Spring sports preview 2014: Canby boys tennis
Kevin Vedder, a West Linn resident who has played tennis for more than two decades, takes the helm for the Cougars.
Kevin Vedder remembers not making the cut on his high school tennis team.
The California native had only been playing the sport for a short time, and he was competing against elite athletes who had spent countless hours on the court.
But Vedder didnt let the experience turn him away from the sport. Instead, it seemingly encouraged him to stick with it.
Now, with more than two decades of playing experience under his belt, Vedder takes the helm of the Canby boys tennis team to replace Dan Nugent. Its his first official coaching gig.
Ive always wanted to get involved with a high school team, said Vedder, an Internet marketing consultant who lives in West Linn. My work schedule will allow me to get out and do it.
Vedder, a Charbonneau Tennis Club member who plays in tournament throughout the Pacific Northwest, hopes to provide his players with an environment in which they can improve their skills. Jim Schmieding will serve as his assistant.
My main goal is for the kids to get better, he said.
Zac Cummings, Austin Evans and Sam Hintz are potential standouts in a program that has not been represented at the state championships since Chris Smucker and Garth Gladfelder qualified in 2010. Cummings, Evans and Hintz were all members of the boys tennis program last season.
Last years team went 8-14 combined in district tournament matches, including 3-8 in the championship brackets. Then-seniors Brian Benson and Tyler Landis came within one win of reaching the state doubles tournament.
CANBY BOYS TENNIS 2014
Coach: Kevin Vedder (first year)
Last year: Compiled an 8-14 record in district tournament matches, including 3-8 in the championship brackets; was not represented at the state tournament
Key players: Zac Cummings, Austin Evans, Sam Hintz
Key losses: Cameron Huffman, Nick Norgart, Brian Benson, Tyler Landis, Mitch McKenney
Outlook: Under new coach Kevin Vedder, who replaces Dan Nugent at the helm, Canby will strive to have representatives at the state meet for the first time since 2010.