The final chapter to the book that is the 2009-10 high school sports season at Hudson is now closed. The final games and meets were played last Saturday and the spring sports are now over ending the athletic year at Hudson High School. It is now time to take a complete look back at each sport. Here are this reporter’s observations, opinions and outlooks on the sports season that was starting in late August and ending in early June.
• Football: Back in August nobody and I mean no one person, predicted a record setting season but that is what the football Tigers did. Hudson won its first 13 straight games to set a record for most wins in a season ever at Hudson. The Tigers won LCAA, district and regional crowns. They then won the semifinal game before falling in the Dome to St. Francis of Traverse City. Hudson had a lot of great football players but only one can get this special award. The Most Valuable Player was senior quarterback and safety Nathan Smith. His winning two-point conversion will live forever in the hearts and minds of Tiger fans when they talk about the Mendon two-overtime victory. On defense it was his stealing of the ball against Ubly and running it in for a score that gave the win to the Tigers in that huge game. Smith was the most exciting and most outstanding Tiger gridiron player in the fall of 2009.
• Boy’s Cross Country: The team went to the state meet where they just missed the top ten as they finished 11th overall in division 4. The Tigers were second in the league to Erie Mason but had the LCAA champion in Stephen Tennis. Hudson was also runner-up in the regional to Concord.
The Most Valuable Performer was senior standout Tennis who finished tenth in the state for his third consecutive all-state performance. Tennis cemented his legacy as one of the greatest cross country runners ever at Hudson. Also, making an all-state showing was senior Derick Clark.
• Volleyball: It was more of the same for the Lady spikers who struggled all season long to get a win and finally won its only match on the final weekend of the regular season. The effort was there but not the results the team wanted. The team finished at the bottom of the LCAA and lost its opening match of district play. It is always tough to pick a top performer on the team that failed to win much at all but one player deserves the honor. Thus, the honor of the Most Valuable Player for the 2009 Lady Tiger spikers goes to senior Vanessa Varney. She was tough at the net with blocks and kills and she could dig the ball on defense, while also consistently serving for points. She was a positive leader in what was tough overall season for all involved.
• Girl’s Cross Country: The team battled all year to field enough runners to make a complete team and it was a never-ending battle. The team was young and inexperienced and short on numbers thus resulting in a season small on success. Hudson failed several times to get enough girls to make a team but they still had a few girls that worked hard. The Most Valuable Performer was junior Megan Baker. She made it through the season and was the top runner for the team in most of its meets.
• Girl’s Golf: The girls don’t play in a league such as the LCAA so wins are tough to come by as this was a very young team of Lady Tigers. The team did place tenth at the regional meet last fall and they showed some promise for the future. The Most Valuable Performer was junior linkster Emily Frantz. She was a consistent performer for a team that improved as the season went on.
• Girl’s Basketball: The team didn’t have the success it wanted, as wins were hard to find during the winter months. For the season the team ended at 4-17 and near the bottom of the LCAA taking fifth place. The first game of the districts was a loss as the young team was setting its sights on next season. The Most Valuable Player was senior Ashley Boies. She was a team leader in rebounds and points scored. She was a veteran player who was solid game-in and game-out and she was tough on defense in the paint.
• Boy’s Basketball: The Tigers were hoping for a winning season but wound up 6-16 but did make the district final contest falling to Pittsford. Hudson was fifth in the LCAA but the district win over Morenci was a highlight to the season. The team had several solid players but the Most Valuable Player award goes to senior standout Sam Klinger. He was a dominant force for most of the season. He was a leader in rebounds, points scored and blocked shots. His huge presence in the middle was a key for the Tigers each night it hit the hardwood.
• Wrestling: The Tigers won its second straight division 4 team state championship with a final win over rival Addison in the state championship bout. Hudson finished its second consecutive title season with a mark of 37-3. The Tigers were second in the LCAA dual meet portion as Dundee won a tough dual match but at the league meet the Tigers took first to finish tied for first overall with the Vikings. The Tigers easily won district and regional crowns to get to the state meet where they won three matches by scores of 169-26. With a team full of outstanding wrestlers picking one, as the most valuable would be difficult but the choice must be made. The award goes to senior superstar Zeb Hilyard. He won his second individual state crown taking the 125-pound title. He was 58-5 for the year and 204-30 for his career. He also won a state title as a sophomore. He will wrestle at the University of Michigan next winter.
• Girl’s Competitive Cheer: The team won the LCAA title again. They also won the district and were second in the regional. And yes they were second yet again at the division 4 state meet as they were just behind Pewamo-Westphalia. Hudson has now been the state runner-up three straight years and four times in the past five years. The team’s Most Valuable Performer was senior Mariah Kelley. She was slowed by an injury but when healthy she was the key to the team’s success and they had a lot of it this past winter.
• Boy’s Bowling: The team had a great season winning its conference championship and they were second at the regional meet. Then at the state meet they finished tied for third overall for a fine showing. The team had just one individual qualify for the state individual meet. Thus, the team’s Most Valuable Performer award goes to freshman Troy “knock’em down Brown. He was in the top ten at the regional to qualify for the state meet.
• Girl’s Bowling: The team had a solid season finishing fifth at the regional meet but couldn’t make it to the state meet. The team had a lone state individual qualifier and she also earned the team’s top honor. The Most Valuable Performer award goes to senior Margaret Brockway. She was seventh at the regional to gain the right to advance to the state meet.
• Girl’s Track: The team had trouble winning meets as they failed to win at all in the LCAA. The team did have one huge bright spot and that was the efforts of a junior jumper. The team’s Most Valuable Performer was Sarah Luma. She won the LCAA, the regional and the DTII crowns in the high jump and she set and tied her school record of 5-2 numerous times. At the state meet last weekend she finished fourth in division 4. She was the best Hudson had for the girl’s team this spring.
• Boy’s Track: The team had a real rough go of it as they failed to win in the LCAA and had trouble scoring points with a very young team. The squad did have one very dependable senior leader who was a consistent performer. The Most Valuable Performer honor goes to Derick Clark. He had the top place for Hudson at the DTII taking sixth in the 1600-meters and was the veteran leader of a team that was short on experienced athletes.
• Boy’s Golf: The team was battling for second all year in the LCAA next to league power Ida. Then the team placed fourth at the districts to advance to the regional round where the season came to an end. The team had an up and down season but had its share of success. The Most Valuable Performer award goes to senior Nate Nastase as he showed a consistent performance on the links during the course of the season.
• Girl’s Softball: The team ended up 0-10 in the LCAA but did well in non-league games to finish 17-20. Usually, in softball the most valuable award goes to a pitcher but this year the team had a girl who led the offense with her bat and her speed on the bases. Then in the outfield she was solid making most all of the plays. Junior Courtney Walter gets the nod for Most Valuable Player honor this spring for her work with her bat, her legs and her glove.
• Boy’s Baseball: The team set a record for most wins in a season with 25 and they were second at 8-2 in the LCAA to league power Blissfield’s 10-0 that won its 17th straight league title. Then the Tigers won a district game over Madison to get to the semifinal round on Saturday where they fell to Clinton. The Tigers had a great season after losing five key seniors from the 2009 team. The squad’s Most Valuable Player was its senior leader in pitcher-infielder Chris Aguirre. He was solid as usual on the mound, played steady defense on the infield and he had several key hits on offense. The team set a school record for wins in a season and Aguirre played a big part in that happening.
Outstanding Senior Athletes
This pick is based on athletic performance only and the school has its pick and here are the P-G’s choices.
Outstanding Female Senior Athlete: This has to go to senior standout Ashley Boies. What would the three teams of volleyball, basketball and softball have done without her? Good question and I am glad we didn’t have to answer that. She was a leader on the court in both volleyball and basketball using her height to her advantage at the net in volleyball and near the net in basketball. She was the team’s number-two pitcher in softball and a good back-up hurler as well as a solid shortstop. She is athletic, talented, skilled and a superb all-around athlete. She will be greatly missed in the fall but let’s remember her accomplishment the past nine months.
Outstanding Male Senior Athlete: Need a big play in the clutch then call on Nathan Smith to make the play and he did that more times than not. Smith was the stalwart on the record-setting football team as the leader of the offense at quarterback and the dependable safety on defense. Then in basketball he could score, rebound and was a solid defender. In baseball he hit the ball well of power and for average. He could use his speed on the bases and was solid on defense in the middle of the infield. Smith is one of those athletes that only come around every so often and his days are done but they will long be remembered for his big plays.
That is it as 16 sports in three separate seasons gave Hudson fans plenty of highlights from the wrestling state championship to the runner-up efforts of the footballers and cheerleaders. The season of 2009-10 is one we won’t soon forget!