First-year S-C tennis coach seeks winning record


Smith-Cotton tennis, led by new coach Rush Walters, open their season Monday

By Randi Ulmer - Smith-Cotton High School



Matthew Tilley returns a volley during drills at a recent practice.


Smith-Cotton boys tennis team members hold out their racquets as they squat to build up their leg muscles at the start of a recent practice at Liberty Park. New head coach Rush Walters has put a priority on conditioning as the team prepares for the upcoming season.


Smith-Cotton tennis, led by new coach Rush Walters, open their season Monday

By Randi Ulmer

Smith-Cotton High School

Matthew Tilley returns a volley during drills at a recent practice.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_BTEN.Practice1.jpgMatthew Tilley returns a volley during drills at a recent practice.

Smith-Cotton boys tennis team members hold out their racquets as they squat to build up their leg muscles at the start of a recent practice at Liberty Park. New head coach Rush Walters has put a priority on conditioning as the team prepares for the upcoming season.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_BTEN.Practice2.jpgSmith-Cotton boys tennis team members hold out their racquets as they squat to build up their leg muscles at the start of a recent practice at Liberty Park. New head coach Rush Walters has put a priority on conditioning as the team prepares for the upcoming season.

The Smith-Cotton boy’s tennis team is ready for a new season with a new coach.

Rush Walters, Smith-Cotton industrial technology teacher, is coaching the team this year. He’s a former Smith-Cotton tennis player who always wanted to coach if the opportunity became available.

This is Walters’ first year of coaching and teaching. He said it can be overwhelming, but tries to plan ahead to make sure everything gets done.

Walters said the S-C boys tennis team hasn’t had a winning season in a while, so the goal is to have a winning record as a team and beat some teams he believes they should have beaten last year.

“The season looks great,” he said. “We have a pretty solid varsity and junior varsity team.”

Junior Matthew Tilley likes the team’s fresh start. The team is working together at practices to show Walters what they have done in the past, but they also are learning new things.

“As a coach, he knows how to push us to our breaking point without making us break,” Tilley said.

David Cho, a sophomore, said Walters is working hard with the team to get them prepared for the season.

“I think we’ll actually win this year because Walters works harder on us with a lot of conditioning, and pushes us to our limits,” Cho said.

Tilley believes the varsity team should have a better season this year based on its experience. He thinks the JV team also will be successful. It’s made up of new teammates, but he believes they have the potential to become great.

Tilley also believes the Tigers will have an advantage over other schools because of how much they have been conditioning. Conditioning will benefit them in many ways, such as developing muscular strength and endurance.

“I think Coach Walters has shocked almost all of the team with how much we condition in practice,” Tilley said.

Walters said that the team works well together and he believes it will be a good season. There are many new faces and a lot to learn. Walters said they need to take every practice seriously.

“My expectations this year are for them to work hard mostly, and to realize you have to work hard every day to win,” said Walters, “but I think working hard is more important than winning, and to reach your goals.”

The team’s first match will be March 21 at Knob Noster.

Randi Ulmer is a Smith-Cotton High School student.

Sedalia Democrat

Randi Ulmer is a Smith-Cotton High School student.

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