Bost officially signs with Appalachian State
WITH HIS college plans signed and sealed, Jefferson tennis standout Zach Bost expects a busy summer.
Bost spent last summer trying to draw the attention of Division I schools. Now that he’s signed with Appalachian State — Jefferson held his signing ceremony Thursday — Bost can focus his efforts on sharpening his game.
“I’m just going to play a lot of tournaments and practice a lot more and just keep up the intensity and stuff like that so I can get better and do better for my team and hopefully play really high in the lineup,” Bost said.
Bost, who had actually been committed to Appalachian State since January, expects to see significant playing time next season for the Mountaineers, who are members of the Southern Conference. That includes both singles and doubles play.
“Coach said hopefully I can play like top three in the lineup and, for sure, one of the top doubles teams,” Bost said.
While there’s certainly pressure to improve his game for college tennis, there’s less stress now with the scholarship in hand.
“I already know where I’m going,” Bost said. “It really doesn’t matter how I do, it’s how I get better.”
Bost is already one of the best players in the country. He ranks no. 97 nationally for the senior class and in the top 20 in the southeast. Bost said he’d still like to boost those rankings before he goes to Appalachian State.
Murphy Payne, Bost’s personal coach, has worked closely with Bost for nearly two years. Payne, who runs Payne Tennis, sees loads of potential in his pupil.
“I think he definitely is going to be a great college player,” said Payne, who was himself a collegiate player at Florida State. “He’s got potential to be a great doubles player on the tour. You know, it just depends on what his goals are. Was it to get a college scholarship or is it to get to college and really perform? If Zach decided he wants to keep working, pro could be a possibility … He’s just got to keep working.”
Payne listed Bost’s serve as one of the strongest points of his game. He believes Bost could be topping 130 mph in the next few years.
“He’s got a big serve and he’s always in a match because he can hold,” Payne said. “His serve has really improved over the last year and I have a feeling over the next four years that it’s going to keep improving. It’s big. He should be, by the time he’s done with college, he should be able to serve at 135 mph which is a big base, but he’s also got a lot of spins and a lot of disguise.”
Meanwhile, the Jefferson High School tennis program will certainly miss Bost, who lost just once match in his prep career.
Dragon coach Mike Paul called Bost one of the best athletes he’s coached.
“You don’t get many in your coaching career, whatever sport it is, that play at the level he does and the intensity he does,” Paul said. “I wish him a lot of luck. Division I, whatever it is, is a big step.”