Since I started covering Hudson in 2000, I’ve learned something that is crystal clear.

The Explorers are really good .... in just about everything.

Whether it’s the alpha dog sports such as football and baseball or sports that may not sell quite as many tickets such as swimming, soccer or cross country, Hudson has a tendency to excel better than most schools.

Look at it this way: Not every school has a field hockey squad, a gymnastics team or boys and girls lacrosse programs.

Not only do the Explorers play these sports, they are state powerhouses in all of them every … single … year.

It’s truly remarkable to see just how well-rounded and exceptional these athletes are in the 44236 ZIP code.

Therefore, I’m looking forward to some very big things this coming winter.

Let’s start with the pool.

Both of Hudson’s boys and girls swimming and diving teams have been among the best in Ohio just about every year since Matt Davis became head coach in the mid 2000s.

The boys finished sixth last season and had their first state champion since Ross Palazzo ruled the Buckeye State in the mid 2010s.

Senior Jay Johnson captured a gold medal in the 100-yard freestyle and a silver in the 200 freestyle at the 2018 Division I state competition. Johnson plans to swim at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

The girls are getting closer and closer to winning a state championship. They placed third last winter and have plenty of big-time swimmers who are motivated to make some history.

Led by senior Maddie Hannan, who plans to swim at the University of Cincinnati, juniors Paige McCormick and Giovanna Cappabianca and sophomore Mackenzie DeWitt, the Explorers will be on everyone’s list as a legitimate contender to win the state title.

By the way, those four young ladies have dreams of individual greatness, too.

Not only are they contenders in their respective events, they also joined forces to lead the 200 medley relay team to a state runner-up finish last season.

The gymnasts just missed advancing to the state meet last winter. Nonetheless, that didn’t mean there were no blue and white colors at Hilliard Bradley High School.

Junior Julia Petty returns after being the Explorers’ lone state qualifier last winter.

There isn’t much this teenager can’t do when it comes to her craft.

She advanced to the ultimate stage in on the uneven parallel bars, the balance beam and in the all-around competition.

On the mats, senior Michael Caniglia fell just a bit short of reaching the state meet last season.

He doesn’t plan to be denied this winter.

Caniglia leads the wrestling squad after finishing 31-13 at 170 pounds.

Despite losing its top two scorers, the ice hockey team finished a very respectable 14-12-3 the previous season.

I also want to give my best wishes to the boys and girls basketball and bowling teams as they look to rebound after struggling a bit in recent years.

The winter season kicks off with the ice hockey team making its 2018-19 debut against Strongsville Nov. 17 at Kent State University Ice Arena.

Good luck to all of the athletes. I’m looking forward to another great winter season.

Of course, as history shows, that has pretty much been the norm since yours truly moved to Northeast Ohio.

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, or @FrankAceto_RPC.