LIBERTY — Finishing the season with a 12-2 record, Liberty North Eagles tennis coach Art Smith said he’s proud of his young team that consisted of only one senior.
“I think we all as a team were really happy with our season. … We were pretty young and lost a pretty good group of players from last season who had been on the varsity squad for a couple years. We had some good kids and some good players coming out but knew they were kind of young,” he said.
In the final regular season match of the year, Liberty North swept Fort Osage 9-0. The Eagles improved to 11-1, finishing out the regular season having won nine straight matches. The Eagles lost the team district title to Liberty’s Blue Jays.
“I think for us to finish the season at 12-2 and have our only two loses to be to a really good Liberty team and to go 4-1 and 5-1 in conference play is good,” said Smith, adding his team remained consistent and focused throughout season.
“For a group of young kids to come in and hit their stride and find their stride pretty early in the season and to be able to stay with it consistently, it is really nice from a coach’s perspective,” he said. “We’re excited for next year already.”
Five of the varsity Eagles will return next season.
“Jack Brown was our No. 1 player. He is a sophomore. Graham Carter is our No. 2 player and he’s a freshman. Cole Hadley was our three player and he’s a junior and then Evan Langdon was our four player and he’s a junior. Our No. 6 player was Jed Anderson and he’s a sophomore and our five player was our senior, Levi Anderson,” said Smith. “They were all really coachable and invested in the process of getting better.”
For next year, Smith said he looks forward to continue to develop the team’s young talent.
“They were all pretty headstrong for the entire season and consistent about being focused on the right things. That’s all you want as a coach,” he said.