Bettendorf was dominant at the Class 2A district boys tennis meet.
But North Scott had to leave the Bettendorf High School tennis courts Thursday with just as big of a smile.
According to Lancers coach Todd Satterly and his predecessor, No. 1 singles player Teddy Weaver could well be the first North Scott boys tennis player to make it to state.
Weaver played well, displaying a smooth stroke worthy of his No. 2 seed, then ran into a buzzsaw in the form of top-seeded Bulldog Jacob Panjwani in the championship singles match. Using a strong forehand, Panjwani dominated, winning 6-2, 6-1 to claim the district title and a spot at the state tournament.
It didn’t affect the smile on Weaver’s face much as his teammates gathered to congratulate him on his second-place finish and state berth afterward.
“It means a big deal because it’s the first time in my career (going to state), and the first time in a long time for the school,” Weaver said.
When informed he’s believed to be the first-ever Lancer to go to state in boys tennis, he added, “Then it’s an even bigger deal.”
Satterly and Weaver had no doubt what the key was in Weaver’s transition from junior varsity player as a sophomore to nine wins at No. 1 singles as a junior and this year winning 12 at No. 1.
“I just put in a lot of work, and it really made me a lot better,” Weaver said. “All the hard work pays off.”
Satterly used similar words while watching him play.
“It couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Satterly said of his senior. “Just a fantastic individual. Super kid, super player. He just worked so hard in the offseason, that was the key. He did a lot of stuff as far as lessons and play in the offseason that he really improved.”
North Scott tied with Muscatine for third place with 11 team points but won the tiebreaker for defeating the Muskies earlier this season in a dual. The Lancers will now travel to face second-place Davenport Central on Saturday to play for the right to join team champion Bettendorf in the team substate tournament May 20.
In individual play, the top two finishers advance to state competition May 26-27 in Ceder Rapids. The Bulldogs, whose 30 team points doubled runner-up Davenport Central’s 15, will send Panjwani in singles and the doubles championship team of top-seeded Isaac Luebke and Yash Singhe to state. The Bulldogs duo beat Davenport Central’s Shie brothers — senior Joseph and junior Andrew — 6-1, 6-2.
For Joseph Shie, it’s his eighth trip to state in his high school athletic career, including four trips in swimming and now four in tennis — twice in singles and twice in doubles.
The brothers told coach David Jacobsen they wanted to team up in doubles this year to see if they could make it to state.
“I am extremely proud,” Jacobsen said. “They’re just extremely hard workers and they do everything you ask of them. This being Joe’s last run, to get to go to state with his brother, is just a really special experience.”
But the sunny, at times windy day belonged to Bettendorf.
“We did everything we wanted to do as a team,” said Bettendorf coach Matt Edwards. “Our main priority going into districts is to advance the team. We are happy to come out on top.”
Panjwani is now 20-1 on the year. "Jacob can just go another notch,” Edwards said. “Jacob is real tough.”
“Both of my shots are consistent,” said Panjwani, a junior. “But I love my forehand. I hit most of my winners with my forehand.”
Edwards believes his 21-0 doubles team, which finished fourth in state a year ago, could be seeded No. 1 at state this time around.
“Isaac and Yash are really, really tough,” he said. “When they get fully engaged, they are really tough to beat.”