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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Winter athletes shatter school records in CIF

With the end of winter and the transition to spring, winter sports athletes set down their equipment, signaling the end of a record-breaking season. Throughout the past few months, these athletes trained and fought to win, reaching goals and accomplishments that haven’t ever been touched in Northwood history.


Northwood wrestling had an accomplished season for both the boys and girls teams.

Junior Daniel Galisteo and freshman Ashlynn Lynch were the first athletes from Northwood wrestling to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Girls Masters.

“The experience of going to CIF Masters was amazing, but getting that far for the first year felt unreal,” Galisteo said. “I remember when I went into the gym for the first time and I looked around me, I was like ‘Oh my god.’”

For his final season at Northwood, senior David Grannis-Vu went undefeated in the Pacific Coast League. He made Northwood history by placing top eight in his bracket at the CIF Southern Section Boys Masters.

“I definitely liked this last season,” Grannis-Vu said. “It was the farthest I’ve ever gone. My coach told me after that I’m the farthest any wrestler has gone in Timberwolf history: I’ll take that.”

Boys basketball:

Following a strong league performance, placing second in the PCL with an 8-1 record, boys basketball carried their momentum into the postseason at the 2024 CIF Southern Section Championships. The team made it to quarterfinals of CIF, which is the furthest they’ve gone in eight years.

“It’s really crazy to see how far we made it, especially with the senior group, because we’ve been playing together since we were freshman, and some even before that,” senior TJ Navarro said. “It was really fun to play with my friends and share the court with them, especially in this last year.”

Part of the success this year can be attributed to the team’s shift in the focus of their practice and training, emphasizing their defensive skills with the help of head coach Christian Manalo who developed training drills to help each player maximize their potential.

“Compared to last year we did a lot more shooting and defense—we really wanted to hone in on those two things,” Navarro said. “Before every game, our coach would tell us who we were guarding and what they were like, which would shape the way that we guarded whoever was in front of us.”

Girls water polo:

Girls water polo made Northwood history this past winter, making it to the CIF Southern Section Championship finals.

Before this school year, no girls water polo team had made it past the second round of CIF. After not qualifying to playoffs the previous winter season, the team saw a massive improvement with the addition of new varsity players who strengthened the team in crucial moments and paved the way for in-season wins.

This year, girls water polo gained a new key player with the addition of junior Audrey Mariano, who transferred to Northwood this year from Orange Lutheran High School. She was a game changer for the team, contributing greatly to their overall defense which allowed them to focus on their offense.

Additionally, senior Yoshi Elseifi also played a vital role in the team’s effectiveness, serving as their main offense and helping the team overwhelm their opponents during tense in-game moments.

While each individual player serves a crucial role on the team, they attribute their success to an especially strong chemistry between players both in and out of the pool throughout their season.

“Our team dynamic was a lot stronger than last season,” sophomore Jane Thorpe said. “We all came into it with the goal of going to the finals and were able to make it because our commitment was really strong and we all worked hard.”

Boys soccer:

Boys soccer had a remarkable season, returning to reclaim their title of Pacific Hills League Champion after more than two decades.

After a winning record of 8-7-1, the boys soccer team became league champions for the first time in 22 years. The team also earned themselves a qualification to the 2024 CIF Southern Section Championships, where they made it to the quarterfinals. 

Although the players usually first come to mind when thinking of season wins, the team believes that a large part of their success this season in games can be owed to their head coach Harry Lee and his support in encouraging the team to perform well throughout difficult portions.

“I think the main reason we were able to advance so far was our coach,” sophomore Ethan Han said. “He had a lot of passion and kept on reminding us that we had the skill to win it. If he wasn’t there, I really think we wouldn’t have gone as far as we did.”

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About the Contributors
Zoe Yan, Staff Writer
Zoe Yan is a sophomore staff writer for The Howler with an unhealthy love for anything sweet. If she isn’t practicing on the golf course or at school rereading assignments she already turned in, she’s probably in her room in the middle of a 10-game losing streak in bullet chess.
Andrew Le
Andrew Le, Photographer
Andrew Le is a Northwood Junior and a photographer for The Howler. He spends his time trying to catch up on F1 (and watching everyone try to catch up to Max), listening to music, riding bikes, or sleeping.

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