Authors Posts by Siobhan Richards

Siobhan Richards


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The Hawks walk in arm in arm for their last game of the season against the Marlborough Panthers. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

The Hawks played in the annual Thanksgiving Day game against longtime rival Marlborough High School, on Thursday, November 23. Despite being tied 6-6 at halftime, the Hawks lost to the Panthers 27-12.

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The Drama Society performs The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

The Drama Society gave their last performance of the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on November 21.  Over the four performances, 594 people attended the show.

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Dance Team Joins Athletic Community as a Varsity Sport

Members of the dance team perform at halftime during the senior night game. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

Not many athletes have to fight for their team every year, but for members of the dance team, that has been their reality. Dance team has officially become a recognized varsity sport this year, after pursuing the issue for four years.

After getting approval from school committee and enduring the three year probation process, current seniors Aly Haley and Hannah Farrell now lead the team they’ve pushed for since their eighth grade year.

“The girls have worked really hard the last four years, and it’s just so great that they can take something that they do after school, at night, almost every single day of the week for years, and they now get to show that to their peers. Dance is a sport. They are athletes who work extremely hard, and they now have the opportunity to show it. It’s great,” coach Kelly Haley said.

As a varsity sport they now have funding from the school and have access to any resources provided for the other recognized sports. Aside from the financials, the team is now able to have a senior night, but most importantly a varsity letter.

“This year we’ll get physical varsity letters, which is silly I know, but every other sport gets them. We work just as hard. It’s nice to get the recognition,” Farrell said.

Another improvement is the ability to have a full time choreographer to practice with them every day. In past years they would only have limited time with a choreographer, sometimes only an hour a week, due to budgetary restrictions.  

“So it’s like if you went to soccer or football practice, and your captains had to run every practice except once a week when your coach was able to be there, but for a very limited time,” Farrell said. “Now that we’re a recognized sport, we have a choreographer coming in every day working with us for the entire practice.”

Previously, this left the captains to block their own numbers, spending hours doing what professionals should rather than learning the dance themselves.  

“[Before] it felt like I was the choreographer and not the dancer. Having to do both and run practice was hard to balance because I couldn’t see what I was messing up or what I needed to work on because I was watching the dance,” Haley said.

Even without the support of a choreographer on a daily basis, the team still performed at competitions. The rigor and intensity of the dance had to be there to place against other varsity dance teams.

“It was really annoying before especially because when we compete at competitions, we’re competing as a varsity team,” Aly Haley said. “At that level, the other teams have 30-50 girls and a full time choreographer.”

The dance team faces 12 other recognized varsity dance teams, including Newton North and South, Framingham, Plymouth, and Needham. Though the other schools are all larger, the team has still been competitive in past years, placing first at an invitational competition, and second at the regional competition last year.

The dance team has become an important part of the HHS community, which joined the dance team in the varsity sport flashmob at the Homecoming Rally.

“I think to other people being a recognized sport is kind of old hat, and people don’t realize how much it truly matters to be a varsity sport,” Farrell said. “Since we know what it’s like not to be a sport, to now be recognized as one, it’s a really big deal.”

The Hawks shake hands with Westwood, after losing 3-2 in their playoff game. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

Volleyball played in their first playoff game since 2013 on Thursday. After a back and forth game, the Westwood Wolverines won the game, 3-2. The Hawks finished their season, 9-9.


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Signs posted along the walk guiding participants through the race depict Michaella throughout her life. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

The Miles and Smiles for Michaella event in memory of Michaella Walsh Libby was held at the Morgan Bowl on October 21. Libby was a member of the HHS class of 2010, and she attended the University of Maryland before her passing in 2012.  

Her parents, Marty and Erin (Walsh) Libby; younger brothers, Nick and Ben Libby; as well as friends and family join together each year to put on the event. This year the Michaella Walsh Libby Foundation became an official non-profit charity, and it has added a third scholarship.

To raise money for the foundation each year there is a 5k walk around Hudson, as well as events such as the high heel dash. In addition, there are small raffles donated by family, friends and local businesses, and a larger raffle to win a trip to Tuscany, Italy. 

They give scholarships each year. One goes to a HHS senior who is dedicated to serving the community and is going into the field of public health, just as Michaella was. This year’s recipient was Cara Sullivan who is interested in the public health field at the University of New Hampshire. The second scholarship goes to a student at the University of Maryland, who is also an AOII sorority sister. This year a third scholarship will go to three children in Honduras to attend bilingual schools as part of a joint effort with the Students helping Honduras foundation.

As a Hudson High School student, Michaella participated in cheerleading, gymnastics, and track and field. Each year the current cheerleaders help run the event. They provide balloons and sharpies for the balloon release. Each person has a balloon and may write a message to their loved ones who have also passed away.

The foundation continues to grow each year, keeping not only Michaella’s memory alive, but her passion for helping others.

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The Hawks appear frustrated after Assabet recovers another fumble. | by Siobhan Richards

by Siobhan Richards

On Friday, September 8, the football team opened their season under the lights against longtime rival Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. They were the first team to play on the new Assabet Field, but lost to the Aztecs 42-14.

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Matt Burke shown on the field holding a football during the Dolphins game against the Steelers. | Submitted photo by Peter McMahon (Miami Dolphins)

by Siobhan Richards

For New Englanders, the football season was a time to root for the Patriots, especially when the Patriots played one of their AFC rivals, the Miami Dolphins, in Week 17 last year. In that game, however, Hudson football fans had to root for both teams.

Matt Burke, an HHS graduate and football captain from the Class of 1994, has climbed through the ranks of both collegiate and professional football to become the current defensive coordinator for the Dolphins.

Burke played football for most of his high school career as a safety and at quarterback his senior year. Burke also excelled in the classroom. He was the Class of 94’s valedictorian.

“That’s [Hudson] where it really started. I played other sports [basketball, baseball, and track],” Burke said, “but when I went to college, I knew football was the sport I was most passionate about.”  

Burke attended Dartmouth, where he played safety, and he was a part of an undefeated Ivy League championship team in 1996. At the time, coaching had not crossed his mind as a possible career.

“I took kind of a convoluted path to coaching,” Burke said. “When I left Hudson, I went to Dartmouth, and I kind of thought I was going to be a doctor or something. When I was in college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved football.”

Burke began his coaching career at Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine. From there, he worked as a graduate assistant coach at Boston College, where he received his masters degree. There, he also realized his passion for coaching and was determined to make a career out of it.

“Over the course of my time at BC, I was like, ‘All right, this is what I want to do.’ I don’t know if I ever really made a conscious effort to coach, but it just kept happening, and at some point I looked up and said, ‘Man, I want to make a career out of this,’” Burke said.

As he continued to coach, more opportunities opened up. While working as the assistant secondary coach at Harvard, his big break came.

“You never know when your break is going to come or when opportunity is going to rise, so you can’t really plan for it. But I told myself, ‘I’m going to work hard and be a good coach, and whomever I was working with would hopefully recognize that when a break did come,'” Burke said. “I told myself that I was going to coach as hard as I can and be as good as I can and let the breaks happen when they may. I just happened to get very lucky.”

Burke’s hard work paid off when Harvard recommended him for a coaching position at the Tennessee Titans. They hired him as the defense quality control coach, beginning his NFL career.

He moved around to three different teams, slowly moving up in the ranks to linebacker coach. This past January, he was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Dolphins.

As the linebacker coach, he worked closely with parts of the defense and, specifically, with linebacker Mike Hull.

Hull spoke highly of his coach, saying, “He’s a very intelligent coach. He knows everything about the defense, and he’s going to give you straight answers so you know what your job is.”

Burke can find the specific strengths in each player and highlight them on the field. Under Burke, Hull had a breakout season, more than tripling his tackles, with 18 tackles in 16 games.

“[Burke] lets you be a football player and really lets you thrive in whatever your niche is or whatever type of player you are. He doesn’t try to make you too mechanical and really works with you,” Hull said about Burke’s coaching style. “I love working for him. I think I speak for every linebacker in the room. He’s a great coach.”

Some of Burke’s coaching success can be traced back to his time at Hudson under former football coach Victor Rimkus.

“I definitely experienced a lot there [at HHS],” Burke said. “Looking back I ended up experiencing a lot of different things in my early football career, and it was a good foundation of experiences of both highs and lows.”

His relationship with his former coach and teacher has stayed strong throughout the years. The two have met up on occasion when Burke is in town, and Rimkus even went to see some of his games in college. He still recalls much of his time with Burke in high school, even though Rimkus retired after Burke’s junior year.

“I coached him 25 years ago, but he always had a place in my heart. He was such a great student and athlete,” Rimkus said. “Matt was an outstanding student, an outstanding athlete for a tall spindly kid, and boy, he could really run.”

Rimkus has followed Burke’s career wherever he went, and as a former coach, is very impressed by his career path.

“Well I’d like to think I did [inspire him to become a coach],” Rimkus said with a chuckle. “During the years I have always watched for him on the sidelines, until his father told me he’s always up in the press box. He’s so intuitive and really knows the game. I hope they have a great season down in Miami, and he’s got a lot of work to do down there on defense.”

Burke has been working with the team throughout the offseason and addressed some of his ideas for the season at a press conference in May.

“I could see all kinds of success stories from Matt Burke. He’s going up, and I wouldn’t be surprised some day if he becomes a head coach in the NFL,” Rimkus said. “I think someday you might even be reading about him as a head coach tangling with the Patriots.” 

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Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencial pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.

by Siobhan Richards

As the prom season comes to a close, HHS teachers reflect on their prom memories throughout the years.


Media teacher Lynda Chilton at her prom at Burncoat High School, Worcester, MA.
Media teacher Lynda Chilton at her prom at Burncoat High School, Worcester, MA.
“Our theme song was “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. My date’s friend drove, and we broke down on the way there. We walked to the gas station to call from a pay phone. My sister came and picked us up, and my date was crabby and made fun of her car. She never let me forget that. “


Social Studies teacher Caitlin Murphy at her Senior Prom at Conval Highschool Peterborough, NH
Social Studies teacher Caitlin Murphy at her Senior Prom at Conval High School Peterborough, NH
“One interesting thing about my prom is that my date was so tall I had to stand on a stone wall when we had pictures taken.”


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“It was an overpriced night in Boston filled with food, fun, friends,  and I remember feeling awkward while taking this picture because I am so short and my date was so tall. We had to do a couple takes. LOL”

Guidance Counselor Karen Botcheller at her junior prom at Lake Zurich High School in Lake Zurich, IL.
Guidance Counselor Karen Botcheller at her junior prom at Lake Zurich High School in Lake Zurich, IL.
“I was the only one at my junior prom in a bright color! Pastel colors and black/dark blue dresses were popular in the late 90s, but purple prom dresses were rare at my school. I’m glad I took a risk and wore something that stood out. (Thanks to my mom for encouraging me to try this one on!) Our after prom party was an Odyssey Cruise in Chicago’s Lake Michigan, but it rained so hard that night that the boat never left the dock. Also, fun fact: My junior prom date styled his hair with Elmer’s Glue and it was usually standing straight up like Guy Fieri’s hair.”

Social Studies teacher Pamela Porter at her junior prom at Hudson High School.
Social Studies teacher Pamela Porter with her date at her junior prom at Hudson High School.
“My aunt, mom, and I made my dress. Puffy dresses were all the rave that year! I went with my high school boyfriend and friends. I was on Prom committee and remember our theme was “Once Upon A Dream,’ and our class song was ‘The Promise’ by Tracy Chapman. We danced and laughed all night.”

Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencial pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
Media teachers Dan Donahue and Cam Ciesluk, along with friends Jesse Tolan and TJ Provencal pose at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
“I remember Cam Ciesluk owned the dance floor that evening. It was as if everyone stopped and stared whenever he took to the floor. He was as graceful as Michael Jackson. He kicked and leapt through the air like Michael Flatley. He was the 2009 Prom.”
Teachers Cam Ciesluk and Arianna Silva at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
Teachers Cam Ciesluk and Arianna Silva at their junior prom at Hudson High School.
“This was a special night. It was our first date.”
Now eight years later, Ciesluk and Silva were chaperones at the 2017 junior prom, where Ciesluk proposed to her at the same place they had their first date.

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by Siobhan Richards

Hudson track and field had their first home meet against Quabbin on Thursday, April 27. The girls team pulled out a close win of 77-68, however the boys team fell to Quabbin 100-45.



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by Siobhan Richards

Despite being tied at the half, the Hawks fell to Bromfield 41-34 on their senior night game, February 16. Senior Nadia Doherty was the top scorer of the night with 10 points. Their final record was 3-17.