Hudson -- The high school boy's soccer team has not only scored a bunch of points on the field this season, but the team, whose season ends later this month, has also scored more than a few smiles off the field.

The team has taken part in a variety of events which benefit the community and beyond.

"At the beginning of the season it was stressed to our team that we wanted to be the best that we could possibly be on the field, in the classroom and as leaders in the community," Coach Kelsey Resnick said. "After several discussions and some searching, the team decided to help support local events, including a [Sept. 20] fragile x syndrome research fundraiser led by two Hudson High School alumni, a [Sept. 22] walk sponsored by the American Diabetes Association at Hudson Springs Park and Hudson United Soccer Club's Soccer4All, a youth soccer program for kids with physical or developmental disabilities in the community."

Ethan Cravener, 17, has been a member of the varsity team for two years.

"I think it's great to give back to the community," Ethan said. "I especially enjoy Soccer4All I because I am directly working with the kids and seeing their smiles makes the time spent worthwhile."

Ethan's mom, Stacy, said she is proud of the entire team for "sacrificing sleeping in and rare free time to give back to the community."

"The boys added spirit and excitement to the American Diabetes Association Walk in Hudson," Cravener said. "I'm proud of the way they carried themselves throughout the day, moving tables and setting up tents with smiles on their faces."

Cravener was also at the Saturday morning Soccer4All programs, she said.

"I really enjoyed being at Soccer4All on Saturday morning," Cravener added. "Sharing smiles, high fives, and making memories with these children was mutually fun for everyone. It was wonderful to be a part of brightening someone else's day."

Cravener also wanted to thank Soccer4All for "helping to brighten my day."

Senior Kurt Kalina, has been on the varsity team for two years. Kurt enjoyed "giving back to the community and helping out at different events."

"We had a good time working together as a team at the American Diabetes Association Walk, at Hudson Springs Park," Kurt said. "We accomplished a lot for an important event and I hope to get more time in with Soccer4All since it was canceled due to rain the first time I was supposed to attend."

Kurt wants to volunteer even more during his senior year, he said.

"My favorite part of volunteering is knowing you are helping other people," Kurt added.

Kurt's mom, Caroline called the diabetes walk "a great success."

"As I watched Kurt and his teammates I felt a sense of happiness and pride because they were able to accomplish a lot of work while having fun and serving a well needed cause," Kalina said. "They were there at 6 a.m. unloading the truck, setting up tables, chairs and tents, and cheering on participants throughout the walk."

The team worked until about noon, Kalina added.

The manager of special events for the American Diabetes Association was so "impressed with their work ethic and high spirits, she told me she would love to nominate the team for a community award," Kalina said.

"That being said, I feel fortunate my son is a part of a team that elicits such respect from an important community leader," Kalina added. "Although we have not had a chance to help out at the Soccer4All due to a rain cancelation I am sure Kurt and I will enjoy spending time and having fun with all of the children -- Kurt has always been great with kids so I know he will be having just as much fun as they will be."

Coach Resnick said it was "great that their contributions off-the-field will help reflect positively on themselves and Hudson athletics, generally."

"I couldn't be more proud of how the boys have taken to helping their neighbors and how they have handled themselves at these events," Resnick said.

Working with the community is a priority, he said.

"We want to support their projects; we want them to support ours," Resnick added. "Being an athlete is more than just leading and performing on the field; it's about leading and performing in the community."

Volunteering helps the team learn "the profound power of taking deliberate steps to improve the world around us," the coach said.

"If we can expose our players to this earlier on, we can help them contribute more to the world sooner," Resnick said. "We have had tremendous support and buy-in from the players, their parents, the Hudson administration, and the event organizers and we look forward to lending a helping hand to our neighbors and including the rest of Hudson athletics, when possible, in the future."


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