With his heart set on closing his prep career with the Hartley football team on the highest note possible, Kenyon Davis elected to not compete for the wrestling team last winter.
A two-way lineman who made second-team all-district on defense as the Hawks reached a Division III state semifinal last fall, the senior has enjoyed his return to the mat this winter.
Davis, who has a winning record at heavyweight, won 13-6 in his match against St. Charles on Jan. 29 as Hartley beat the visiting Cardinals 44-19 to capture its seventh consecutive CCL championship.
"(We talk about) always about going hard, keep moving and things like that that can help you in a match," Davis said. "I didn't wrestle last year because I was focused on football. It's going pretty well. I'm getting back into it."
Davis, who won a match at 182 at the Division II sectional as a sophomore, has helped to fill a void for a lineup that consistently has had the most depth of any team in the league for nearly a decade.
After beating DeSales 39-16 and Ready 42-18 on Jan. 23 at St. Charles in the first night of CCL duals, the Hawks beat Watterson 45-11 in their first dual Jan. 29 before handling St. Charles.
Hartley, which will compete in the Division II, Region 14 dual tournament Saturday, Feb. 8, at Washington Court House and begins the individual OHSAA postseason Feb. 28 and 29 at Licking Valley, won eight matches against St. Charles.
Junior Tony Thivener (195) pinned St. Charles' Ronald Cottrill in 5 minutes, 6 seconds. Other winners for the Hawks were Michael Petrella (126), Cody Ihm (138), Jared Miller (152), Dylan Newsome (160), Joey Petrella (182) and Isaac Asiedu (220).
"It's just really exciting," said Thivener, who placed sixth at sectional at 182 last season.
"It's nice to see some of the younger guys kind of stepping up for us, making a name for themselves. Everyone is working hard in practice helping one another as teammates grow and get better throughout the season."
Girls bowlers have strong regular season
The girls bowling team has plenty of time to prepare for a Division I sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
The Hawks closed the regular season Jan. 27 by beating Beechcroft 1,499-1,210 to finish 11-4 overall and 10-2 in the COHSBC-D Division.
Hartley went 2-4 in the CCL, including a 1,628-1,490 win over DeSales on Jan. 15 as senior Kayleigh Donovan led with a 284 two-game series, followed by sophomore Annie Flores (278), juniors Maria Kelley (274) and Trinity Thompson (236) and sophomore Camille Payne (188).
Senior Libby Erwin led the Hawks with a 159.5 average in COHSBC action, followed by Kelley (129.5), senior Samarra Pointer (116.2) and Flores (115.0).
"Libby is our best (bowler)," coach Chris Blum said.
"The ladies (had) a slightly lighter schedule during the second half of the season, which works out quite nicely. It will allow the girls more time to practice and grow closer as a team. ... I'd love to see my girls picking up spares at a higher rate."
The boys team begins the postseason with a Division II sectional Feb. 14 at HP Lanes.
Girls basketball team in league title hunt
The girls basketball team will have a chance to avenge its only league loss Tuesday, Feb. 11, when it visits Watterson.
Hartley lost to the Eagles 36-35 on Jan. 23. In that matchup, freshman post player Ella Brandewie completed a three-point play to give the Hawks a 35-34 lead with 7 seconds remaining. But on the ensuing possession, Watterson's Kilyn McGuff scored the game-winning basket just before time expired.
Hartley is 3-1 in the league after beating DeSales 54-40 on Jan. 30 and was 13-5 overall before facing Dresden Tri-Valley on Feb. 3.
Hartley is the 15th seed for the Division I district tournament and will open Feb. 21 against 23rd-seeded Hilliard Davidson or 27th-seeded Logan.
The Hawks also get a rematch Thursday, Feb. 6, at Ready. They defeated Ready 64-27 on Jan. 27 as Sa'Haia Clark-Lee had 16 points, Milayna Williams scored 12 and Lexi Cashwell added 11.
Brandewie had 16 points and Kami Kortokrax scored 11 against Watterson, which was 17-2 overall and 3-0 in the CCL before playing Ready on Feb. 4.
"If we make a couple shots, we're right where we want to be against Watterson," coach Donald Dennis said.
Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Feb. 8 -- Home vs. Linden-McKinley
*Feb. 6 -- At Ready. The Hawks beat the Silver Knights 64-27 on Jan. 27.
*Feb. 11 -- At Watterson. The Hawks lost to the Eagles 36-35 on Jan. 23.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 8 -- Division II sectional at Columbus Academy. The winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 12 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.
Feb. 8 -- Division II, Region 14 dual tournament at Washington Court House. The champion advances to the state team tournament Feb. 16 at St. John Arena.