Hartley wrestling coach Kevin Petrella described his team's season as one with "a lot of peaks and valleys."
The "peaks" included senior twins Michael Petrella (120 pounds) and Joey Petrella (182), who also are brothers of coach Petrella, advancing to the Division II state tournament, while among the "valleys" was the state tournament being canceled March 26 by the OHSAA because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic after being indefinitely postponed March 12.
That doesn't diminish what the duo accomplished, coach Petrella said, given that they finished their prep careers ranked first and second in program history in victories.
Michael Petrella was a three-time state qualifier and two-time state placer who finished 40-2 this season and 167-29 for his career, while Joey Petrella finished 41-4 and qualified for state for the first time this season and was 142-38 for his career.
The Hawks' third state qualifier this season was freshman Dylan Newsome (160), who went 30-7 on the season and was a No. 2 seed entering state, which was to have been held March 13-15 at Ohio State.
"Overall, we had a pretty good season," coach Petrella said. "The important thing was that we were trending up and probably at our highest point at the closing weeks of the season. Both Michael and Joey had fabulous high school careers. The records they've broken and the accolades they've received speak for themselves. They've ended their careers on the highest point that they were able to this year, as district champions. I know myself, my family and our school and community are very proud of them."
Michael Petrella went 3-0 in the sectional Feb. 28 and 29 at Licking Valley as the Hawks scored 121.5 points to finish sixth behind the champion and host Panthers (215) as 21 teams scored. He then went 4-0 in the district tournament March 6 and 7 at Wilmington as Hartley finished sixth (72.5) behind champion St. Paris Graham (242) as 49 teams scored.
"It meant a lot to me this year because this year was my senior year and I was ready and happy to compete in my last tournament of my high school career," Michael said. "I had started the year pretty well and had a little patch of the season where I didn't wrestle as well, but I fixed that at districts and was ready for state."
Joey Petrella was a three-time district qualifier who, like Michael, won sectional and district championships this winter.
"It was awesome to qualify for the state tournament this year, especially since Michael and I were both district champions," said Joey, who went 3-0 at sectional and 4-0 at district. "Being so close (to qualifying for state) the past three years and not making it was extremely difficult for me to deal with. Making it this year and not being able to wrestle has been hard for me, especially because of all the countless hours of hard work and sacrifice put into this one moment.
"I felt great going into the state tournament. I was physically and mentally prepared. I was peaking at the right time. My teammates were a huge help going into the state tournament as well."
Newsome went 3-1 at district and placed second.
The Hawks, who won their seventh consecutive CCL championship, had two other district qualifiers in senior Kenyon Davis (220) and junior Tony Thivener (195). At district, Davis went 0-2 to finish 21-15 and Thivener went 0-2 to finish 24-17.
Among the expected returnees are Newsome, Thivener, juniors Noah Houchins (126), Cody Ihm (138) and Jared Miller (152) and freshmen Isaac Asiedu (heavyweight), Eyan Jackson (170) and Will McFadden (132).
"Dylan is on another level as a freshman," coach Petrella said. "I wish some people were able to see him and Joey drill at practice. They practiced with a purpose. That speaks volumes in the practice room and will be a great example for the rest of the team. I'm very excited for the next several years with Dylan and these other younger guys. We're going to have our best teams yet."