WARRENSBURG — The Warrensburg tennis has been hard at work this offseason in preparation for 2018.

“It shows me that they are really caring about their tennis and the effort they are putting into tennis,” Warrensburg coach Scott Maple said.

He said his team has put in lots of hours on the court after finishing last season 7-4.

“Several of them just got out, often,” Maple said. “I would drive by the tennis courts and it would be the same few people that were out there all the time and at the least very least, being out on the tennis courts helps you get better.”

“It made a lot of us more consistent and it made us more confident to use our shots in the matches so that hopefully we can do that against other teams and win,” junior Sungwon Cho said.

Cho played in the top spot for Warrensburg last season as a sophomore.

He said he learned a lot about his game playing at such a high level.

“Tennis is mostly a mental game, so you have to put that in mind and know that you are not going to win every point, you just have to play one point at a time,” Cho said.

Maple said the offseason work coupled with the experience gained last season has the Tigers feeling confident for this year.

“I think we have some experience, finally, this year,” he said. “I think in the last couple years I have said we are a young team and if we are not young in age, we are young in tennis development. I think we are starting to get enough hits under our belts that hopefully that translates to experience and if we are in pressure situations we can rely on that to play smart tennis and get the victories.”

Warrensburg returns a core group of regular varsity players from last season’s squad.

“We have more players this year that have more experience this year and that has translated to moving quicker into the process and we get to do more live-ball drills,” Maple said.

The team is without Jesse Colhous, who played in the six spot and graduated, as well as Kaden Powers and Cade Conley.

Cade Conley held the five spot for Warrensburg in 2017 but will focus on his track and field career in his senior season.

“He was a really strong number five for us last year and he will be missed,” Maple said.

Cho, Kaden Powers, Josh Terrell, Corey Conley, Cade Conley and Jesse Colhour were the main six varsity guys for Warrensburg last season.

Brock Hepler and Josh Banks also played in varsity matches last season.

Hepler played a majority of his matches in the doubles competition.

Maple said seniors Banks, Ethan Crook, Terrell; juniors Cho, Hepler, Jacob Christopher; sophomore Corey Conley and freshman Colvin Hoskins will compete for varsity spots this season.

“I am pretty sure they will catch on fine because they have a lot of talent in them,” Cho said of the newer players to the varsity squad.

Warrensburg opens its season at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at Truman.

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