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Lots to cherish this fall, but let's enjoy summer

Ballpark Frank

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: July 2, 2017 12:00 AM
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When it comes to the end of the spring sports season, I must confess that my attitude may be similar to the kids after they finish the school year.

Summer break!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy covering high school sports, but it's nice to have a chance to exhale and re-charge my battery during the slower months.

However, I, like the kids, know full well that summer vacation goes extremely fast.

Like blink-of-an-eye fast.

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I certainly don't want summer to pass by any faster than the kids do.

It's a time like no other and we should appreciate all it has to offer.

But I must admit that I've been already daydreaming about the fall.

Why?

The Hudson High School sports teams have a tendency to shine brightest when the leaves change colors.

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For starters, let's take a look at the boys cross country team's success last fall.

The Explorers surprised just about everyone by finishing second at the Division I state cross country meet.

Hudson pulled off such a feat despite not featuring a single athlete in the top 38. If that's not pack running at its best, I don't know what is.

Fortunately, the Hudson boys should be a state contender this autumn, too.

Five of the Explorers' top seven runners were underclassmen, including four of their top five.

As has been the norm in recent years, the Hudson football team proved it was one of the best squads in the state last fall.

The Explorers reached the Division II state semifinals for the second consecutive year. It was the third straight year they've reached the Final Four.

Unfortunately, Hudson, which finished 11-3 and shared the Suburban League National Conference title with Stow-Munroe Falls in 2016, lost 31 seniors to graduation.

Of course, such dramatic losses have meant very little to the Explorers during their amazing run.

When it comes to football, Hudson has had a knack for reloading year after year after year.

Not to be outdone, the Lady Explorers joined the Hudson boys at the state cross country meet.

Much like the boys team, the Lady Explorers utilized pack running at its finest.

Hudson finished 16th at the state competition and like the boys team, the Lady Explorers are anxious for more.

Every single runner who finished in the top seven at the state meet was an underclassman.

The Hudson boys golf team reached the state tournament for the second time in three years last fall.

The Explorers, led by a strong senior class, finished 10th at the state meet.

If Hudson is going to make another run to Ohio's promised land, it will have to do so with pretty much a brand new team.

Nonetheless, I would never underestimate the Explorers' talents on the links.

The Hudson girls golf team, on the other hand, had a state qualifier for the first time since 2010.

Rising junior Jenn David came out of nowhere to finish 34th at the 2016 Division I state meet.

Unlike the boys, the Lady Explorers had several underclassmen last fall, so keep this team on your radar in the coming months.

The Hudson boys soccer team reached Division I regional play for the second time in three years.

The Explorers, who finished 15-3-2 and also won the National Conference title, lost plenty of seniors.

But, as history has shown over the years, the boys soccer team always seems to have a say when it comes to being one of the area's better squads.

It seems like the Hudson field hockey team has been an area behemoth for what seems like forever.

The Lady Explorers, who reached the state final in 2015, nearly won the Gates Mills district title for the second year in a row.

Hudson suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Shaker Heights. By the way, the Lady Red Raiders were the eventual state runners-up.

The Hudson girls soccer team has plenty of young talent after a winning season in 2016 and the volleyball squad managed to reach district play despite a losing record.

The Lady Explorers tennis team may have the most difficult task of all teams: They have to replace a state champion, who finished 40-0 last fall.

She is Molly Sandberg, who capped a brilliant high-school career as Hudson's lone state champion.

Nonetheless, the Lady Explorers are the defending two-time defending National Conference champions and most likely have no plans of giving up their crown anytime soon.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing these teams in the future.

But hey, I won't be the least bit upset if those days can take their time getting here.

I, much like many of the athletes I cover, want to savor what I consider to be the greatest time of the year.

Summer break!

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9444

Facebook: FrankAcetoRecordPublishingCoSports

Twitter: FrankAceto_RPC


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