league.
The M-A boys went undefeated in the regular season and will be up against Half Moon Bay at the league tournament.
The Palo Alto and Gunn boys will be competing for the SCVAL title with Los Gatos and Cupertino.
The Paly and Gunn girls teams are up against Fremont, among others, in their quest for a league title.
All three schools should have a quarterfinalist at least and a league champion at best.
Menlo-Atherton has five girls ranked No. 1 in the CCS by the California Wrestler, the best resource for comparing athletes at their projected weight classes. There will likely be differences in many divisions.
Fola Akinola is at the top of the list. She's a three-time CCS champion and finished second at last year's state meet. Akinola is also nationally ranked in her division.
Anna Smith is the defending CCS champion at 116 pounds and qualified for state her first two years.
Lauren McDonnell is the defending CCS champion at 137 and placed fifth in last year's state meet. She withdraw in the placement round of her last tournament and her status is not known.
Abby Ericson has never finished lower than third in the CCS and is a defending CCS champion at 160. She's qualified for the state meet the previous three years and placed sixth last year.
Evelyn Calhoon, who signed a letter-of-intent to play soccer at Brown on Wednesday, finish second in the CCS at 121 and won three of her five bouts at the state meet.
Angie Bautista, ranked second at 126, was a CCS runnerup last year and has qualified for the CCS tournament in her first three years.
Fourth-ranked Paola Ramirez is a three-time CCS qualifier and reached the quarterfinals last year.
Lauren Fuller will also contend for a spot in the CCS tournament.
The Bears' program began with a single wrestler five years ago and has blossomed into a regional powerhouse with nearly 25 team members.
The Palo Alto boys are at the top of their game and will battle Los Gatos and Cupertino for the league team title.
Andrew Wang is the heart and soul of the team, though he'll disagree and add most of his teammates to the definition. He ranks second in the CCS at 126, is a three-time CCS qualifier, a state qualifier and the defending league champion.
What Wang likes is the way the Vikings have formed a bond and he credits the M-A coaching staff for creating an atmosphere where that can happen.
Wang certainly won't be the lone Paly wrestler to compete for a league title. The Vikings have a pair if freshman in Max Felter and Cade Creighton who are capable of reaching the championship round at Lynbrook.
Adar Schwarzbach, Dara Heydarpour, who missed the Colt Invitational, Aidan Gans and Charlie Williams are also candidates to finish among the top three or four in the SCVAL.
Maguire Ferrell, Halo Lynch, Tyler Weaver-Escobar and Peter Graham have the potential to qualify for the CCS tournament.
Gunn won't be left empty-handed when it comes to the CCS as Timothy Waymouth, Dash Lee, Phillip Doan and Koh Suzuki are all championship material.
Lee is the defending 182-pound league champion and is a three-time CCS qualifier. Waymouth was the league runnerup at 145 pounds and placed fifth in the CCS. Suzuki has improved his league status every year and was third at 138 last year. Doan was fifth at 138.
For Menlo-Atherton, Joshua Meyers, Anthony Waller and Miseteni Eke will compete for a league title while Julian Garza, Liam Dunn and Nicholas Wang are also in the conversation.
Palo Alto's Ashley Wang would have been a favorite to win a girls league title but she's out with an injury. The second-ranked Wang expects to return for the CCS tournament next weekend.
The Vikings do have other potential winners in Zoe Wong-VanHaren and Alexandra Lee. Salma Montana, freshman Ella Jauregui and Mikaela Fedder could also produce results.
Lola Robinson, Natalie Cai and Kalya Lin are Gunn's top candidates for a league title. Cai went 3-2 at last year CCS tournament and Lin reached the quarterfinals.
Watch for Gunn's Mikayla Silverman to make a run.
The CCS boys and girls tournaments are scheduled for Independence High on Feb. 15-16 and the state meets are slated for Bakersfield on Feb. 22-23.
This story contains 787 words.
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