After the first day of the Division I North Canton Hoover district tournament March 3, Hudson senior 182-pounder Kyle Minor was in perfect position.
Having won his first two matches, Minor was sitting in the semifinal and had two chances to earn his first trip to the state tournament.
Unfortunately for the Explorers, Minor didn't win any matches March 4. As a result, the Hudson wrestling team's season ended.
Minor was the lone Explorer on the podium at Hoover, as he took sixth place. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the state competition.
Hudson finished 22nd in the team race at Hoover with 19 team points. Wadsworth won the team title with 193.5 points.
"As a whole, we knew this was an extremely tough district," Explorers head coach Joe Caniglia said. "The proof is the number of returning state qualifiers and placers who did not make it out this year. There are going to be many of the state qualifiers out of our district on the podium in Columbus."
Minor started the tournament perfectly. He scored a 13-1 major decision win over Canton GlenOak's Christopher Szerokman and then pinned Copley's Connor Knabe in 3 minutes, 46 seconds to reach the semifinals.
In the semifinal, Minor wrestled a good match against All-Ohioan Victor Marcelli of Massillon Jackson, but dropped a tight 2-1 decision.
"It was a case of him wrestling a decent match against a very good wrestler," Caniglia said. "Marcelli was third in the state last year at 170."
Caniglia said he felt Minor's consolation semifinal match with Massillon Perry's Zach Blackiston was a good matchup. Minor got the first takedown and had the lead early, but got reversed on to his back twice in the third period and ended up losing 9-4.
In the fifth-place match, Minor dropped a 4-1 decision to Medina's Alex Sadowsky and ended up settling for sixth place.
"Obviously [he] fell short of his goal, but he had a successful year," Caniglia said.
At 126 pounds, junior Dietrich Boysel was the only other Explorer to win his opening match, as he won 9-2 over Medina's Brandon Yu. Boysel then lost 13-2 to Uniontown Lake's Chase Sommers in the quarterfinals.
Boysel rebounded with a 5-0 win over Austintown-Fitch's Marco Perry, but then was pinned (3:28) and eliminated by Akron Ellet's Caleb Schramm.
"Dietrich is an athletic kid with a lot of experience, but he is going to have to make some changes in his training to take the next step," Caniglia said. "He has the ability and all the tools to have a high level of success."
Senior 160-pounder Austin Mullen saw his career end at Hoover, as he went 1-2, as did junior 285-pounder Jack Nord.
Hudson had junior 120-pounder Joe Graf, sophomore 145-pounder John Sweet and sophomore 170-pounder Michael Caniglia finish 0-2 at the district meet.