Hudson tennis and golf heads to state in historic fashion

HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - History has been made for Hudson High School athletics as their tennis team has qualified to compete at state for the first time in school history, but that's not all.

The Hornets are also sending another athlete to state, and he is the first individual male golfer in school history to make the trip.

"It's unbelievable, and to have 3 state qualifiers for us is great," said head tennis coach Carla Ladner. "It's a dream come true not only to have Jeffery and Kristina going to state, but to have Kristen my daughter there is a blessing. It's a great honor."

Ladner will be coaching her daughter Kristen Ladner, who will play doubles with partner Jeffery Rollins. Kristen and Rollins have a history together that goes beyond the court.

"We've been friends since about 4th grade. Our moms work together and we became friends," said Kristen. "We've been like brother and sister ever since. That off court chemistry came on the court, and it brings a lot to our playing."

"We play really well together and a lot of the time in mixed doubles the girls one of the weaker players, but a lot of the time she's one of the stronger ones," said Rollins.

Kristina Johnson will also head to state as a freshmen to play in singles.

"When she walked onto the court when she was in 4th grade, I knew then she was going to be an excellent athlete," said Coach Ladner.

"I didn't really know what it was going to be like getting into high school tennis. I always drove by the signs on the road and I knew I wanted my name on one, but I didn't think I would get my name on one as a freshmen," said Johnson.

Tennis won't leave alone. Hudson is sending Mason Busbee, the first individual male golfer to reach the state tournament.

"It's exciting and it is surreal because it's been a goal of mine for a long time," said Busbee. "I've dreamed about it, and it's really fulfilling to be able to go."

Making school history and taking the journey to state is no surprise to his coach.

"I knew from seeing him his freshmen year and then by him putting in the practice and the dedication that it does take to become the golfer that he is, I knew he would be that type of person," said head golf coach Lesa Cockrell.

Although the Hornets will have to leave East Texas to compete at state, they say they will feel the spirit of their community with them along the way.

"I'm ready to be there with the best teams in the state," said Rollins.

"I feel like I can compete. I feel like I've been playing better since regionals, and I feel like I will do well at state," said Busbee. "I feel good about it."

The tennis state tournament will be hosted at Texas A&M University. That starts on Monday and the semifinal and final matches will be Tuesday.

As for the golf state tournament, that will be hosted at Wolfdancer Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas. They also will start Monday and will carry onto Tuesday.

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