was extraordinary in every way as he blitzed through the state’s best wrestlers last weekend en route to a championship.
The senior became just the fourth Catholic League athlete to ever win a state championship when he swept through the Division I 132-pound weight class with four dominating performances at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Hudson kicked off the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Tournament is record fashion, pinning his first opponent in 8 seconds, besting the previous meet record by 3 seconds.
He opened the finals Saturday evening by singing the national anthem before a packed arena and then took an 8-1 decision over Williamsville East’s Dylan Cohen to make history. Hudson was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“When I got on that mat – it was like a dream come true, a really great experience,” Hudson said Tuesday while showing off his state championship medallion.
Hudson, of Bay Shore, finished the season 37-1 and nationally ranked. His command performance generated immediate college interest, including phone calls from American University to Cal Poly. His wish list includes NYU and Hofstra.
"After he won the outstanding wrestler award at Catholic states, he asked, 'What's next?'" St. Anthony's Coach Tony Walters said. "I said, 'If you really want to do something big...win the outstanding wrestler award at states.' He looked at me and said, 'OK.' And then got the job done."
Hudson joins a select list of CHSAA champions: Chaminade’s Robert Murphy (1986) and a pair of Friars in Lucas Magnani (2000) and Grant Greene (2008), according to St. Anthony’s Athletic Director .
MSG Varsity’s Gregg Sarra crunched the numbers to put Hudson’s victory in perspective: “The CHSAA has sent 449 qualifiers in 31 years,” Sarra wrote. “The odds were not in Hudson's favor.”
“Whenever you have that ‘C’ on your back, you’re a target and everyone wants to push you away because you’re a Catholic school wrestler,” Hudson told Patch. “I didn’t let that faze me. I actually only got the third seed in this tournament. And I definitely thought I was the top dog there. It was a little upsetting. But we took the position we had, we worked from it and we went out there and won it.”
Hudson’s was far from easy. The three-time CHSAA state champ went 0-2 as a sophomore at the NYSPHSAA meet, placed fifth as a junior before his breakthrough performance over the weekend.
His semifinal match was epic: Hudson staved off previously-undefeated Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa) in an 8-7 win.
“Each year I learned a little bit more about myself,” said Hudson, who is known for his quick takedowns. “Senior year was my year. I peaked at the right time, trained hard, focused and got the job done.”