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Ballweber, Farahmund take doubles state title

Keyan Farahmand of West Fargo stretches to connect with the ball during the doubles championship game with Brady Ballweber in background during Saturday’s game against Grand Forks Red River at Courts Plus in Fargo. Dave Wallis / Forum News Service

The West Fargo boys’ tennis team has had a phenomenal season overall, and capped it with a third-place individual finish, a second-place team finish and a doubles state championship from juniors Brady Ballweber and Keyan Farahmand.

Ballweber and Farahmand tore through their first two meets, besting a team from Minot and Grand Forks Red River in straight sets.

In their semifinal match against David Youngs and Davis Lawley of Fargo South, the Packers fell in the first game, but came back for a 6-1 victory in the second game and a 7-5 win in the third to advance to the finals.

In the finals later that day, the boys took a 6-0 victory against Andre Caoili and Jake Kuhlman of Red River. The Roughriders bounced back with a 6-1 second-game victory before Ballweber and Farahmand cemented themselves in school history with a 6-4 victory in the third game to take home the title.

“In my 14 years of coaching tennis at WF, I’ve never seen a doubles team play as well as they did,” head coach Chad Anderson said. “It was outstanding tennis and, as a coach and spectator, I think the boys gave the crowd something to cheer about. The atmosphere was electrifying.”

Freshman North Knewtson had a strong performance in the singles bracket as well, finishing third place.

Knewtson fell 6-1, 6-1 in his semifinal match to Red River’s Greg Wischer, who went on to win the state title. However, he bounced back to beat Red River’s Andrew Godon 8-6, 1-6, 6-3 in the third-place match.

Knewtson, Ballweber and Farahmand were all named to the all-state team, the first time in school history that three Packers made the team.

The accolades did not end there, as Anderson was named Coach of the Year.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award and even more of an honor that my fellow coaches elected me, but none of this could have happened without the dedication of my athletes. These athletes are the reason why I work so hard to help them become successful in tennis and the game of life.”