Wednesday was National Fall Signing Day, and two Canby Cougars announced their commitments to continue their athletic careers: Ashley Peterson, who signed with Central Washington University (Division II) to play soccer, and Bella Short, who is joining the crew team at Michigan State University (D-1).
Peterson played midfielder for the Cougars this season, serving as one of the team’s leaders and top scorers while contributing to its premier defense.
She punched in two goals — including the go-ahead score — in one of the season highlights, a 3-1 victory over St. Mary’s Academy on the road.
She was also a Three Rivers League honorable mention in season awards this week, along with fellow seniors Kathryn Frentress and Katie Anderson and freshman forward Kendel Johnson.
As for Short, go back five years ago or so, and the Canby senior seemed destined for success in more traditional athletic pursuits. She was a three-sport standout in soccer, basketball and softball.
But things took a turn while playing first base with the Canby Rebels, when she collided with a runner. The back of Short’s head slammed into the ground and she suffered a severe concussion.
She missed half of her seventh-grade year and had to endure months of rigorous physical therapy, including eye control and speech. Her doctors told her she would never again play contact sports.
She briefly considered golf or archery, until her mother began reading to her The Boys in the Boat, a bestselling nonfiction book about the American Olympic team’s rowing triumph in Nazi Germany in 1936.
She was inspired — and took a five-week rowing camp as soon as she was able. She joined up with Lake Oswego Community Rowing before moving on to Rose City Rowing Club, where she found much success.
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