During his athletics career at Hartley High School, senior Philip Cole helped the football team win the Division IV state title in 2016 and CCL championships each of the past three seasons and played a key role for the baseball team last spring when it won a Division II district title.
His championship pedigree at the prep level, though, spans even further back.
As a freshman living in the suburbs of Kansas City, Cole scored the winning run in the Prairie View (Kansas) Shawnee Mission East baseball team's 4-3 victory over Lawrence (Kansas) Free State in the Class 6A state title game.
He pinch ran at first base, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a throwing error.
"I lived in Missouri my whole life," Cole said. "The Kansas City Royals' general manager, Dayton Moore, was my coach until the eighth grade. The team I played for, Shawnee Mission East, won state my freshman year and was ranked eighth in the country. I didn't play that much, but we had a guy get drafted that year. Hartley is a much smaller school."
Cole has made a home at Hartley since moving to central Ohio with his family before his sophomore year and is confident that his athletics career will extend beyond this spring. His plan is to walk on to both the football and baseball teams at Ohio University.
Last fall, Cole rushed for 477 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 carries (a 9.9-yard average) and was the football team's leading receiver with 24 catches for 622 yards and six scores as the Hawks went 9-3.
After hitting .463 with three home runs, 36 runs scored, 24 RBI and 12 stolen bases last spring for the baseball team, he is off to an even stronger start this season. Through 10 games, the center fielder was batting .629 (22-for-35) with two home runs, 19 RBI, 19 runs, 10 doubles and seven stolen bases.
"For both football and baseball, I felt that based on my numbers, my measurables and my athleticism, that I was highly under-recruited," Cole said. "I didn't want to settle because I know I can compete."
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Cole began last season hitting leadoff but has settled into the No. 3 spot in the lineup behind shortstop Thomas Mayhan and right fielder and pitcher Adam McVicker. The cleanup hitter, Mason Sawyer (C/RF), also was hitting better than .400.
The Hawks were 11-1 overall and 1-0 in the CCL before playing St. Charles on April 15. They opened league play with a 13-0, five-inning win over Ready on April 12 and beat Johnstown 15-5 in six innings April 13.
Hartley's lone blemish through 12 games was an 8-6 loss to Bloom-Carroll in its season opener March 23.
The Hawks' game against Canal Winchester on April 2 was suspended because of darkness with the score tied at 8 after eight innings. The contest is not expected to be completed.
"The most consistent thing has been our offense," Cole said. "We're not striking out a lot, which is what I'm most happy about. Our defense has been getting more consistent. The only thing stopping us from being undefeated is finishing the game."
According to coach Chris Sawyer, Cole has fit in well in the Hawks' lineup, which had scored 10 runs or more in eight of the first 12 games.
"Philip is a great teammate and has always been a great player for us," Sawyer said. "He's been given great opportunities this year and has been able to take advantage of those opportunities. He would be the first guy to tell you that the guys that hit in front of him have done a great job of getting on base and the guys behind him force pitchers to pitch to him. When those things happen, good things happen for our team."
Boys tennis team continues to battle
With three of its players being first-year seniors, the boys tennis team finds itself in a transition season.
Coach Daniel Chun is balancing building the program with players such as junior Andrew Croswell and sophomores Nick Chovan, John Hooker, Dominic Rees and Nick Stassen while also providing an enjoyable experience for seniors Ryan Heuser, Braylon Mitchell and Morgan Safford.
Heuser, Mitchell and Safford all were part of the boys basketball team's Division II district championship run, which didn't conclude until March 14.
"It's been difficult with the basketball team playing so late," Chun said. "I'm really banking on my four sophomores to get guys for next year."
Hartley lost to Grove City 5-0 on April 12 and was 2-5 overall before playing Canal Winchester on April 15 and 0-1 in the CCL before playing Ready on April 16.
In a 4-1 loss to Centennial on April 11, Croswell and Stassen won 7-6, 7-6 at second doubles. According to Chun, Safford and Mitchell were unavailable for the match because of other commitments.
In a 5-0 win over Groveport on April 8, Heuser, Chovan and Croswell won at first, second and third singles, respectively, while the first doubles team of Hooker and Safford and the second doubles team of Mitchell and Rees also were victorious.
Hartley's other victory came against Hamilton Township, 4-1 on April 1.
Girls team takes break from busy slate
Over a 16-day stretch in early April, the girls lacrosse team played seven games.
The Hawks are off until April 25 when they play host to Granville in a Central Independent League contest.
Hartley was 5-5 overall, 2-1 in the CIL and 0-1 in the CCL before facing DeSales on April 16.
In a 16-12 victory over Bexley on April 4, Sydney Onega had five goals and Bryn Power scored three while goalkeeper Sidney Sheridan made eight saves.
Onega scored four goals and Sheridan had 13 saves in a 12-7 loss to Dublin Coffman on April 10.
Onega had five goals in a 12-7 win over Olentangy Orange on March 21 and scored six in a 16-9 victory over Columbus School for Girls on April 2.
Killian Sweeney scored three goals in an 18-7 loss to Columbus Academy on April 11.