Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Multiple Opportunities to Participate at Hudson

I have been very excited about the success of our students so far this year, and we are only in the second quarter! We are so proud of our students and there is no doubt they have left an imprint on the 2015-2016 school year that will not easily be matched. As I said, we are not halfway through the school year and we have so much to celebrate already. I can't wait to see what these youngsters are able to accomplish next!

Winkies on the march in the lair of the
Wicked Witch of the West
For starters, how about that musical? In my opinion, there is no activity in a high school that brings so many people and departments together for what is undoubtedly the ultimate project based authentic learning experience! If you didn't get a chance to see this amazing show then you sure missed out! I took my grand daughter Allie Louise on opening night and she was absolutely enthralled! Her highlight was the special effects, and of course she thought the Wicked Witch of the West was awesome. A big 'Wizard of Oz' fan, Allie dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween last year so, as an expert in this show she was blown away! I couldn't agree more! I was also very happy to see the large number of students participating that have never participated before. From athletes to musicians and everyone in between; it was great! Please remember that no matter what your role, the show would not have been the same without you. Bravo to the cast and crew of 'The Wizard of Oz'!

The talent on display during our musical was very apparent! These musicians have been very busy with numerous other activities, including putting on a fall concert, and finishing preparations for the show choir competition season that will begin soon. Let's not forget that jazz band is also right around the corner! But, on top off all these music events, many of our students took on the additional challenge of auditioning for the prestigious All-State choir and band. Being selected as an all-state musician is one of the most challenging endeavors a high school musician can accomplish. All-State selection is not based on class, in other words there are not quotas for a certain number of students from each size of school. This means that our students were competing against all schools in our geographic location. This year, we had four students who were selected for the Iowa All-State Chorus, I couldn't even tell you the last time that happened!

Football team in action in Sigourney on October 28,
 winning first playoff victory since 1994.
In spite of this enormous time demand, these students found time to participate in the musical. Of course, these weren't the only students who found time to squeeze in rehearsals while participating in other activities this fall. And at the same time reaching milestones in their own right! How about that football team? I'm not sure about you, but I had a lot of fun watching these student athletes compete this season! They kept right on winning week after week, ultimately leading Hudson to an 8-3 season overall. There were a lot of what I would call 'nail-biters'. One moment that I think was probably most thrilling was the decision to go for 2 at the end of the game against Sumner-Fredricksburg. Instead of kicking the extra-point to tie the game and send it into overtime, we just decided to win it right there! Yet, I am sure the highlight of the year was our teams first playoff win since the state championship season in 1994.

Our volleyball team was very entertaining to watch as well. I don't know about you, but the speed and power some of these athletes have is utterly astounding. I for one would not like to be on the receiving end of some of these serves, or worse yet, trying to defend one of the powerful spikes that was delivered by one of these ladies! The team had a great season, earning a bye in the first round of the tournament before being matched up with perennial power Dike-New Hartford. DNH always proves to be a tough opponent for us, but our team played with a lot of spirit. I thought for sure they would be able to steal one from this match up. An exciting game, we came up a little short. But they made us so proud!

Volleyball team in tournament action at
Dike-New Hartford, October 27
How about that cross country team? They sure were inspiring in competition this season! Our boys team did awesome, qualifying for the state meet in Fort Dodge and ultimately finishing in sixth place overall! I'll tell you what, those guys are fast! I am quite confident that I would not be able to keep up with them! But let's not forget about that girls team. While they didn't qualify as a team, we had three girls who qualified as individuals for the meet. It just happened to work well into my schedule to attend the regional final meet up in Cedar Falls, and as we were watching the runners from the distance, we realized that we had a runner in the lead. When they made the second loop, we could see that our runner had extended her lead. I was so excited to see Grace win that race, finishing a full 26 seconds in front of her nearest competitor!

Boys Cross Country Team following a 6th place
finish at the State Cross Country Meet.
Hopefully you can all agree that we had a great fall season of student activities at Hudson. From music to athletics, our students shined in everything they did. One of the best parts for me is that I was able to see many of these students participating in multiple activities. While they may have been a member of the volleyball team, they also participated in the musical. Students who played in the band also found time to participate on the football team. The athletes who are in chorus also ran cross country. And the best of all--these students were there to support one another in whatever it was they chose to do. Yes, one of the best parts of a small school, of Hudson High School, is the ability for our students to participate, and I mean REALLY participate! They don't have to choose one activity--they can choose many. And they will find success in a vast array of options.

So here's to the fall! We now can look forward with eager anticipation to the winter season and the multitude of student activities that will now take center stage. I wonder, how many all conference basketball players will we have that are in the band? How many members of the chorus might qualify for the state wrestling tournament? I can't wait to find out!

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