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Ty Kraft, a 1990 graduate of Canby High, coached the Canby Rebels to three state titles

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby softball coach Ty Kraft hits a fly ball at practice on March 10.

Ty Kraft is the new head softball coach at Canby High School.

But Kraft is no stranger to Canby.

After graduating from Canby High in 1990, where he was a three-sport (football, basketball, baseball) athlete, Kraft then coached freshman baseball and basketball at Canby in the mid to late 90s.

Seven years ago, Kraft began coaching his own daughter, McKenna, in softball.

He was president of the Canby Rebels for six years, and coached the program's competitive tournament team to three straight ASA state championships (2016-2018).

Those players are now freshmen at Canby. Five are on this season's varsity team.

"It's a really a timing thing," Kraft said. "Knowing the kids, having the synergy there. They know my coaching style, my expectations. I know what they're capable of. It was a good fit. When the opportunity came about, it was a natural fit for me to apply for it."

Kraft preaches fundamentals to his teams.

"We are all about doing the little things right, the fundamental stuff," Kraft said.

That includes running the bases.

"We take a lot of chances on the bases," he said. "Base running is super important to us. We have a lot of speed mixed in our lineup, so we're going to do a lot of small ball and speed, bunting and moving runners around."

Kraft said his success in coaching club softball has come from "understanding what each kid needs from their coach."

"Every kid is different and needs a little something different," he said. "They all need to be coached a little bit differently."

Kraft also demands commitment.

"We have high expectations when we're on the field, and we teach it that way from day one," he said. "We have the depth this year to keep girls accountable for what they're doing. I think that's another huge, important piece of it. We expect a lot from them, and we push them hard."

The Cougars were scheduled to open the 2020 season on March 18 at home against South Salem, but the spring season has been suspended through April 28 due to the coronavirus.

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