Freshman is latest Farid to continue dynasty


Alice Yu

[dropcap style=”flat” size=”4″]F[/dropcap]or most children, there’s no recollection of the first word that came out of their mouth; nonetheless, that one word was joined by another and another until sentences formed.
In freshman Kameron Farid’s case, he doesn’t remember the first time he picked up the racket, but one hit led to the next, which led to tournaments, wins and eventually a spot on the varsity boys’ tennis team.
It can be said the rest is history, but Farid has only started to write his legacy with his role as the number one player on the varsity boys’ tennis team.
“[Starting tennis] was like a dream. That’s the only thing I can tell you. You don’t know when it starts and you don’t know when it’s going to end. That’s all I can say,” Farid said. “I don’t know when I first picked up the racket. Hopefully I don’t know when the last time I pick up a racket is.”
While Farid may be new to Bruin tennis, his last name is not. With two older sisters who’ve played on the varsity girls’ tennis team — senior Ronni Farid who’s currently the number six player and ‘14 alumna Sophi Farid who was the number one player her sophomore and junior year— this isn’t coach Ben Loeb’s first time training a Farid. With a sister in eighth grade, Corinne, this certainly won’t be Loeb’s last time either.
“There are some similarities. They are all driven people with a high ceiling for being successful with whatever they are passionate about,” Loeb said. “Kam has the making of being our next Ford Zitsch and play number one for four years. [Ronni and Kam] both are driven to get better and to win. They both value team success a lot.”
With four freshmen players out of the six on varsity, there are high hopes for this season as well as the future. From 2010 to 2012, the boys’ tennis team won three consecutive state championships and with the young talent on the team, the dream of bringing home more consecutive state championships seems closer than ever.
“We’ve been waiting for this class to come up,” junior Brian Baker said. “I’m hoping to get two state titles. I think it’s possible with the talent we have. I was really impressed with what we did at Chattanooga. We really held our own out there, and I think we impressed a lot of people. They were really surprised we had so many freshmen because we performed like we had more experience.”
The road to a state title is by no means easy, and Kam started the season with his share of challenges. Fighting a back injury from February, Kam had to ease up on his training and adopt a cautious attitude at practices. From cutting back in practice — something Kam’s a bit reluctant to do — to dealing with the psychological pressures of the sport, Kam’s had to overcome both physiological and psychological hardships.
“I usually don’t take days off, to be honest. If people ask if I’m good at tennis, I try to stay humble. Honestly, I’m not good at it, but I’m working on it. I think the main problem people have is they always try to figure out how good you are at a sport instead of just accepting who you are at a sport,” Kam Farid said. “There’s just a lot of competition and the psychological standpoint I’ve come to is it’s not about who’s number one, but who wins state, who wins nationals because that’s kind of more important. It could be anybody on the lineup and we’ll still be a great team.”
With the hope of bringing back four state championships in mind, Kam is adjusting to the team aspect of high school tennis. Although together for a mere couple of months, Kam has already noticed a sense of unity with the Bruins. From enduring laps meant to serve as punishments to cleaning up the court after practice, everybody’s working together.
“I’m used to always playing on my own. You’re only ranked individually unless you’re a doubles player, but it’s just kind of different when you’re competing on your own and you’re playing for your own benefit. You’ve got to make team sacrifices, which I’m not really used to yet. I’m going to make sacrifices for the team, but this is just the beginning,” Kam said. “Tennis is usually an individual sport and now as a team sport, we kind of all need to work together. It doesn’t really matter if it’s one, two, three, four, five; we’re all just one.”
For Ronni, watching her younger brother acclimate to the team offers a fresh perspective on her own first year on the varsity girls’ tennis team. While they’ve never played on the same team — girls’ tennis is a fall sport while boys’ tennis is a spring sport — Ronni is getting a whole new look on her own high school career as well as Sophi’s role as a big sister.
“We’re starting to get into this little generic routine, and it’s really cool because I see what I did as a freshman but now he’s doing, so it’s kind of weird to be like, ‘Oh, I kind of remember that,’” Ronni said.
“Now I’m in my sister’s shoes, which is weird. I can’t really fill her shoes.”
For Ronni and Kam, the competition isn’t limited to the tennis court. While tennis plays a large hand in both siblings’ lives, they still make time for other battles, namely Call of Duty: Black Ops after a grueling practice.
“A few weeks ago, My Black Ops random team beat his, and I threw the remote down, and I was just screaming and running around the house because the day that I beat Kameron at Black Ops is the day
I’m winning,” Ronni said. “I refused to play after that. I quite for three days. I refused and it was just like endless bragging rights.”
Be it succeeding on the tennis court or on a Black Ops battlefield, Kam’s competitive nature and motivation are admirable traits that indicated leader, even at his young age.
“Kam’s for sure a motivated kid. He’s really dedicated to the sport. He takes practice and he takes his matches seriously,” Baker said. “That’s just always good, because sometimes when you’re that young, there’s some immaturity there, but even for the freshmen, he’s a good role model because he shows you can still be mature while you’re that young and still have an impact on the team.”