COLUMBIA -- Ford Zitsch is the top ranked high school tennis player in the state of Missouri. The Rock Bridge star once played for Columbia in the Little League World Series, and he is now a Nebraska signee.
He can serve as fast as many professionals at nearly 130 miles per hour, and his coach can only say good things about him.
"He has the power to dictate and have a first strike capability off his serve, off his ground strokes, and particularly his forehand, but even off his backhand, and most people are just going to be overmatched," Coach Ben Loeb said of Zitsch.
The senior has won back-to-back team state championships, but never an individual state title.
"Last year was the one that hurt," Zitsch said. "Played an awesome opening game in the final and ended up losing. I was devastated after that one."
The tennis star spent the fall in Kansas City, taking online classes and working with a tennis trainer. Zitsch says it would have been even better for his game had he stayed there this spring, but he came back to Rock Bridge for one last shot at an individual State title.
"I got 2 missions," Zitsch said. "Actually, 3 missions. One, the individual title, two, State team title and three, just to get better overall."
And no player has a better shot at doing all of that than Zitsch.