Kannon Burchette, Cash Johnson, Chad Menor and Bryce Tabbut never leave home without their lacrosse sticks.
“I just love this sport. Even if I was on vacation, I’d still have my stick with me,” Johnson said. “Get a stick. Hit the wall. Try it out.”
Together, these four trendsetters are helping this game take root in their hometown. The Camas Lacrosse Club features four youth teams feeding into the two high school squads. There are more than 75 players harnessing their skills in the youth system, and 43 Papermakers on varsity or junior varsity.
“We want the little guys to look up to us,” Menor said.
“By the time we all graduate, hopefully these sophomores and freshmen have blossomed into leaders,” Burchette added. “And then, have their younger brothers join the program to keep this club blooming from generation to generation.”
Camas broke away from the King’s Way branch in 2013. Union joined the mix this spring. This gives lacrosse fans two local teams to follow.
“People see that Camas and Union have a team, and they can come to our games,” Johnson said. “We no longer have to travel to Seattle or the Tri-Cities. We are playing games in our own backyard and that gives us more exposure.”
It only took Camas a year and a half to come back and beat their former friends turned rivals for the first time. Tabbut netted five goals and Zach Quist added two to help Camas defeat King’s Way 10-9 March 31, at Cardon Field.
“We actually did it,” Johnson said. “To be able to beat a talented and quality coached team like King’s Way shows how much growth we’ve had from last year to the middle of this year.”
“This was our benchmark,” Burchette added. “It proved our legitimacy over a program that has been instilled here for so long.”
More challenges lie ahead. After a weekend in Richland, Camas hosts Union April 22 and prepares for a rematch at King’s Way April 29.
“Road games instill more of a family atmosphere,” Burchette said. “You eat together before the game, you play together during the game and you hang out after the game. There’s nowhere else to go and no place we would rather be.”
For a Camas lacrosse roster, schedule, scores and statistics, log on to www.washingtonhslax.com.