Editor remembers excellent 2013-14 school year for Hudson sports

by Frank Aceto | Associate Sports Editor Published:

There was a state champion who successfully defended both of his titles.

There was a state runner-up who also took third in the state in another sport.

One team finished third in the state.

Two other teams reached the state semifinals and another squad advanced to the regional finals for the first time in 14 years.

Yes, when it comes to winning Division I state championships, it's a safe bet that you may have to face someone or some team from Hudson High School during your quest.

It began in November when sensational distance runner Kyle Mau and the Lady Explorers volleyball team reached the ultimate stage.

Mau captured third at the state cross country meet and is on the short list of favorites to win the title this fall.

And who could forget the volleyball squad that stunned just about everyone on its way to its first-ever trip to the state semifinals.

Once the leaves fell off the trees and the ground was covered with snowflakes, Hudson continued to excel.

Junior Ross Palazzo successfully defended his titles in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke during the winter.

By the way, both the Hudson boys and girls swimming and diving teams showed they were among the best squads in the state for what seems like the millionth year in a row.

The pool wasn't the only source of excellence in Hudson.

The Lady Explorers gymnastics team took third at the state meet. The girls certainly had good reason to act like they've been there before.

It was Hudson's fourth trip to the state competition in six years.

When the snow finally disappeared and the temperatures began to rise (sort of), Hudson's athletes shined once again.

The boys lacrosse team advanced to the state semifinals for the eighth time in 10 years. It was especially rewarding for the Explorers since they lost their first two games of the season.

And if you thought you saw the last of Mr. Mau during the autumn, well, you thought wrong.

Mau took second in the 3,200-meter race at the Division I state track and field meet in June.

Finally, there was the baseball team, which reached the regional finals for the first time since its stunning run in 2000.

And the diamond squad did it the only way it knows how: Bunting, taking the extra base and forcing the opposition to make a mistake.

So what's in store for the 2014-15 season?

Let's just say the plots are downright fascinating.

Palazzo will be going for an unprecedented three-peat and Mau will try to win state titles in multiple sports.

The volleyball team's once formidable "big three" is down to one as 6-foot-3 middle blocker Krissy Mummey and high-flying outside hitter Celia Cristofoli graduated during the spring.

Fortunately, talented middle blocker Jordan Mackay is expected to be back for her senior year.

The gymnastics squad should be loaded once again despite not having the services of recent graduates Riley Skinner and Jordan Miller.

Thanks mainly to the return of Palazzo for one more year, the swimming and diving teams should be among the elite once again.

On the other hand, the boys lacrosse team lost a handful of seniors. But Hudson fans know such a fact isn't the least bit worrisome. It seems like the Explorers reload every year.

The same could be said about the baseball squad that also was decimated by graduation. Remember, Hudson advanced to regional play two years earlier with a completely different team.

And let's not forget the other sports as we look toward the fall season.

The football team, led by senior quarterback Mitch Guadagni, is seeking its fourth consecutive trip to the state playoffs.

As always, both the boys and girls soccer squads should compete for district titles.

And maybe, just maybe, some team will come out of nowhere and become Hudson's next overnight sensation.

One way or another, I can't wait to see what happens.

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9444

Facebook: FrankAcetoRecordPublishingCoSports

Twitter: FrankAceto_RPC

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