Weather has put the Laker tennis team behind the eight ball, but head coach Kirk Richey hopes that with time comes improvement throughout the 2013 season.
Because of snow days, the team has had to scramble to meet the requirements MSHSAA sets on practices prior to match eligibility, practicing on weekends and indoors to make the 14 practice minimum.
The projected varsity team features an all-senior lineup, a much deeper squad from the 2012 team.
"We were outclassed last year," Richey said of Camdenton's performance in a perennially difficult conference.
Since 2012, Richey said returning players have made significant improvements by training in the off-season. The improved returners, combined with a solid new player, could make Camdenton more competitive in conference play.
Luc Ginoux, a foreign exchange student from France and a soccer player in the fall, will head the Laker lineup. So far, he's only lost two games in challenge matches according to Richey.
The match against a tough Jefferson City squad on March 26 should prove to be the first real test for Ginoux, who has played in club leagues in France from an early age.
"I'm anxious to see where he goes," Richey said.
Senior Connor Burton will retain his number two seed from 2012. Seniors Aric Osborn, Theo Bushnell, Joey Ensinia and Seth Hamilton round out the projected lineup.
But with so few practices under the Lakers' belts, Richey said there's still a bit of wiggle room for Ryan Elliott and C.J. Borden to potentially move into varsity positions.
The Lakers will face a test early, as only two varsity players will have made practice requirements before their first match Tuesday against Waynesville.
"At this time of the year, we have a lot of kids gone," Richey said.
With athletes involved in many other activities, from the International Baccalaureate Program to science research, Richey said it's just too early to tell how the season might play out.
An exciting addition to the Lakers season will be the introduction of an invitational co-hosted by Camdenton and Lebanon. Teams from Osage, Richland, Willow Springs, Bolivar and Parkview will converge at the lake April 4.