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St. Anthony's Hudson introduces himself at CHSAA championships

St. Anthony's Jamel Hudson, top, pins Mike Jones

St. Anthony's Jamel Hudson, top, pins Mike Jones of Chaminade in the 130 LB. weight class during the New York State CHSAA Wrestling semi-finals at St. Anthony's High School. (February 14, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by KEVIN P. COUGHLIN

Jamel Hudson saw the story in the newspaper Sunday. The one about his St. Anthony's teammates and defending Catholic state champs Chris Brienza, Grant Greene and Jimmy Morris being labeled the "Triple Threat."

Hudson said the group is missing someone: himself. "How about the Quadruple Threat?" the outgoing St. Anthony's sophomore said after winning by first-period pin in the quarterfinals of Sunday's CHSAA state tournament, held at the Friars indoor athletic complex. "I like the way that sounds."

It probably hasn't been said because Hudson's and up-and-coming 130-pounder who only became eligible to wrestle for St. Anthony's just over two weeks ago. But he's impressed those close to him in a short amount of time.

So much so that when Monday's championship matches are decided, the Friars coaching staff and Hudson's teammates wouldn't be shocked if he wins his own state title.

Brienza, a senior 103-pounder, has two Catholic titles and juniors Greene (119) and Morris (112) have one. They breezed through Sunday and are favored to claim titles again this afternoon.

Less expected was a potential title-run for Hudson, who transferred from Bay Shore in October but had to sit out until Jan. 29 because of St. Anthony's transfer rules. Friars coach Tony Walters called Hudson "our secret weapon."

Since becoming eligible, he competed in junior varsity and varsity matches to get the six required bouts to qualify for last weekend's Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA tournament, which he won at his weight.

After a first-round bye Sunday, Hudson pinned Chaminade's Mike Jones in 1:58 in the quarterfinals; he'll face Chaminade's Mike Rizzo in the semis.

"He's the real deal," Walters said. " . . . Should he get through the semis, he could meet the No. 1 seed in the final. But I see him winning."

The potential final matchup is with top-seeded Joe Francolino of Monsignor Farrell (Staten Island), a team the Friars consider their stiffest competition. Don't tell Hudson that, though. "St. Anthony's is here to take it all," he said. "Nothing's stopping us. Friars all day."

Sixteen St. Anthony's grapplers made the semis, which begin at 9 a.m. Monday. Finals are at 2 p.m. They are: Nick Ronan (96), Tom Scurti (130) Aaron Spector (135), Paul Kelly (140), Mike Fodera (152), Brandon Meisner (160), Paul Alessandrini (189), Rob Sweitzer (189) Jason Sullivan (215), Brian Rhodes (215) and Jonathon Desir (285). After Day 1, St. Anthony's led with 111 points over Chaminade (96.5) and Farrell (91).

But the buzz was about Hudson, whose friendly personality has quickly endeared him to teammates. "He just got unleashed," Greene said. "Everyone is talking about him around here. That is the first time a lot of people have seen him."

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