Some things are a given in life.

The sun will rise, snow will fall in Northeast Ohio and at least on most occasions, the Hudson boys lacrosse team will reach the state competition.

Such was the case last year for the Explorers, who reached the Final Four for the 10th time in the last 16 years.

Hudson finished 14-6 in 2016 after losing to eventual Division I state runner-up Cleveland St. Ignatius 16-2 in the state semifinals.

The Explorers also will be part of something new this season.

For the first time in history, boys lacrosse is now a part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

In the past, Hudson, which won its only state title in 2011 and was the state runner-up in 2002 and 2007, previously competed in the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association.

"As with all new things, there is a level of excitement shared by all the teams throughout the state," said Explorers' head coach David Blue, who has guided Hudson to a 293-105 record during his 21-year tenure. "We hope to continue our success into the new sanctioned association."

If the Explorers are going to continue to be a powerhouse in the OHSAA, they will have to do so without seven graduating seniors.

They are midfielders Nate Menendez, the team's leading scorer who is now playing for Cleveland State University, Brendan O'Neil, Austin Ganley and Luc Jambon, All-Ohio face-off specialist Chris Motter, attacks Sean O'Loughlin (the University of Mount Union in Alliance) and goalie Spencer Kline.

However, as its track record shows, Hudson has been able to adjust despite losing a number of talented players over the years.

The fact that the Explorers have a group of veteran coaches working with the players certainly doesn't hurt either.

Junior varsity coach Todd Sidle enters his 14th year at Hudson. The rest of the coaching staff features three Hudson graduates.

The three Hudson graduates are fourth-year coach Logan Parsons (2007), who will serve as an assistant coach with the JV squad, fifth-year coach Eli George (2008), who will serve as the varsity team's defensive coordinator, and first-year coach Tyler Zickel, who will work with the varsity goalies and defensemen.

Other coaches are second-year coach Charlie Joyce, a Hudson resident who will be working with the varsity midfielders and the JV team, and first-year coach Toby Jurging, who is the team's strength and conditioning coach.

As always, the Explorers will play a formidable schedule.

Hudson was scheduled to make its 2017 debut against 2016 Division II state runner-up Toledo St. Francis De Sales March 18 at Memorial Stadium. Results were not available at press time.

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

Hudson also is scheduled to play St. Ignatius, Solon, Massillon Jackson. Mason, Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty.

If the Explorers want to be the last ones standing in June, they will certainly have their hands full now that the OHSAA is playing a role.

"We will have to play five to six playoff games to compete for the first OHSAA lacrosse championship," Blue said.


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