Rock Bridge's Ford Zitsch has State and National Recognition on his Mind

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COLUMBIA - With one swing of the racket you can see the talent in Ford Zitsch's game.

"You know I think Ford, he's the best player that's ever played here at Rock Bridge High School, I think he's the best player that's ever played high school tennis in Columbia," said Rock Bridge Tennis Coach Ben Loeb.

A great player who hits the court hard and fast, Zitsch goes all out.

"I play kind of...kind of crazy, I guess I play a little crazy. Going for shots that I probably shouldn't go for but who knows. If you don't go for it then there's no risk and no reward," said Junior Ford Zitsch.

The style may be inconsistent but the game is consistent, Zitsch has gained a solid national ranking.

"Right now not as highly as I would like to be. Well on tennis recruiting I'm around 150, but I'd like to get into the top 100 by the end of the summer," said Zitsch.

A ranking Ford has earned through his hard work off the court.

"The actual match just shows how hard you've actually been working. You know I would say my time on the court, compared to people from Kansas City, my time on the court is less, so I have to work harder than they do," said Zitsch.

Ford says all the practice will lead to his next accomplishment, an individual state title. Last year Zitsch lead Rock Bridge to the team state title - a trophy he wants to retain.

"Individual-wise it would be falling short of my expectations for sure, if we didn't win state as a team it would kind of be a failure," said Zitsch.

Don't expect Ford to crack under pressure of his expectations, that's what attracted him to tennis.

"I like the individual sport a lot, you know everything falls on you. If you have a bad day in soccer you're team can still win. If you have a bad day in tennis you're probably not going to win, so I like the individuality of it."

This junior doesn't have plans to stop winning anytime soon.