Franklin County Times Scholar-Athlete of the Week
Franklin County Times
PHIL CAMPBELL – Senior shooting guard Tate Canida draws high praise from his basketball coach.
"Tate is the smartest player I have, and he comes from a smart family," said Phil Campbell coach Gary Odom. "He is easy to coach, and never questions what I ask him to do – he just does it, and he's a guy who's going to make an effort no matter what. He's really improved as a player, and he has loosened up this year."
Canida, voted Most Intelligent by his senior classmates, has earned a cumulative 95.29 average and was a candidate for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award this fall.
He is a member of several clubs at Phil Campbell, including Students Against Destructive Decisions, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Business Leaders of America, and he serves on the Franklin County Student Advisory Board.
"My best subjects are probably history and math," said Canida, who plans to attend either Auburn University or Northwest-Shoals Community College next fall. "But my favorite teacher is Mrs. (Susan) Norton, who teaches English. She's hilarious, and I like taking her class."
Canida also plays baseball for the Bobcats, and both his best and worst moments in sports have taken place on the diamond.
"We made the state finals when I was sophomore, and we've got a good chance this year because we have a good team coming back.And we've got two good pitchers – Jonathan Dill and Stephen Lacey," Canida said. "My most embarrasing moment happened when I was playing first base on the ninth-grade team and there was a pop-up behind first base. Stephen called for it from the outfield and we collided, but he caught the ball."
In his spare time, Canida enjoys playing golf and spending time with friends.
"I like to play golf where my dad works, and I love the RTJ course (in Ford City), even though I've only played there once," he said. "I like hanging out with my friends and we go to Florence a lot."
Canida also said he is looking forward to visiting California with his classmates in the spring.
"For our senior trip, we voted on going to the beach in South Carolina, New York City or California," he said. "Every class goes to New York, but we voted for California. I'm going on the trip, which is optional for all the seniors."
His musical tastes vary, but Canida said he prefers rock to country and rap music.
"My favorite band is Dashboard Confessional, but I can't stand country or rap," he said.
For laughs, Canida enjoys funny movies and the antics of one of his classmates.
"I like movies with physical comedy the most," he said. "And I think James Mays, who is a senior, is funny – everything he does can make you laugh."
Canida is the son of Jerry and Kathy Canida and has two older brothers who graduated from Phil Campbell, including Tyler, a senior at Auburn, and Trey, a senior at the University of North Alabama.