The foundation for the future of Platte County’s program has been laid figuratively and literally.
With a new eight-court tennis complex nearly finished on campus, the Pirates will finally have a true home facility for the first time — possibly before the end of this season. They hope to open the new facility on the heels of the first Suburban Conference Blue Division title in program history last season.
“We’ve got courts in the works. I think that contributes to the mass of guys we have coming out (for the team),” said Platte County senior Spencer Kunz, the Pirates’ returning No. 1 singles player. “That’s always great because the more interest in the program, the harder kids are going to work, the more camaraderie your team’s going to have, the more cohesive your unit’s going to be.”
Long established as a competitive program, Platte County earned part of a three-way split of last year’s Blue Division crown with Kearney and Winnetonka. The championship marked another important first for a program still adjusting to the competition in Class 2. The Pirates finished 10-6 a year ago with a first round loss in Class 2 District 16 play against Kearney.
No singles player or doubles team has reached sectionals for Platte County since moving up.
Kunz reached the District 16 singles semifinals last year and finished fourth, while he will have a new doubles partner after the loss of Zack Regan, one of three seniors gone from a year ago. Andy Day, a three-year member of the lineup, and Josh Timmons were also top four players for the Pirates (10-6) a year ago.
That leaves the spots behind Kunz open with juniors Spencer Klopfer (No. 5) and Noah Singer (No.6) the only other returners from the top six. Brayden Percival, Burt Stinnett, Payton Anderson, Braden Rowe and Jack Lawver — all seniors — were next in the pecking order in 2016 followed by junior Porter Curtis.
Percival and Stinnett played varsity and helped Platte County to the Excelsior Springs Tournament championship last year.