With a strong returning cast, the Cougars look to be competitive with best in the TRL

ARCHIVE PHOTO - Sam Krauss returns to the golf team to chase the top spots in the league. The Canby boy's golf team has itself a reasonable set of expectations: be among the top three or four teams in the league, and qualify for the regional playoffs. Last year, it had sophomore Samuel Krauss represent the Cougars at the state competition, and as a freshman the year before that.

This year, with Krauss returning along with a whole host of other athletes including senior Cade Johnson and sophomore Dylan Frazier, the future seems bright at the outset. It's brighter still given that the team should only get better as the season goes on.

"I think we're still a little young, and we're building, and by the end of the season our scores will drop immensely," Canby boys golf coach Greg Larrison said. "We had our first invitational on Monday, and it kind of showed everyone where they were at. I think everyone can improve a little bit from that, and I think we can do well this season."

While last year saw Krauss make it to the regional tournament as an individual, the goal this year is to have a team strong enough to make it to the regional tournament. To do so, Canby's boys' team will need to improve in every phase of the game. Larrison thinks the area for improvement is different for each of his athletes.

"We need to improve in the short game a little bit, but it's so individual," Larrison said. "Some guys have to work on their driving skills, but most of it is about the short game. For a couple of guys, it's putting."

Another factor in the team's performance will be the change in weather as the season goes on. While Oregon has a propensity for rain, the closer it inches to summer the more the sun will affect play on the courses.

"It was hard on Monday because we've been used to playing in crappy weather, not nice, and the greens were a little slower," Larrison said. "Then we had Saturday, Sunday, and Monday when it was nice, so the puts were so much faster. It's just them trying to get used to the summer, and nicer weather again. It took a little bit for that, but I'm sure that'll come in time, playing nicer weather."

In one of the tougher conferences in the state, Canby will have its hands full against quality opposition.

"Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, West Linn, and Tualatin will probably be good again," Larrison said. "We're in a very tough league, with some of the top teams in the state. Every week we play against the best of the best so we know where we're at when it comes time to playoffs."

When the season is in swing, feel free to come out and support the teams, Larrison says.

"Come out and watch," Larrison said. "We're at nice country clubs, it's great for the community to come out and watch and walk. If you know a player, or know someone, feel free to come out and walk along the course and hang out. Come support the guys and girls."

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