Stop me if you heard this before.
It was a really good season for athletics at Hudson High School.
Yeah, I guess that’s kind of how life works at 2500 Hudson Aurora Road, doesn’t it?
If you play sports at Hudson High, you’re most likely going to go pretty far.
The 2018 spring season, not surprisingly, was another stellar one for the Explorers and Lady Explorers.
A good place to start would be … well, let’s begin with the state champions, of course!
That would be the Hudson Rugby Club girls team.
The Hudson lady ruggers recently captured their first state championship in their eight-year history. Not bad for a club team that featured many players who had never played the sport before.
Such was the case this spring, too.
When rugby first became a part of the 44236 ZIP code, to say there were many doubters about its future is like saying Indians’ ace Corey Kluber has pretty decent stuff.
The team almost folded not long after it formed. These days, the girls rugby team is alive and well and has been a force for the last five years.
Still, there was something missing on the lady ruggers’ resume.
Prior to 2018, the girls rugby team seemed to fit the following famous old saying to perfection.
"Always the bridesmaid, never the bride."
This time, Hudson finished the job with a convincing 31-5 victory over Cincinnati Walnut Hills in the Ohio Rugby Division I final last Saturday in Columbus.
By the way, the lady ruggers also took down their nemesis during the regular season.
Cleveland St. Joseph Academy, the New York Yankees of Ohio rugby and a past tormentor of Hudson, was defeated by the Hudson lady ruggers, 34-31.
Yes, when it comes to girls rugby, no one plays the sport better than the young ladies who went through the many exhausting practices in the 44236 ZIP code.
Not to be outdone, the Hudson girls lacrosse team completed their … oh gosh, what? Eight-hundredth fabulous season in a row?
The Lady Explorers reached the Division I state semifinals for the second time in three years and their seventh trip to the Final Four this century.
Hudson had a 10-match winning streak before falling to eventual runner-up New Albany 12-4.
When the leaves changed colors last autumn, a bunch of distance runners who took classes on Hudson Aurora Road excelled on the 3.1-mile courses.
Let’s just say several of those runners proved to be just as formidable on the track this spring.
A total of 10 members represented the Hudson track and field teams at the Division I state meet, which concluded this past Saturday in Columbus.
Leading the way was Adam Beucler, who capped a brilliant junior year by placing fourth in the 3,200-meter race. Not surprisingly, Beucler was the top runner for the cross country team, which happened to win a state championship last November.
Beucler’s classmate and teammate on both the cross country and track squads, Evan Manley, also proved to be formidable on the track.
Manley placed seventh in the 1,600 to continue Hudson’s long tradition of outstanding distance runners.
The Lady Explorers also had one of those rare once-in-a-generation athletes, who excelled on the track.
Senior Emily Akin, a key participant during the girls cross country team’s fourth-place finish at the state competition, concluded her fantastic career on the track in Columbus.
She placed seventh in the 800 for the Lady Explorers’ only points.
The girls certainly dominated the headlines when it came to the ever-growing sport known as rugby. But the boys should not be overlooked.
The Hudson Rugby Club boys team also reached the Division IAA state semifinals last month.
And I want to give a shout-out to the Hudson boys tennis and baseball teams, too.
The tennis team was the undisputed champion of the Suburban League National Conference after going undefeated during the regular season before capturing the conference tournament title.
The baseball squad got a well-deserved trophy the hard way.
The Explorers appeared to be dead in the water after losing their first four conference games back in April.
However, Hudson won nine of its next 10 conference games to get a piece of the National Conference championship.
To say this crown was a bit unusual is an understatement.
The Explorers, Stow-Munroe Falls, Wadsworth, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and North Royalton shared the title.
Wacky stuff, huh?
Last but not least, I must give some props to the Hudson boys lacrosse team, which nearly pulled off a gargantuan upset to reach an improbable Final Four.
The Explorers fell short in an extremely hard-fought battle with eventual Division I state runner-up Cleveland St. Ignatius in the Region 2 title match.
By the way, the lacrosse rivalry between Hudson and Iggy has become one of my favorite must-see contests over the years.
Now that the season is over, I just want to say thank you to these wonderful athletes for their breathtaking performances.
No matter what the weather is like, what uniform they’re wearing or what ball, stick or bat they’re carrying, the road to greatness, as always, goes through Hudson Aurora Road.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.