Stories by Dan
The Washougal boys basketball team might be younger, but that doesn’t mean these Panthers aren’t dreaming about making it to the state tournament.
Washougal finished in fourth place at the district tournament during the past two winters, but that’s one victory shy of state. Returning varsity players Austin Tran, Patrick Jones and Yorro Bah are determined to make that dream a reality.
“Our goal is to silence the doubters and make it further than we have the past two years,” Bah said.
Winning at the Tacoma Dome is no longer impossible for the Camas High School football team.
The Papermakers shattered that glass ceiling when they defeated Bellarmine Prep 49-21 Saturday, in the semifinal round of the state tournament.
“Every year since I’ve been here, we’ve been breaking down barriers but we had never been able to get past this one,” said senior offensive lineman Matt Walser. “It’s such a great feeling to be able to smash through this road block and keep going. Right now, I feel like we can do anything.”
The Tacoma Dome is no longer unbeatable territory for the Camas High School football team.
The Papermakers shattered that glass ceiling when they defeated Bellarmine Prep 49-21 Saturday.
Zach Eagle caught three touchdown passes from Reilly Hennessey. Jason Vailea delivered two touchdowns at the goal line. Nate Beasley and Cole Zarcone also ran for touchdowns.
Lauren Rood’s love for soccer has kept her away from home for 127 days in 2013.
“And the year is not over yet,” said the 16-year-old from Camas. “I still have some traveling to do.”
Rood’s odyssey began by attending national camps and tournaments in Texas, England and Florida. She was determined to earn a spot on the U-17 U.S. women’s soccer team.
“I got back from England two days before school started, and then I went to the Florida camp two weeks later,” said the CHS sophomore. “That was probably one of the craziest months of my life.”
After a four quarter throttle Saturday in Sammamish, the Camas High School football team defeated Eastlake 47-28 to get back to the Tacoma Dome for the third year in a row.
The Papermakers play Bellarmine Prep in the semifinals of the state tournament Saturday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Camas wants to smash through that glass ceiling and win at the Tacoma Dome for the first time.
“We’re on our final countdown,” said senior quarterback Reilly Hennessey. “We only have two weeks left in our high school career. How do we want to be remembered?
“There’s just 14 days left,” he added. “We better make sure we get better every single one of those days.”
Twenty-one bowlers are crashing the pins for the Papermakers.
Head coach Doug Huegli said that’s almost twice as many Camas girls as the team had last year.
“The first goal has been obtained. We have a large program,” he said. “Our next goal is to hone their skills so we can have a large and strong program.”
After a four quarter throttle Saturday in Sammamish, the Camas High School football team defeated Eastlake 47-28 to get back to the Tacoma Dome for the third year in a row.
For the 30 high school seniors who grew up playing football together in Camas, Saturday was their last chance to do something special for the hometown at Doc Harris Stadium.
Nate Beasley rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Reilly Hennessey. This all came in the first half of a 63-28 victory for the Papermakers against Cascade, of Everett, in the first round of the state tournament.
“Greatness from the line, as always,” Beasley said of his blockers Drew Clarkson, Matt Danis, Chris Durrett, Peyton Rusu and Matt Walser. “The line can only do their job for so long. I got to be able to out run those guys.”
The Camas volleyball team couldn’t solve Emerald Ridge in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, but the Papermakers just continued to fight and wound up in sixth place.
“We were able to bring some hardware back to Camas. That was the goal,” said senior outside hitter Cassie Bailie. “We’re a good team, and we put a lot of heart into it. We don’t give up on anything.”
That’s how the Papermakers were able to push Kentwood to five sets during the medal match Saturday, at St. Martin’s University, in Lacey. Kentwood won the first two games, but Camas fought back 25-23 and 25-19 in the next two sets. Kentwood needed 16 points in the final set to beat the Papermakers by two.
“This team is notorious for getting down by a significant amount and battling back,” said Camas head coach Julie Nidick. “They just never give up. They don’t care what the score is.”
Nate Beasley eclipsed the 200-yard mark and scored five touchdowns. Zach Eagle caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for six more points. It was a special night for these two Camas football players, and an emotional one for all of the Papermakers. In the last game these seniors will ever play at Doc Harris Stadium, they led Camas to a 63-28 victory against Cascade Saturday in the first round of the state tournament.
A day for revenge ended in disappointment after the Camas volleyball team lost to Emerald Ridge in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament Friday, at St. Martin's University, in Lacey. The Papermakers snipped at the Jaguars' heels several times during the three sets, but they could never get over the hump against the team that defeated them for third place in the bi-district tournament.
The Papermakers delivered four goals in the final 21 minutes of the first half to defeat Wentachee 4-0 in the first round of the 4A state girls soccer tournament Wednesday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
The top of the podium belonged to Bellermine Prep, but the Camas girls cross country runners looked each other in the eye and didn’t see an inch of regret.
“We all raced as hard as we could,” said Alexa Efraimson. “It was a lot more competitive this year than last year.”
The Papermakers finished in second place out of the top 16 schools in the state Saturday, at the Sun Willows Golf Course, in Pasco. Bellermine Prep won the title by 13 points. This is the third state trophy for the Camas girls, after they won championships in 2011 and 2012.
“It was fun to have a second chance to go out and do it again,” said Alexa Jones. “You never know what the outcome is going to be. You just have to trust yourself and know your teammates are going to work as hard as you do.”
The Camas volleyball team had a smashing good time sweeping Union off the warehouse floor in the district championship match.
“Beating Union in three builds great pride for Camas,” said Carly Banks, who delivered nine kills and two blocks.
“It feels so great to shut them out and claim our zip code and our colors,” said Lauren Harris, after she racked up 14 kills, 14 digs and three blocks.
Dedication and determination paid off for the Papermaker girls swimmers when they became district champions Saturday, at Kelso High School.
Camas racked up 376 points to defeat league champion Union by 39 points.
“We have definitely worked for it,” said sophomore Corinne Bintz. “There is no question that everybody did everything they could today and every morning at practice at 5:15 a.m.”
Bintz, Anna Panebianco, Juliann Reed and Sierra Colletto propelled the Papermakers to first place in the 200-meter medley relay. They broke the pool record with a time of 1 minute, 53.08 seconds.
“To be able to do that in the first race of the day just set the tone for all of the girls,” Reed said. “We will win, whatever it takes.”
It didn’t take long for the Camas football team to catch playoff fever.
Monroe pulled a fast one by recovering a short opening kick off to begin the game. It turned out to be the shot in the arm the Papermakers needed.
Michael DiGenova intercepted a pass on the next play to turn the tables for Camas. The Papermakers scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions and buried the Bearcats 55-20 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“It’s always great to start with a play like that in a big game like this one,” DiGenova said. “As long as we keep putting points on the board, and the defense keeps playing like they play, good things will come.”
The Camas High School volleyball, soccer, football, cross country and swimming teams are out in full force this week chasing state and regional championships.
Fourteen Camas High School football players traveled back into time Saturday.
Nate Beasley, Drew Clarkson, Matt Danis, Michael DiGenova, Chris Durrett, Zach Eagle, Caleb Eldred, Reilly Hennessey, Dustin Krecklow, Jorden Payne, Brendan Unger, Dylan White, Dalton Wunderlich and Ethan Young watched the Camas Cardinals fourth- and fifth-grade Clark County Youth Football team beat the Hawks 20-19 in double overtime at Fishback Stadium.
“You see a little guy running exactly like you did at that age, and it makes you wonder what our program is going to look like when these kids get to high school,” said Beasley, a senior running back. “These are the younger brothers and sisters of the players on the team today. It shows how close knit our community is, and how our legacy continues.”
The Papermakers are the queens of soccer in Camas. They have two victories against their city rivals to prove it.
“Being in the program for as many years as we have, it feels good to see all the hard work pay off,” said junior defender Sarah Tennyson. “We are finally the league and district champions.”
Tennyson headed in a perfectly placed corner kick by Maddy Belzer in the 30th minute of a 1-0 victory for the Papermakers against the Union Titans Saturday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“Without the team effort, it doesn’t happen,” Belzer said. “Nothing matters unless we work as a team.”
After locking up the league title, the Camas volleyball team will host the district championship match Wednesday.
“It’s a good accomplishment for the girls, but they’re always looking ahead,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “Ultimately, their goal is to get back to state. But you can never overlook and opponent or a step in the process. That’s when an upset can happen.”
The Papermakers are going to the bi-district tournament Friday and Saturday, at Kentwood High School, but they want that number-one seed. That takes a win Wednesday.
Washougal, Hockinson and Aberdeen will play sudden death football starting at 7 p.m. today, at Kelso High School.
The three teams will face each other in a round robin format. One team starts with the football on the 25-yard line, while the other plays defense. The objective is to score a touchdown or kick a field goal in four downs. The rounds continue until one team prevents the other from tying the score, or takes the lead after making a stop.
The Panthers fell into this predicament after Hockinson defeated them 27-14 Friday, at Fishback Stadium. Abderdeen beat Ridgefield on the same night to force a three-way tie for third place in the 2A Greater St. Helens League. Only one of these teams will earn a trip to Tumwater Saturday.
Welcome to sudden death football. Washougal, Aberdeen and Hockinson will fight for the 2A Greater St. Helens League’s final playoff spot Tuesday night, in Kelso. The three teams will face each other in a round robin format. One team starts with the football on the 25-yard line, while the other plays defense. Touchdowns or field goals are the name of the game. The rounds continue until one team prevents the other from tying the score, or takes the lead after making a stop.
Courtney Owens, Hannah Wright, Karina Miller and Meredith Collins crossed the finish line in order to help the Washougal girls cross country team win the league championship race Thursday, at Hockinson Meadows.
Owens finished the 5,000-meter course in fourth place with a time of 21 minutes, 36.5 seconds. Wright followed her in fifth place (21:53.5), Miller claimed sixth place (21:55.6) and Collins snagged seventh place (21:59.6).
“We were all in a line. We didn’t really plan that, it just happened, which is good,” Owens said. “It made me really proud of everyone. We all worked so hard for this.”
A 62-0 victory in their homecoming football game sounds like a perfect night for the Camas Papermakers. But not when the field gets littered with yellow flags.
Camas had drives disrupted and touchdowns taken away against Heritage because of blocks in the back, holding, illegal formations and other violations.
“When there’s penalties, we always try to focus on the next play,” said senior offensive and defensive lineman Matt Danis. “You can’t get caught up on the last play, and whether we think the call was right or wrong. Just go on to the next play.”
Through bloody knuckles and three sets, Camas High School junior Jonathan Ho defeated Tanner Blake of Union for the district championship again Saturday, at the Vancouver Tennis Center.
“By now, we have each other pretty much figured out,” Ho said. “It’s a battle of wills. No more secrets.”
Ho gained the early advantage with a 6-1 victory in the first set. He started off well in the second set before scraping up his hand.
Head coach Jonathan Burton said Ho seemed to lose focus after the injury time out and Blake won the set 6-3 to tie the match.
Alexa Efraimson and the Camas girls cross country team became district champions for the third year in a row Wednesday, at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground.
Efraimson finished the 5,000-meter course in first place with a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Alissa Pudlitzke snagged third place (19:21), Marley LeFore followed in fourth place (19:37), Mckenzie Good grabbed seventh place (20:27), Meghan Finley earned ninth place (20:45), Alexa Jones notched 12th place (21:27) and Lauren Johnston took 13th place (21:37).
“I feel like this was a breakthrough race for the girls. We just continue to get stronger and get better,” Efraimson said. “We’re not trying to peak right now. This just gives us all something to build on.”
A 62-0 victory in their homecoming football game sounds like a perfect night for the Camas Papermakers. But not when the field gets littered with yellow flags. Camas had drives disrupted and touchdowns taken away because of blocks in the back, holding, illegal formations and other violations. At one point, head coach Jon Eagle pulled the first string off the field. It seemed to be the wake up call the Papermakers needed.
With relentless defense and smash mouth offense, the Papermakers won the biggest football game in Camas with a 44-6 victory against Union Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“We knew it would be a fight coming out of the gate,” said offensive and defensive lineman Matt Walser. “This was a really good test for us. They exposed our flaws and showed us ways we can get better.”
Union was the first team to hang with Camas long enough to prevent a running clock. Papermakers Matt Danis, Adam Dawson, Michael DiGenova, Jason Vailea and Walser made life difficult for the Titans all night long.
On the night of Cassie Bailie’s “Dig For A Cure” senior project, the Camas High School volleyball team delivered a 25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23 victory against Skyview.
It was sweet revenge for the Papermakers after they got swept by the Storm Oct. 1.
“We did it with a lot of heart,” Bailie said. “We had a set plan the last time, but we didn’t execute on that plan. This time, we actually put all the pieces together and we had a lot of heart, hustle and determination.”
The Bobcats couldn’t keep the Panthers down Friday.
“These kids just continue to fight in the face of adversity. We didn’t take the lead until the final four minutes of the game. That’s how long we had to battle to make it happen,” said head coach Bob Jacobs. “As long as we continue to compete and work hard, we can achieve things we never thought we could achieve.”
A 16-0 scoring barrage in the fourth quarter helped Washougal beat Aberdeen 28-21. The Panthers remain undefeated on their new home turf at Fishback Stadium.
“Playing at home has been a good thing for us,” Jacobs said. “The support we get from the community is huge. It motivates our kids to play beyond their expectations.”
Brothers Riley and Zach Hein made their last race at Round Lake a memorable one.
The Camas High School seniors were the first two runners to cross the finish line Oct. 15.
Riley completed the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 37 seconds. Zach followed in 17:47.
“It was really cool to be able to look back and see that my brother was right behind me. I could feel him pushing me the whole time,” Riley said. “We didn’t say much during the race, but we both knew what we were going for.”
The Papermakers won the biggest football game in Camas with a 44-6 victory against Union Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Washougal utilized a safety and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat Aberdeen 28-21.
Opportunity wound up in the hands of Zach Eagle and Michael DiGenova, and they delivered for the Papermakers.
The Camas football team turned five defensive touchdowns into a 62-15 victory against Evergreen Friday, at McKenzie Stadium.
“We knew our defense was pretty darn good, but I had never seen anything like that before,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “I just love their style of play. It’s aggressive, fast and physical. They play sideline to sideline with clean, hard hits.”
There’s no place like Fishback Stadium for the Washougal High School football team.
After losing at Rainier, Ore., and at R.A. Long, in Longview, the Panthers returned to a festive homecoming atmosphere and defeated Ridgefield 36-18 Friday. Washougal is 3-0 on the new turf.
“It’s an inspiring environment to play in front of that large crowd,” said head coach Bob Jacobs. “These kids will always play hard for this community and this town.”
After taking care of business against Skyview and Fort Vancouver Wednesday, the Camas girls swimmers rose above 15 other schools to win the Kelso Invitational Saturday.
“We had a great effort,” said head coach Mike Bemis. “Our mid-level girls really came through for us, and I was proud of that.”
Lightning flashes delayed the inevitable for Brian Humphreys.
The reigning 4A state title holder was about to become a district champion for the first time in his young high school career at Camas Oct. 8, on the Tri-Mountain golf course in Ridgefield.
The wind and the rain hadn’t shaken his confidence. He stepped over the standing water on the greens without worry until those crackling sounds off in the distance sent the marshal out in a hurry. Humphreys’ ball marker rested comfortably on the 18th green, but he was forced to leave it there and walk away for who knew how long.
“It was more annoying than anything,” said the sophomore.
There’s no place like Fishback Stadium for the Washougal High School football team. The Panthers defeated Ridgefield 36-18 Friday, on the eve of their homecoming dance. Bobby Jacobs grilled the Spudders with four touchdown runs. Jacobs and Will Peterson recovered fumbles caused by Tristan Roseff and Brandon Casteel. Peterson returned his fumble to the 1-yard line, and then Jacobs jumped over the line of defenders to score a touchdown. He also ran in the 2-point conversion for good measure.
Thomas Normandeau has found his calling as a long distance runner.
The Washougal High School senior joined the cross country team last season to get in better shape for soccer.
Back on the trails for the Panthers this fall, Normandeau said he is considering going out for track in the spring.
“Running seems to be opening more doors for me,” he said. “I like the environment. Every single athlete’s parents, and even more people, come to the meets. It feels good to have so many people cheering for you.”
Caryn and Clark Vitek’s Evergreen Tennis Facility is coming to Camas.
Four indoor courts will be constructed on 2.28 acres of land at 20320 S.E. 20th St. These courts will come with a translucent ceiling to capture natural light.
The league championship is in the golf bag for the Camas boys. Today, they are aiming for the flag sticks at the district tournament on Tri-Mountain.
“This is only my second league title. The last time we won it was when I was a sophomore,” said senior Braeden Campbell. “We won districts back when I was a freshman. I want to end off on a good note and double up with the league and district titles.”
Campbell is rolling after tying the school record with a round of 31 strokes Oct. 1, at Camas Meadows.
Kiggins Bowl wasn’t ready for all this Papermaking, and neither was Skyview.
The lights shut off at the stadium with about five minutes left in the third quarter. By then, the Camas football team had already sucked the juice out of the Storm.
The game resumed after about a 20-minute delay, and the Papermakers put the finishing touches on a 47-12 league opening victory.
“I will remember this game forever because of that,” said running back Cole Zarcone. “It was just like the Super Bowl.”
Kiggins Bowl was not ready for this much Papermaking, and neither was Skyview. The lights went out at the stadium Friday with the Camas football team leading 47-0. By then, the Papermakers had already sucked the juice out of the Storm. After a 20-minute blackout, Camas went on to win 47-12.
The Camas girls soccer team did everything it could to defeat the 3A state champions.
Columbia River put tons of pressure on the Papermakers, but the defensive dam never broke.
The result was a 0-0 draw Thursday, at Kiggins Bowl.
“I liked how well we played, I just wished we would have gotten one in the net,” said Camas junior midfielder Riley Allison. “This is going to light a flame under us, for sure.”
The Papermaker football typhoon swallowed Lakes 49-0 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
The Lancers defeated the Camas football team in overtime during the 2010 state quarterfinals at the same location. This town had not forgotten about that day, and neither did the seniors in the Papermaker pads. They had a job to do.
“I remember looking into the eyes of those seniors and not wanting to feel how they felt,” said quarterback Reilly Hennessey. “Lakes is the only team we had lost to at the new Doc Harris Stadium. Without a doubt, we wanted to win this game for those guys who put Camas on the map and for our town.”
Hennessey had a night to remember. He threw for 279 yards and completed three touchdown passes to Michael DiGenova, James Price and Zach Eagle. Hennessey also ran in a touchdown for good measure.
“They make my life so easy,” he said of his receivers. “I’m not half of what I accomplish without them and the O-line. It takes 11 guys on the field to do what we accomplish.”
You have to love running in order to perform under the windy and rainy conditions witnessed Saturday, and the Camas High School cross country competitors do.
“Every single one of these kids gave it their all,” said head coach Laurie Porter. “You could see it on their faces and in their form by the end of the races — they had nothing left.”
Alexa Efraimson, Alissa Pudlitzke, Marley LeFore, Maddie Woodson and Meghan Finley led the Papermaker varsity girls team to fourth place in the Danner Championship Nike Pre-Nationals race, at Portland Meadows.
Efraimson earned first place after she completed the 5,000-meter slushy obstacle course in 17 minutes, 59 seconds. She said it was not as muddy as during the Nike Cross Nationals, but it was still difficult to navigate.
“It wasn’t just the rain that affected me, it was the wind. It was equivalent to going up a hill,” Efraimson said. “It just shows the dedication that this team has. This was the first big race of the season and I thought we did well.”
It had almost been three years since Lakes eliminated Camas in the 2010 state quarterfinals at Doc Harris Stadium. This town had not forgotten about that day, and neither did those seniors in the Papermaker football pads. They had a job to do. "I remember looking into the eyes of those seniors after that game and not wanting to feel how they felt," said quarterback Reilly Hennessey. "Lakes is the only team we have lost to at the new Doc Harris Stadium. Without a doubt, we wanted to win this game for those guys who put Camas on the map and for our town." Camas evaporated Lakes 49-0 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
The Washougal Panthers eluded the Fort Vancouver Trappers and reached the end zone five times in a 35-0 victory Friday, at Kiggins Bowl.
Senior Bobby Jacobs ran for 149 yards in the first half and scored three touchdowns. He rushed for a grand total of 229 yards in the game.
“I got to give it up to our up front linemen. They play with a lot of heart. We wouldn’t be able to do anything without them,” Jacobs said. “It’s not a one-man thing scoring a touchdown. It takes a whole team.”
The bees were stinging the greens Thursday, at Camas Meadows.
Brian Humphreys shot an even-par round of 36 strokes. He came within a few feet of chipping in an eagle on the ninth hole, but had no problem settling for a birdie.
Braeden Campbell was 3-over after the first three holes, before sinking a clutch par putt on the fourth hole. He went 1-under the rest of the round, dropped in a birdie putt on the seventh hole and finished with a 38.
Brett Ball battled an illness that sapped his energy, but he still managed to shoot a 38.
But on this day, Levi Holscher had the defining performance for the Camas High School boys golf team. He shot a 37 for the Papermakers while golfing in the same group as Union’s Eddie Abellar, who shot a 34, and Ben Gruher, who shot a 41. Abellar and Humphreys were the only two who had a better day than Holscher.
The Camas volleyball team blew the reining 3A state champions out of their own building Sept. 17, at Prairie High School.
“This is never an easy place to play,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “There’s a Camas-Prairie rivalry that goes beyond league. This team has a lot of heart.”
The Papermakers took the first set 25-21, and rallied back to tie the second set and force overtime. A questionable out-of-bounds call was ruled in favor of the Falcons and they were awarded the second set 27-25.
“That game kind of lit our fire and made us want the win even more than before,” said senior Lauren Harris. “Each point is a new point. We just put the past behind us and we better the ball on every touch.”
After riding in a bus for three hours just to get to the field, the Enumclaw Hornets stung the visiting Camas girls soccer team with a goal in three minutes.
The numbing feeling in their veins proved to make the Papermakers angry. It only took them five minutes to find antidote. Once Anyssa DeVera delivered a through ball and Amanda Shi fired it into the net, the game was tied.
Camas broke the Hornet’s nest one more time in the 48th minute. Savanna Joyce tackled the ball away from a defender and passed it to Rachel Wildeson as she was cutting through the honeycomb. Wildeson slotted the ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give the Papermakers a 2-1 victory.
“They were a big, good team,” said Camas head coach Roland Minder. “I praised our players for their mental toughness on a come-from-behind win.”