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Polk County’s Sean Hudson leaps to gain possession of the ball during the second half of Monday’s match.

Sean Hudson scored a goal Monday night, which for a defender makes for a pretty good evening.

It wasn’t the best moment of the night for Hudson. Not by a long shot.

At halftime of Polk County’s 8-2 win over Mountain Heritage, the Wolverines’ eight seniors and family members moved to the center of W.J. Miller Field, part of the program’s Senior Night celebration.

They saved Hudson for last. His mother, Tracy Henson, is on active duty in the Navy, so his senior teammates and coaches Josh Trejo and Rogelio Najera ran back to the sideline, locked arms around Hudson and marched to midfield, arm in arm.

It still wasn’t the best moment of the night for Hudson. Not by a long shot.

Polk County Superintendent Aaron Greene asked the G.M. Tennant Stadium crowd to turn to the scoreboard, where a video from Henson played. She talked of her love for Hudson, her regret at missing his senior season, urged the Wolverines to make a run at a state title.

There wasn’t a rain cloud in the sky, yet a few shirtsleeves turned wet.

That, that was the best moment of the night for Hudson. By a long shot.

“I was not expecting my mom to show up on the scoreboard,” Hudson said. “But she did, and I did cry. That’s just the way it goes.”

Grayson Jones watches his final goal of the evening head for the corner of the net in Polk County’s 8-2 win.

There were seven other seniors honored, and each played a role in the first game for the Wolverines (18-2, 9-0) since they clinched the Western Highlands Conference championship. Grayson Jones had three goals and four assists, Isaac Edwards scored two goals, Hudson and Nicolas Lopez each scored once and junior Matias Akers added the other goal.

Mountain Heritage (5-7-1, 3-7) kept the game close for much of the first half, tying it at 1-1 in the 27th minute before Edwards, Akers and Jones each scored in a 10-minute span to make it 4-1 at intermission. The Cougars made it 4-2 early in the second half, but there was no way Polk County’s seniors were going to let this match slip away, not on Senior Night. Edwards scored seven minutes later to push the lead back to 5-2.

“This has been an emotional year for me,” Trejo admitted. “I’ve known some of these guys since I first started teaching when they were in the sixth grade. I’ve tried not to talk to them too much because I get emotional.

“They have done a great job leading on and off the field. They’re definitely a good part of the team and they have a place in my heart. They make us come together as a family.”

The family made certain it took care of all of its seniors. The Wolverines pushed Lopez, also a defender, up in the attack, and Jones gave him a chance to score, serving a cross in the 72nd minute that Lopez hit off the right post and into the net.

Jones added a goal of his own moments later, and then the focus became a goal for Hudson. As time ticked away, Polk County players yelled at each other to get the ball to Hudson, yelled at Hudson to get into position to score. It all finally came together in the final two minutes as Jones sent a perfect cross across the goal to Hudson at the back post, where he headed it into the net.

“It felt pretty good,” Hudson said. “It was thanks to Grayson Jones because he pretty much just set it up for me perfectly.”

Start to finish, it was a good night to be a Wolverine in G.M. Tennant Stadium. By a long shot.

“I’m just happy for them,” Trejo said. “At the end of the day we got a good result and everyone had a good time. Now I just want them to keep moving forward.”

Polk County players celebrate after Matias Akers, far left, scored in the first half of Polk County’s 8-2 victory.

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