CHAGRIN FALLS TOWNSHIP — It’s not like he hasn’t done this before.
Brandon Schwind has led young men and women on both the high school and collegiate levels.
Still, the Hudson head boys lacrosse coach couldn’t help but be elated Friday evening.
That’s because Schwind is now a member of the Explorers’ exclusive winners club.
Hudson got its 2019 season off and running after cruising to a 9-3 victory over host Kenston at Kenston Bomber Stadium in Chagrin Falls Township.
Thanks to the Explorers’ dominant performance, Schwind earned his first career win as Hudson’s man in charge.
Schwind, who previously spent several years coaching in Michigan, became the Explorers head coach in September.
"It’s a dream come true," he said. "As corny as that sounds, it has been a dream of mine to coach at this school."
The Bombers scored the first goal of the evening just 40 seconds into the match when Kenston junior attackman Avery Bowen found the cage. Kenston added another goal nearly six minutes later to tie the match at two.
"First-game jitters," Schwind said. "Obviously, it showed. Credit to Kenston for putting them in early and often in the beginning."
The Bombers’ "early and often" surprise attack vanished after their first two goals. As a result, Hudson (1-0) dominated the rest of the way.
The Explorers won five of the first seven face-offs and scored four unanswered goals in the second quarter to take a 6-2 lead.
Hudson, which controlled the ball for much of the evening in the cold, rainy conditions, led by as many as seven (9-2) early in the fourth. Kenston (0-1) finally scored an insignificant goal with less than two minutes remaining in the match.
It was the Bombers’ first tally since the first period. If you do the math, that’s more than 28 minutes of match action.
"We shut them out for the next two quarters," Schwind said. "I’m really happy with our defensive effort.
"We had a good scouting report on them going in. We were able to watch their scrimmage against [Lakewood] St. Edward and we knew we had some match-ups that we wanted to exploit."
The Explorers’ talented offense did its part as well.
Seven different players found the cage as Hudson overwhelmed Kenston’s defense with its accurate passing and constant pressure.
Senior midfielder Merrick Widdoes and sophomore midfielder Adam Oscarson scored twice for the Explorers.
Senior midfielder Brady Ludewig scored once and contributed three assists and senior midfielder Blake Lori had one goal, two assists and scooped up four of Hudson’s 34 ground balls. Junior attackman Frankie Fulco finished with one goal and one assist for the Explorers.
Also finding the cage once apiece for Hudson were junior midfielder Dane DiGeronimo and freshman attackman Alec Dickens. The Explorers had a 39-18 advantage in shots. They also won seven of 16 faceoffs.
Schwind will certainly take the significant amount of bullets from his top guns. But the relatively low goal total was a bit bothersome for the first-year Hudson coach.
"We have a lot of work to do in terms of finishing the ball," Schwind said. "With the amount of shots we had on the cage, we have to come up with more than nine goals.
"We’re not nearly where we need to be. They ran a zone for 99 percent of the game. First time coming out playing against a zone defense, I thought we did decent."
Goalies Alex Movshin, a sophomore who played the first half, and Ben Hackenburg, a junior, combined for eight saves between the pipes for the Explorers.
Junior attackman Garrett Koenig and senior defenseman/long-stick midfielder Bennett Wenger also scored for the Bombers.
All in all, it was a good night for Hudson. And the stellar performance provided many fond memories for its first-year head coach.
"I love the guys on the team; I love the coaching staff," Schwind said. "Hopefully, it’s one of many."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.