The Helias girls tennis team is ready to start the season today, and the toughest part of the preseason wasn't settling on a lineup. Nor was it preparing for the first opponent.
No, the toughest thing for the Lady Crusaders was making sure nobody missed practice.
Thanks to a change by the Missouri State High School Activities Association, the number of mandatory practices for fall athletes before they can compete in a game rose from 10 to 14 this year. That meant that if players wanted to compete in a match today, the first allowable date for competition, they couldn't miss a single practice in order to qualify.