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Cougars have shown vast improvement this season, now look for elusive main draw match victory.

Even as the Canby High boys tennis team has fought through bad weather and the rigors of arguably the toughest 6A tennis league in the state, successes have come. Under fifth-year head coach Luke Schroeter, the Cougars rattled off a 5-8 overall record, with two of those losses coming via sets won on a tie-breaker. Not bad for a team that had only 11 players a year ago, but has seen things blossom to 26 players this year.

Now, the team eyes its district tournament May 12-13 at the Portland Tennis Center. The tournament was supposed to start May 4, but a scheduling conflict pushed it back another week.

Schroeter said the delay should prove beneficial as it will give his squad more time to prepare, as well as provide opportunities for another match or two.

The Herald-Tribune. "It has been a really good season for us," Schroeter said. "This was a tennis program that was struggling when I took it over — the bottom of the barrel. This year we got swept by the big three — Lake Oswego, West Linn and Lakeridge — but besides that we've done very well. "The program is heading in the right direction in so many ways," he said. "A year ago we had to forfeit at least one match every time because we didn't have enough players. This year, the depth of the team is one of its strengths." Schroeter said that one of the key factors was a tennis camp that ran the entire summer. Dave Brown, the girls coach, had done the same thing before and helped Schroeter and his staff get it in place. "That got the kids playing all year round," Schroeter said. "We had some guys really get into it and they spread the word and it kind of snowballed from there." With the regular season done, and the growth of the program apparent, Schroeter is looking to see some new goals reached. "We've never been able to win a main draw match," Schroeter said. "We have won some consolation matches, so that's my goal, win a match in the main draw. " Some players who might pull it off could be exchange student Ignacio Alvarez and Riley Hemsi-Walters in singles competition At doubles, a new team in Jake Rierson and Eli Rupp could make some noise. "If we get a decent draw, we could get that first main draw win or maybe a couple of them," Schroeter said. "That would be a successful district tournament if we could achieve that. Beyond that, just being competitive and pushing guys from the top schools."

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