The Waynesville tennis team had a tough start to their spring season tonight with a 0-9 loss to the Jefferson City Jays. With a rainout on Monday, the Tigers were forced to begin their season with the Jays. They knew going into this match that tonight would be a learning experience.
Waynesville walked into each match knowing how tough they were and the boys tried to walk off each court having learned something about the game. With a total of 25 Tigers on the team this season has had a hectic start. Last year we had 15 boys and there are 25 this season.
Head Coach Kayla Wilson said this about the new team members, “That means we have a lot of new faces to the sport and with that comes excitement. It’s exciting to see so many boys seek interest in such an uncommon sport. It’s exciting to see such a bright future for this program. However, we only have 14 days to prepare so many beginners for the first match. Fortunately, the Tigers are always up for the challenge.”
Thompson said this about the results, “We knew tonight wouldn’t give us the best assessment of where we are as a team. Despite a 2nd place finish in Districts last year, we still lost 0-9 to Jeff City at the start of the season last year. That is not uncommon. They’re just a different caliper team. Thankfully, our eyes are now open to what we’re up against and how hard we must work to have a successful season. Now, we must take that vision and use it in our advantage.”
Starting with doubles tonight, they took quick losses on all courts. Coach Thompson was, however, impressed to see sophomore Shawn Berrios step up to varsity level this year and take over his brother’s former position on the number one on the court court.
Thompson said, “He playing junior varsity last season,and Shawn moved all the way up to the number one doubles seed and handled the position well. This kid is an athlete and has made great strides in his tennis game in the off-season. He is a multiple-sport athlete, Shawn also plays basketball for the Tigers. He loves tennis, and he brings a smile and awesome attitude to the court every day. Unfortunately, Shawn faced quite the obstacle tonight in singles when he rolled his ankle, forcing a forfeiture of the match. Out with an ankle sprain most of basketball season, Shawn was hoping to finish tennis season injury-free. This injury didn’t take away his smile, however, as we cheered on his team the rest of the match. Hopefully, he’ll be back on court soon.”
Thompson also said this about Martell on his match, “Senior Cameron Martell had a great singles match tonight, dropping only 5-8 to his opponent. This was a very close match, taking the Jay to deuce nearly every game. Cameron has come so far in his game since freshman year. He’s a smart player. Martell coming this close to Jeff City this early in the season gave him hope for the rest of his season.”
The Tigers will finish up their week as they took on the Rolla Bulldogs Thursday night at home.
David Sneed JC vs. Karsten Mcmillan, 1-8
Tyler Gayman JC vs. Josh Wilde, 0-8
Cameron Martell JC vs. Atul Krishnadas, 5-8
Shawn Berrios JC vs. Tanner Haugen, FF (Inj.)
Caleb Andrews JC vs. Alec Krumm, 4-8
Andrew Esguerra JC vs. Tarun Bathini, 2-8
Sneed/Berrios JC vs. Mcmillan/Haugen, 2-8
Gayman/Martell JC vs. Wilde/Krishnadas, 0-8
Andrews/Esguerra JC vs. Krumm/Bathini, 0-8
The Waynesville Tiger Boy's golf season began Wednesday March 21st as the Tigers traveled to Lebanon for a tri match with Lebanon and Osage. The match was a reschedule from Monday's rainout. The weather was sunny and cool and the course in fair shape for the middle of March.
The Yellowjackets came out on top in the varsity match with a 157. Osage scored 167 and the Tigers matched last season's team total of 212. In the Junior Varsity match Osage scored a 203, while Lebanon 219 and Waynesville 255 as team. Cooper Hess from Lebanon was the medalist with a low score of 1 under par 35.
The Tigers are very young this season with no seniors on the team. The Tigers are being led this year by Juniors Ben Pollman and Max Reyes. We have a highly motivated group of freshman and sophomores who make up the nucleus of the team.
Head Waynesville Golf Coach Rube Dowell said this about some of his players, “Two standouts that have impressed early this season are Sophomore Aaron Choi and Freshman Ben Whitten. Both have been playing for at least a year have shown signs of being able to get their games in shape to compete at our district tournament.”
Choi led the Tigers tonight with a team low score of 46, followed by Whitten's 53, AJ Cabanes 55, Max Reyes 58, and Ben Bibb 61.
Dowell said, “Aaron practiced well on Tuesday as he worked out a few swing issues and played well tonight. He has vastly improved from a year ago as he has gotten much better with his short game. Whitten played number 1 as a freshman and did well for his first experience with Spring golf in Missouri. After tonight's match I feel he has learned a lot about playing with thin lies, fairways that run out, and how to putt firm, but slow greens. This will make his practice time very valuable as he works on club selection, learning to bump and run a pitch shot, and managing the course. He wasn't personally happy with his round, but he realizes he will have growing pains with playing new courses and encountering many different varieties of fairways, rough, and greens over the next two months.” He also said, “I am very pleased with the progress of all the players tonight and this season. Their dedication and practice focus is the best I have had in 5 seasons. They want to get better, they want to compete, and they want to build a strong team for the future.”
The Tigers played at home thursday night at 4:00 pm vs Jefferson City and Rolla at Piney Valley Golf Center on Fort Leonard Wood.