Henry Hudson Softball Aims to Send Coach out on Top By John Sorce

HIGHLANDS – Being somewhat of a smaller school, Henry Hudson does not get as much attention as some other programs. But that should not be the case, as the Admirals softball team has been one of the top teams in the Shore Conference this season.

Henry Hudson finished the regular season with an 18-3 record and 12-2 in B Central, finishing second in the division. Their only losses were to Southern, Keyport and Point Beach. The team earned the top seed in the Central Jersey, Group 1 Tournament.

Senior Emma Curry is the best player on the team, and the best player the program has ever had. She is having one of the best seasons of any player in the state, hitting an astounding .652 and leads the team with 45 hits, 46 runs, 48 RBI, and 13 home runs. She is a four-year varsity starter at catcher, and is hitting over .560 with 30 home runs in her career.

She will continue her athletic and academic career at the University of Hartford in the fall.

“She’s having a great year and I mean just through the stats throughout the state, she’s one of the top three hitters in the state right now,” said head coach Vincent Whitehead. “She has over 150 hits, 30 home runs, over 100 runs and RBI in her career. She’s the best numbers kids ever at Hudson. As far as we know, she holds all the records. She’s definitely the offensive leader.”

Kamryn Hubeny is the ace for the Admirals, picking all 19 wins for the team this year. The senior is 19-3 and has struck out 94 batters over 102 innings this season. She has also been a force at the plate, hitting over .600 and leading the team with 12 doubles.

Henry Hudson has 14 players on its varsity roster this season, and six of them are seniors. In addition to Curry and Hubeny, Julia Forsyth, Melissa Olson, Maddie Reynolds, and Sophia Shea. Whitehead mentioned having a large senior class has been good for them.

“It’s great because you have seen them perform in the past in those pressure situations,” Whitehead said. “We’ve won the division in the past a few times. This group when they were freshman made it to the Group 1 state finals. They’ve had some great experience over their four years, so I’m hoping that helps them with the pressure of the states.”

While there has been a lot of veteran leadership on the team, the Admirals also have a good number of underclassmen making an impact this season. Emma’s sister Alyssa, who is a sophomore, is hitting over .450 with 33 hits, 29 RBI and 28 runs. Sophomore Zoey Hagan is hitting over .440 with 26 hits, 27 RBI and 31 runs. Freshman Shannon Forbes is hitting over .550 with 38 hits, 31 RBI, 23 runs, and four home runs.

“We have a middle school program and we see these kids play in middle school, so we have an idea of some of the better players that are coming up and where they’re going to be filling in,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead also wanted to recognize his assistant, Ryan Patrick, who in his mind, should be the next head coach.

This is Whitehead’s second season as head coach of the softball team, but he has been a teacher and involved with athletics at the school for 44 years. He is retiring at the end of the season, and he and his girls hope they can send him out on top.

“This group wants to get back to Kean University because as freshman, they played there and they haven’t been back since,” Whitehead said. “That is the goal for everybody this year because there is no next year for six of them and there will be a whole next coaching staff. This is the last hurrah for a lot of the kids, including myself, so we’re trying to go as far as we can.”

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