Out On Top: Cougars’ Football Journey to Glory and Beyond

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Canby Cougars Football Team on the field

Star Students: Canby Cougar Football
Story and Photos by Tyler Francke
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After an injury-riddled season in 2022, the Canby High School football team is gearing up for a triumphant return to the postseason in 2023. Last year, the Cougars finished with a record of 5-4, squeaking into the league playoffs but ultimately falling to Hillsboro 28-14. This season, they’re ready to bounce back with a vengeance.

The heart and soul of this year’s squad is undoubtedly senior Tyler Konold, the first-team all-state running back. Konold has led all of 5A in total rushing yards for two years in a row, which includes last year when he sat out half of the regular season’s games due to injury.

“We’re very excited to have Tyler back, obviously,” says head coach Jimmy Joyce. “He’s an incredible talent, to have missed four games last year and still lead the league in rushing, and to already be over 2,000 yards in his career is insane in this era of modern football, especially.

“You can say so much about him, but I also want to point out how important he is to our defense as well. He’s the kind of guy you can plug in anywhere and you know you’re going to get the best out of that position.”

Canby Cougars Football Team on the field

Konold’s return is a significant boost for the Cougars, but he will be far from alone in their quest for postseason success. Fellow senior Andrew Soles and junior Jackson Doman are also expected to be pivotal contributors this season. Soles, an all-league honorable mention selection last season on both sides of the ball, will anchor the middle of the defense, while Doman, a 6-5 receiver with a Division I offer from BYU, will be a formidable presence on both offense and defense.

On the line, senior Gideon Noss returns with all-league status after being a second-teamer on both sides of the ball last season. His strength and work ethic make him a key player to watch.

The silver lining of having an injury-plagued season like last year’s campaign is that the Cougs will be bringing back a lot of players with experience they didn’t necessarily expect to have, based on their placement in the preseason depth charts.

That included then-sophomore Taeler Pfenning, who slotted in as a more-than-capable replacement running back after Konold’s injury, and jack-of-all-trades Parker Ackerman, the team’s “Swiss Army knife” who took snaps at virtually every position last year except for offensive line.

Coach Joyce is optimistic about the team’s depth and strength, setting their sights on making a playoff run.

Canby’s success on the defensive side will be vital in replacing the departures of Braden Snoderly and Landon Sprague. Snoderly, who recorded over 100 tackles, was an honorable mention all-state selection at linebacker, while Sprague earned an honorable mention all-league selection at safety.

Canby Cougars Football Player Runs The Ball

Fortunately, the team has a new addition that will bolster the defense: junior Jackson Heath. A transfer from Putnam, Heath showcased his skills with three interceptions and one pick-six last year for the No. 5 ranked Kingsmen. Teammates like Konold are thrilled to have him on board.

If Canby High School returns to the playoffs this season, it will mark their second appearance since moving down to 5A from 6A in the 2021 season. In their inaugural full season at 5A, the Cougars finished ranked No. 4 in the state but fell in the quarterfinals to No. 5 Thurston 20-0.

However, merely making the playoffs will not be enough for this determined team led by a hungry senior running back who is determined to leave his mark on the program.

“I’m very confident in our team this year. I think we’re going to do great, and we don’t want to make it to just playoffs — we want to win it all,” Konold says. “That’s definitely the goal for the season, but we’re going to take each week one at a time, and just always give our full effort.”

As the 2023 season unfolds, keep an eye on Canby High School football, a team poised for a comeback and ready to make their mark in the postseason. With a talented roster and a burning desire for success, they are a force to be reckoned with in Oregon high school football.