Since the beginning of this millennium, the Hudson boys lacrosse team has become a state power.

The Explorers hope that doesn't change now that they are part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Hudson, which reached the Division I state semifinals for the 10th time in the last 16 years, features 11 seniors on the team.

Max Cole is expected to be a major offensive threat as an attack player.

"Max is the leader of the attack and potentially, the team's leading offensive weapon," Explorers' 22nd-year head coach David Blue said.

Another senior attack is Chandler Kotseos, who, along with Cole, was a formidable offensive standout on the ice hockey team.

You may see more of the same from this talented hockey duo in the spring.

"Chandler is a great complement to Max and has great finishing skills," Blue said.

Hudson has four senior midfielders. They are Nick Advent, Cole Miller, who is planning to continue his academic and lacrosse careers at Denison University in Granville, Will Orazen and Matt Restifo.

"Nick plays his defensive role extremely well," Blue said. "Cole will be looked upon to be the go-to midfielder this year. He should have a breakout season.

"Will missed most of last year and hopes to give the team a huge advantage with his athletic play. Matt will be on injured reserve for most of the season with a knee injury. However, his energy and enthusiasm at practice and games is a vital lift to the team's morale."

The defense is led by seniors Max Kleiman, who plans to play at Hanover (Ind.) College, Brandon Nelson, Enrique Rodriguez, who plans to play at Denison University in Granville, and Sean Weigel.

"Max provides leadership on the defensive side of the field with his communication skills and game knowledge," Blue said. "Brandon is recovering from injuries and should be ready to play early in the season.

"Enrique gives us a great veteran defender who can cover attackmen with quickness or midfielders with speed. He is great with ground balls and can jump start the offense with his clearing skills.

"Sean plays a physical style of defense that is punishing to opposing attackmen."

Senior Stroud Corr is expected to be the team's starting goalie. Corr was Hudson's goaltender for the ice hockey team.

"Stroud will be using his veteran leadership to man the cage," Blue said. "He has seen time on the varsity field for the past two seasons. Now, it is time to guide the ship."

The Explorers also have 14 juniors on the team.

The attacks are Pat Burdett, Max Charlton, Joe Graf and Anthony Rightnour.

"Pat is a big attackman who can use his size and range to hit the cage," Blue said. "Max has the ability to find the open man and make the right play.

"Joe is a natural lefty who has a knack for getting to the right spot to score timely goals. Anthony plays well in the attack rotation with his off-ball play."

The midfielders feature Alex Beegle, Kevin Callahan, Angelo Donatelli and Adam Dunne.

"Alex will be a bit of a workhorse for the team by facing off and playing some defense," Blue said. "Kevin is a superior athlete. Angelo has become one of the big threats on the team. He goes full-out on every play.

"Adam has great vision to find the open man and come up with big plays."

Junior defensemen include Colin Dickens, Charlie Murphy, who is out with an injury, Alex Nawn, Matt Rudy and Danny Saxon.

"Colin will see time as he develops his game," Blue said. "We hope Charlie will be back to his long-stick midfield position by late April.

"Alex will be playing most of his time at long-stick midfield. Danny is the fastest cover defenseman on the team. He has the ability to play close defense or long-stick midfield."

Junior Matt Withem is the team's backup goalie.

"Matt had a nice preseason getting ready to play," Blue said. "He is coming off an injury, but he makes a lot of saves and starts the offense with outstanding clearing passes."

Rounding out the squad are seven sophomores. The offense features attacks Mason Prisk and Danny LaFontaine and midfielders Blake Lori, Brady Ludewig, Peyton Miller and Merrick Widdoes.

"Mason is a versatile attackman who can finish or create plays," Blue said. "Danny has great playmaking abilities and will see lots of time on the field.

"Blake has great playmaking abilities with his shifty feet and quick moves. Brady is versatile and is tenacious with his style of play.

"Peyton will see time later in the season. Merrick is making the move from attack to midfield and will be asked to fill a big role on the man-up teams."

The lone sophomore defenseman is Nathan Slater.

"Nathan has a huge upside and will be a key defender in the top rotation of players," Blue said.

The Explorers were scheduled to make their 2017 debut against Toledo St. Francis De Sales March 18 at Hudson Memorial Stadium. Results were not available at press time.

They are set to visit Medina March 22 at 7 p.m.


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