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Cougars' new coach drums up excitement for incoming players for the high school program

COURTESY PHOTO: CANBY FOOTBALL TWITTER PAGE - Coach Jimmy Joyce signed eighth graders to play at the high school level. Canby football's new head coach Jimmy Joyce is already planning for the upcoming season.

On Wednesday, April 24, Joyce and freshman football coach Troy Soles went to Baker Prairie Middle School and had a signing ceremony with the incoming freshmen football players. Joyce and Soles did the same thing at Ninety-One School.

The reason? To bring excitement back to the Canby High School football program.

"Imitation is a form of flattery, and as coaches you talk to people around the state and see what they're doing," Joyce said about the signings. "Something I've thought about was wanting to give kids the opportunity and make them feel like the big time is right here in Canby. This is where it is. This is the big time. You want to give them something that will give them pride in the program."

Joyce impressed upon the kids the responsibility and expectations the program will have for them. With the work ahead of rebuilding the football program already underway in the form of the signings, Canby's newest head coach let slip his hopes for the kids coming up through the sport.

"Hopefully in four years they'll be signing letters of intent to be playing in college," Joyce said.

Canby's football team went 0-9 last year, averaging just under seven points a game on offense. The school chose to not renew longtime coach Mike Vaught's contract after the season, instead opting for first time head coach Joyce after spending time coaching in the Beaverton area.

Joyce decided to take the position after interacting with the community.

"It's not so much the football program, or the school, it was the community," Joyce said. "The inclusive sense that the football program was something that everyone around here can be proud of. Coming from an area like Beaverton where you have six high schools a short throw away, that's something that's really enticing to you as a coach."

"The one thing I think I'm going to try to bring with me is that we're going to work on culture first," Joyce said. "Wins and losses, schemes, all of that comes second. We're going to get back to what made Canby successful in the past. This is one of the most traditionally rich programs in the state. It's fallen on hard times in the last few years, so we want to make sure we can instill pride back into being Canby Cougars."

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