Spotlight on RJ Petrucelli (I)


After a compromised wrestling season during his junior year, RJ Petrucelli (I) hoped to make the most of his short time left as a wrestler.

Unlike many star athletes who picked up their sports as soon as they could walk, Petrucelli was a late bloomer to wrestling. He recalls, “I did not know anything about wrestling until the eighth grade. Coach [Jeffrey] Gibbons invited everyone in my class to try out, and I ended up falling in love with the sport instantly.” As a result of his hard work and dedication, he earned a spot on the Boston Latin School varsity wrestling team.

Being on the team since eighth grade, Petrucelli found the transition from being a member to a captain as natural, saying, “I was greatly influenced by the captains before me and found it easy to guide the team with the help of my fellow captains, coaches and the support of the members of the wrestling team.”

Unfortunately for Petrucelli, his experience with his newfound love was cut shorter, as the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 pushed back the winter sport into the spring. This postponement prevented a full wrestling season, and the Dual County League All-Star was “only able to wrestle eight matches, much less than what [he] usually wrestles in a year.”

The following year was no different, as the Omicron variant outbreak shut down the season for a month. More negative news came, as Pertrucelli tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to miss a week of practice and competitions. 

The countless setbacks Petrucelli has encountered, however, served as fuel for his desire to dominate the competition, as he finished first place at sectionals and sixth in the Division I All-State Wrestling Tournament. “My postseason run felt amazing. I wrestled hard the entire way and made sure to leave it all out on the mat as a loss could be my last match,” he recalls.

When asked to describe him on and off the wrestling mat, fellow varsity captain and close friend Owen Kirkpatrick (I) says, “[Petrucelli] embodies consistency. He’s a reliable wrestler, a present leader and a steadfast friend.”

Another captain, Theo Sawyers (I), explains that Petrucelli “is a nice and hard-working guy who always brings positive energy and is a great teammate. He is a great leader, and as you can tell from his success this year, an incredible wrestler.”

Even after a late introduction to wrestling along with COVID-19 complications, Petrucelli finishes his BLS wrestling career victorious.