Boys' lax ready for a repeat
Left: Senior mid-fielder Steve Jones rips a shot in a May 11 home game against the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders. With the victory, the Explorers pushed their winning streak to six straight games.
Last May, the Hudson High School Boys’ Lacrosse team accomplished a feat that had never before been achieved at HHS: they won the state championship. After their first ever title last season, the Explorers are hoping to repeat this season.
Last year, the team was led by the 2011 Ohio High School Lacrosse Association (OHSLA) Player of the Year Robby Lynott and 2011 OHSLA Goalie of the year Tyler Zickel. The team was also led by many other players who were recognized by the OHSLA, such as first Team OHSLA All-Ohio players Cory Nye, Cooper Charlton and Adam Coberly, second Team OHSLA All-Ohio players Steve Jones and Zach Hruby and Honorable Mention Patrick O’Laughlin. Coach David Blue was at the helm, and he received the OHSLA Coach of the Year award.
Of these key players, juniors Zickel, Coberly and O’Laughlin are returning this season along with senior Jones. Other key players include seniors Evan Finley, Chris Rightnour, Matt Vinson, JD Lease, Connor Locke, junior Zach Vehar and sophomore Bo Lori.
“The main difference between last year and this year is the experience,” Locke said. “Last year we had a lot of experienced seniors, and we’re a really young team this year.”
The youth of the Explorers showed in their first game. They expected to start off the season strong, but they lost their first game to Mason High School in Cincinnati with a score of 11-8. After their season opening let-down, the Explorers went on a seven-game winning streak smothering all opponents in their path.
Following the winning streak, the Explorers lost their next four games in nail-biters. They fell to Jackson with a score of 12-10, and they lost another two-goal game to Solon, 10-8, a few days later. On April 25, Hudson faced off against St. Ignatius and fell in a tough overtime loss after blowing an early lead, and they fell to Dublin Coffman their next game 6-5 after leading 4-2 at half time. Following the losing streak their record dropped to 7 and 5.
“We were sick of losing,” Locke said, “and we weren’t practicing nearly as hard enough as we needed to.”
Following the losing streak the Explorers came out strong and defeated third ranked Medina by a score of 18-9. Following the win versus Medina, the Explorers went on to win four more games in a row to push their record to 12 and 5.
The Explorers had there final home game of the season Friday, May 11 against Kent Roosevelt and they won by a score of 14-9 pushing their record to 13 and 5.
As the season winds down, team leaders include Lori and Finley with 33 goals, Michael Charlton with 17 assists, Lori with 42 points, and Zach Vehar with 120 ground-balls as of press time.
The Explorers look to finish the season strong and hopefully compete for another state title.
“We definitely have the talent to win another state championship, but it all depends on getting mentally tough,” Locke said.