4th Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List

First, let me apologize for not posting as often as I usually do, I’ve been dealing with some issues that have made it challenging for me to sit down and get as many things up onto the site as I would like. I have also been finishing up a project that I have been working on for the past couple of years and which I believe is finally ready for me to unveil in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, it’s about time I release the 4th Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List. This year it’s much earlier than last year’s (which I posted in August) but still not as early as I would like (I would like to shoot for April next season).

Albany HS has moved up to the number 3 spot this year. Northview seems unmovable from the number 1 spot, sending multiple wrestlers to state every year. The biggest jump in the rankings come from Menlo Atherton (from 19 to 10) and Beaumont (32 to 23). I’m please to say that girls wrestling continues to grow at a healthy pace and that is reflected in my list where more and more schools seem to be trading spots every year. But enough of my blabbering.

In 2011, when the first official CIF girls wrestling state championships took place, 154 schools participated. In 2019, with the increase from 25 to 32 wrestlers per weight class, a total of 263 schools competed (an increase of 43 schools over last year). Since that first championship tournament, 541 different schools have sent at least one wrestler to represent them. This year, 50 schools that had not sent a single wrestler to the tournament since 2011 were represented by at least one! Programs have come and gone but a few have continued to thrive year after year.

Inevitably, at the end of each season the question gets asked, which are the best high school girls wrestling programs in California? This is not a question that is answered as easily as one might think. What are the criteria that should be used to decide? Does the number of individual champions trump the number of team championships? Does a team with acclaimed consistent coaching out-rank one from a school that has supported girls wrestling year after year but has been unable to find staff that will stay longer than a season or two?  And, is a program with a single wrestler that places at state better than a one that sends 6 wrestlers that do not place? Some coaches have even commented that the number of boys sent to their respective state championships should be included when deciding, in effect throwing the girls back into the fold that they have tried to separate themselves from for so long.

As difficult as the question may be to answer, I have decided to make an attempt at doing just that. In the year’s best list, I have taken 2 factors into consideration and given them point values. The first is the number of wrestlers sent to state. The second is the final top-8 placings of wrestlers, giving a higher value to higher placings.

I have also included an All-time best program list. The method I used to decide who goes on that list is to simply take the points accumulated by a program in each year and add them up. There are 3 points of contention I expect to hear:

  1. The fact that I only go back to 2011 in my rankings, when the first CIF-sanctioned state championship was held, there may be some who believe a certain program is not being recognized because I did not go back far enough in time. To those who feel that way, I apologize and can only say that I wish getting hold of records from earlier dates was as easy as getting them since the time CIF recognized the sport.
  2. There will be those who feel the programs at the top of the list are there because they dominated the sport when the competition was not as developed as it now is and it will be difficult to catch up to them. My response to that is, a program cannot rest on its laurels it must continue to work, even if it no longer dominates the state championships, every wrestler it sends to state cements its standing atop the list (and sending wrestlers to state is no longer a cakewalk). As for a program being unable to catch-up, I believe this sport is here to stay, I think there is plenty of time for the All-time list to see some changes (pun intended).
  3. Some will wonder why some schools are not in the top 30 when they have had a dominant wrestler, for example Gabby Garcia (Valencia of Placentia)— a 4-time state champion (2013-2016). Unfortunately, even though Miss Garcia is a legend in her own right, a single wrestler cannot constitute a top program. Schools can build a successful program out of having a single dominant wrestler but the program, to be considered a top program, in my opinion, needs to continue to produce results beyond that single wrestler.

As I said at the opening, there have been 491 different schools that have competed at state since 2011, for the sake brevity I will only list the top-30 in both the year and the all-time list but I will give as much context and justification as possible to each listing. I hope you enjoy this list and see it as my humble effort to continue to celebrate and record the history of this great sport. If someone disagrees with my lists or methods please feel free to contact me, I will be more than happy to discuss differing viewpoints but the bottom line is that these ranking are a product of what I consider the most important factors in rating a successful program and they may be very different from other people’s.

Section codes are as follow:

  • Central Coast Section, CCS
  • Central Section, CS
  • Los Angeles City Section, LACS
  • North Coast Section, NCS
  • Sac-Joaquin Section, SJS
  • San Diego Section, SDS
  • Southern Section, SS

Top-30 All-time Best High School Girls Wrestling Programs in California (as of 2019)

In the table below, along with the school’s all-time ranking, I have also included their all-time ranking prior to the end of the 2018-2019 season, the total number of wrestlers they have sent to the state championships, as well as the total number of placers the school has had since 2011.

Rank School Section All-time Ranking Previous Season Total Wrestlers to Have Competed Total Placers (including Champions) Total Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Total Champions
1 Northview SS 1 68 22 15 3
2 Selma CS 2 43 21 12 11
3 Albany NCS 5 41 15 9 4
4 West Covina SS 3 37 6 10 5
5 James Logan NCS 4 35 17 6 2
6 Birmingham LACS 11 30 14 8 4
7 San Fernando LACS 17 45 7 5 1
8 Corona SS 7 25 15 6 0
9 Jesse Bethel SJS 6 26 2 6 1
10 Menlo-Atherton CCS 19 24 12 5 2
11 Pioneer Valley CS 9 34 6 2 1
12 Hillcrest SS 9 28 15 4 0
13 Del Oro SJS 12 30 10 4 3
13 Enochs SJS 7 16 12 8 4
15 Walnut SS 18 27 9 4 0
16 Benicia NCS 13 19 9 7 2
17 Tokay SJS 15 29 7 4 0
18 Santa Ana SS 14 28 6 3 1
19 Terra Nova CCS 15 28 8 2 0
20 Newark Memorial NCS 20 24 4 3 2
21 Steele Canyon SDS 21 26 5 1 0
22 Santa Paula SS 22 24 6 0 0
23 Beaumont SS 32 20 5 1 1
24 Bella Vista SJS 35 10 8 6 3
25 Porterville CS 23 19 4 2 0
25 San Dimas SS 28 17 6 2 0
27 Millikan SS 24 21 7 1 0
28 Lincoln-Stockton SJS 26 15 4 3 2
29 Overfelt CCS 25 19 2 3 2
29 Santa Monica SS 32 11 5 5 2

Top-30 Best High School Girls Programs in California of the 2018-2019 Season

In the table below, I have listed the top-30 programs out of the 263 schools that participated in the state championships of the 2018-2019 wrestling season. I have also included the programs’ all-time ranking as of the end of the season.

Something that might be noticed, my formulation does not guarantee a top-spot by simply having a champion, though it does help. The best way to insure a high ranking in the list is to send a large delegation and to get as many placers as possible.

Rank School Section All-time Ranking After 2018-2019 Season Competing Wrestlers Champions Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Placers (including Champions)
1 San Fernando LACS 7 13 0 2 3
2 Birmingham LACS 6 9 0 2 4
3 Menlo-Atherton CCS 10 7 1 2 4
4 Albany NCS 3 7 0 1 4
5 Northview SS 1 4 0 1 3
6 Norte Vista SS 101 (tied) 3 1 2 2
7 Monroe, James LACS 75 (tied) 4 0 1 2
8 Walnut SS 15 5 0 1 1
8 Corona SS 8 4 0 0 2
10 Arroyo-N NCS 132 (tied) 2 1 1 2
10 McClatchy SJS 94 (tied) 2 1 1 2
12 Liberty NCS 44 (tied) 4 0 1 1
12 Selma CS 2 4 0 0 2
12 Newark Memorial NCS 20 4 0 1 1
12 Silver Creek CCS 40 (tied) 2 0 1 2
16 Orland (N) SJS 143 (tied) 3 1 1 1
16 Cerritos SS 97 (tied) 3 0 0 2
16 Mt. Whitney CS 88 (tied) 2 0 1 2
16 La Costa Canyon SDS 132 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Clovis CS 223 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Westminster SS 90 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Bella Vista SJS 24 2 1 1 2
20 Beaumont SS 23 2 0 0 2
24 Fremont CCS 231 (tied) 4 0 0 1
24 Folsom SJS 70 (tied) 2 0 1 2
24 Yucaipa SS 231 (tied) 2 1 1 1
24 Rowland SS 78 (tied) 2 1 1 1
28 Del Oro SJS 13 (tied) 4 0 0 2
28 Durham SJS 252 (tied) 4 0 0 1
28 Ayala SS 97 (tied) 2 0 1 1
28 Norco SS 252 (tied) 2 0 0 2
28 Escalon SJS 155 (tied) 2 0 1 1

2 thoughts on “4th Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List”

  1. Do you have a link to the total rankings?
    (just curious to where some other schools ranked; how far up and down they moved. Also willing to talk more offline)

    1. Donnie,
      the list is comprised of 540 schools, listed as 3 letter codes (to allow me to view multiple years without side-scrolling). I only convert the top-30 to full names when I post the list. So, I do not have anything available I could share without putting in the time to convert the information.

      If you would like to contact me, you can do it via the contact form on the site.

      Thanks for the support!

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