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Tom Mix, Published October 05 2013

West Fargo's Ballweber and Farahmand win state tennis doubles title

FARGO – The West Fargo doubles combination of juniors Brady Ballweber and Keyan Farahmand made history on Saturday.

Ballweber and Farahmand became the first boys tennis players from West Fargo High School to win an individual state championship. The pair defeated Grand Forks Red River’s Andre Caoili and Jake Kuhlman 6-0, 1-6, 6-4 in the North Dakota state doubles championship match at Courts Plus.

Red River’s Greg Wischer defeated Minot’s Dustin Foster 6-1, 6-0 in the state singles title match.

“It’s very special,” Farahmand said of the doubles championship. “It’s really unbelievable. It’s a big milestone and hopefully we just get better from here.”

East Region top-seeded Ballweber and Farahmand, who lost to Caoili and Kuhlman 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday in the team dual championship, took control early with a flawless first set.

Caoili and Kuhlman, the defending state doubles champions, recovered to win the second set and managed to make the third set interesting after falling behind 4-1 early.

Ahead 5-2, Ballweber and Farahmand allowed it to go to 5-4, but that’s as close as it would get.

“We just wanted that last game,” Farahmand said. “They were coming back, and I knew we just needed one more game to finish it and we finally did.”

“We lost to them in three sets (Friday) and that actually took a little pressure off our shoulders,” Ballweber added. “They were the favorites and I think that is why we played such a great first set. They played some good tennis in the second set and third set was just a battle the whole way.”

Ballweber and Farahmand became the first non-Red River doubles team to win a state championship since 2006.

“They have always been able to make it through adversity,” West Fargo head coach Chad Anderson said. “Red River came roaring back and they were able to close it out with one big point. They persevered.”

Wischer completed the North Dakota boys tennis career cycle with his singles victory. The Red River junior won two doubles state titles in 2010 and 2011.

Wischer finished second in singles a year ago to teammate Joey Anderson.

“Last year, Joey completely destroyed me,” Wischer said. “I worked on all aspects of my game in the offseason, trying to improve and for it to finally pay off is just an incredible feeling.”

Wischer won all four of his matches in straight sets and only dropped five games the entire tournament.

“My serve this entire tournament was the best it has ever been,” Wischer said. “That worked out well for me.”

West Fargo freshman North Knewtson finished third in singles competition defeated Red River’s Andrew Godon 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-3. Knewtson ties Ballweber for the highest singles finish in school history. Ballweber finished third in 2012.

Individual tournament

Consolation

Singles

Shaner, Mandan, def. Mostad, FN, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); Osman, FD, def. Maseey, Minot, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Sawchuck, Shanley, def. Chambers, GFC, 7-5, 6-0; Barbot, Williston, def. Anderson, walkover.

Doubles

Porter/Wanner, Mandan, def. Ehli/Swanberg, 7-5, 6-2; M. Kuhlman/Kenyon, GFRR, def. Keys/Pmeroy, B, 6-2, 6-0; Thompson/Folson, GFC, def. Miller/Reimers, VC, def. 6-4, 6-4; Strom/Schott, Shanley, def. Overland/Kemp, Williston, 6-2, 6-0.

Consolation semifinals

Singles

Osman, FD, def. Shaner, Mandan, 6-4, 6-4; Sawchuk, Shanley def. Barbot, Williston, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles

Porter/Wanner, Mandan, def. M. Kuhlman/Kenyon, 6-4, 6-4; Thompson/Folson, GFC, def. Strom/Schott, Shanley, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Semifinals

Singles

Foster, Minot def. Godon, GFRR, 7-5, 6-0; Wischer, GFRR, def. Knewtson, WF, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles

Caoili/J. Kuhlman, GFRR, def. Mastel/Janes, BC, 6-4, 0-6, 6-1; Ballweber/Faramand, WF, def. Youngs/Lawley, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Fifth place

Singles

Sawchuk, Shanley def. Osman, FD, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Doubles

Thompson/Folson, GFC, def. Porter/Wanner, Mandan, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)

Third place

Singles

Knewtson, WF, def. Godon, GFRR, 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-3

Doubles

Mastel/Janes, BC, def. Youngs/Lawley, FS, 6-1, 6-3.

Championship

Singles

Wischer, GFRR, def. Foster, Minot, 6-0, 6-1

Doubles

Ballweber/Farahmand, WF, def. Caoili/J. Kuhlman, GFRR, 6-0, 1-6, 6-4.

All-state

Bismarck Century: Joe Janes, Sam Mastel; Fargo South: Davis Lawley, David Youngs; Mandan: Ben Wanner; Grand Forks Red River: Joey Anderson, Andre Caoili, Andrew Godon, Jake Kuhlman, Greg Wischer; Minot: Dustin Foster; West Fargo: Brady Ballweber, Keyan Farahmand, North Knewtson; Fargo Shanley: Ander Sawchuk; Grand Forks Central: Andrew Thompson, Kyle Folson.

Coach of the Year

Chad Anderson, West Fargo

Senior Athlete of the Year

Joey Anderson, Grand Forks Red River

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562