Canby junior baseball team wins first tournament of the season
For a tight knit team like the seventh and eighth graders of Canby's senior federal baseball team, winning the first tournament of the season was a good step in its final season before high school. The boys bested four teams, Keizer, Barlow, Newberg, and Corvallis to pick up a tournament championship at McNary High School over the weekend of April 21.
Ed Netter, the coach of the team, was proud to see his young charges pick up a series of W's en route the tournament win, and recognized the excitement in his players as well.
"These kids have mostly played together since third and fourth grade," Netter said. "There's nine eighth graders and two seventh graders on the team, so they're excited because they've played football, basketball, and baseball in Canby all growing up. They're excited that this is their last junior sport before high school."
Part of the reason for the team's success was solid plays from each member of the team. Highlights from the weekends tournament included Bryce Oliver nabbing a pair of homeruns, one a grand slam and the other a three run homer. While Oliver played well, it was not just him propping up the team. According to Netter, it was a group effort.
"He's just a strong baseball player," Netter said. "He's our starting catcher and number three hitter. The other three kids are Mikey Gibson and Kellan Oakes and Joe Braukmiller, and again I can forward you the roster. They all hit well this weekend, and they came in and stopped the other teams when they were on a rally."
With one tournament in the rearview mirror, there are many to look ahead to. It can be tough to schedule though during the high school baseball season. The Canby Junior Baseball team has to cede to the Cougars, and reschedule based upon field availability.
"The schedule is tough because we have to change so many games because we're at the high school for our games," Netter said. "If they have games scheduled or make up games, we have to change. I already have to reschedule eight or 10 games."
When they are playing and practicing, the team is striving to improve all the time. Netter is looking to see his players steadily gain ground in baseball knowledge and intangibles like giving 100 percent.
The team has tournaments in the upcoming weeks, and more information on those tournaments can be found at canbyjuniorbaseball.com. If you want to get out and watch youth baseball, Netter believes that you will be watching a close knit team who will be the future of Canby High.
"We have qualified coaches and great kids that have played together," Netter said. "When these kids get into high school they'll be a team when they step onto any high school sporting event because they've played together since they were in the third and fourth grade."