Hajek grabs reins again

Six years after losing his grip on the head football coaching position at Washougal High School, Dave Hajek got it back Monday. “Hajek demonstrated throughout the interview process all of the qualities that we are looking for in a coach,” Athletic Director Doug Cox wrote in a press release. “He has a tremendous amount of highly successful experience as a coach and as a player. He understands, and has demonstrated that he is committed to the goals and objectives of an education based athletic program. He is clearly passionate and enthusiastic about the sport, and the personal development of our athletes. He is organized, a good communicator, a capable fundraiser, and a solid role model for our athletes.” A proud Panther since graduating from the high school in 1987, Hajek played football for Eastern Washington University while earning his teaching degree. He returned to his alma mater in 1993 to teach social studies and coach.

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Fantastic Four aims for more

Ashley Carter, Emily Karkanen, Caleigh Lofstead and Shannon Ross are the Fantastic Four Camas gymnasts who reached the 4A state meet together Friday, at the Tacoma Dome. Ross finished in 13th place on the floor exercise, with a 9.3, and 18th place on the vault, with an 8.9. The sophomore just missed qualifying for Saturday’s finals on the floor. “I hit that routine like I knew I could,” Ross said. “I left everything on that floor, and I’m walking away happy.”

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Robidoux brothers are running for Boston

Look through a roll of paper and you get an idea how Kyle Robiduox sees every day life with retinis pigmentosa. Extreme tunnel vision. No peripheral vision. Not able to see at night. Unable to drive a vehicle. Robiduox was diagnosed with the disease when he was 11 years old, but that didn’t stop him and his older brother Jayson from playing baseball and basketball, or chasing each other down the slopes on skis.

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Lees gets a taste of glory

Egged on by her teammates and coaches, Abby Lees reluctantly climbed two flights of stairs to hang the Washougal banner on the top balcony at the Tacoma Dome. The ritual to break in the freshman turned into an impressive event of foreshadowing. During the next two days of wrestling competition, Lees scaled the Mat Classic mountain with a refusal to lose. She defeated Nooksack Valley’s Kylee Dekoekkoek in overtime 6-4 in her first match Friday. Lees then pinned Kendra Maxfield, of Emerald Ridge, with five seconds left on the clock in the final round.

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Dreamchasers

Kasey Calwell completed the backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle laps in a personal best time of 1 minute, 54.23 seconds during Saturday’s 4A state swimming meet, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

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Washougal girls wrestlers go after the biggest prize

The Panthers didn’t want to put their regional trophy back in the case, but it’s time for these girls to wrestle for an even bigger prize. Champion Erin Locke, second-place finishers Jessica Eakins, Haven Camden and Abby Lees, and fourth-place medalists Yaneli Martinez, Emily Alder-Storm and Katelyn Purkeypyle helped Washougal beat 14 other schools for the regional title Saturday, at Hoquiam High School. “Even though I won my championship match, bringing home the team trophy was even more exciting,” Locke said. “It was the cherry on top of the sundae.”

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Gymnasts rise together

Together, the Camas High School gymnasts made history before midnight. Shannon Ross, Ashley Carter, Caleigh Lofstead, Alexis Sabatini, Gabrielle Bird, Hannah Marquis, Riley Truitt, Emily Karkanen, Tamaki Murata and Hope Richter became the first Papermakers to clinch a district gymnastics championship trophy. Camas collected 166.65 points to win the six-team scramble at Northpointe, in Vancouver. Heritage followed in second place with 159.45.

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The biggest splash

The Papermakers rode the waves they created to win the district title by 100 points Saturday, at Kelso High School. “Once that buzzer goes off, you give it your all and come back the next day for finals and do it all over again,” said junior Lucas Ulmer. “I’m glad we had so many kids push through and help us with the meet. Without them, we wouldn’t have these relays and the meet records.” Kasey Calwell, Tom Utas, Ulmer and John Utas kicked things off with a meet and school record time of 1 minute, 39.67 seconds in the 200-meter medley relay.

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Camas makes biggest splash at districts

The Papermakers rode the waves they created to the district championship by 100 points. Camas won the five-team district meet with 414 points Saturday, at Kelso High School. Union was way back in second place with 314 points. Skyview took third with 156 points.

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Together, Camas gymnasts rise

Together, the Camas High School gymnasts made history before midnight. Shannon Ross, Ashley Carter, Caleigh Lofstead, Alexis Sabatini, Gabrielle Bird, Hannah Marquis, Riley Truitt, Emily Karkanen, Tamaki Murata and Hope Richter became the first Papermakers to clinch a district gymnastics championship trophy. Camas collected 166.65 points to win the six-team scramble at Northpointe, in Vancouver. Heritage followed in second place with 159.45. “We just made history in Camas. It’s cool to be a part of that,” Carter said.

Washougal boys are still standing after beating Mark Morris

The 2A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball standings shook when Washougal knocked off the first place team and climbed out of the cellar.

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A snowball’s chance

Ron and Kelly Stevens have nurtured their children in the Winter Hawks’ nest. Ryan Stevens attended his first hockey game when he was 10 days old. He grew up in Washougal playing East County Pop Warner and Clark County Youth Football. When the Stanley Cup came to the Mountain View Ice Arena in 2011, Ryan waited in line for hours just to see it up close. A picture of him kissing the silver tin was published on The Columbian’s sports page.

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Papermakers with bright futures

Ten Papermakers put pen to paper toward their future destinations after gradutation on National College Signing Day Wednesday. “I’m excited to play football and not have my parents tell me to clean my room,” said Drew Clarkson after signing with Oregon State University. It has been a crazy road up to this point in Clarkson’s life. Eleven months ago, he found out that he had stage 2 testicular cancer. Though surgery, rest and recuperation, Clarkson never lost sight of his goal. He was going to play football during his senior year.

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Papermaker crashes pins with the best

Shelby Chartrand crashed pins with the best bowlers in the state and walked away with an eighth-place medal Friday, at Tacoma Narrows Plaza Bowl. The 14-year-old Camas High School freshman rose above 61 other bowlers with a 1,120 series. She rolled games of 168, 170, 180, 187, 192 and 223. “Every single game, she improved up to that 223,” said coach Doug Huegli. “As the day progressed, she just got stronger and bowled with confidence. It was fun to watch.”

Home is where the journey begins

With the 4A district wrestling tournament fast approaching, coach Cory Vom Baur threw down the gauntlet for the Papermakers. “If you are looking for a way out, take it. There are exits everywhere, but these kids are training to beat you,” he said. Veteran Camas wrestlers Tye Lommasson, Marcus Hartman, Noah Shannon, Bryant Elliott, Talon Edmiston take Vom Baur’s words to heart. He was a three-time state finalist when he wrestled for Evergreen High School, in Vancouver, and became a champion in 2005.

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Papermakers with bright futures

Ten Papermakers put pen to paper today on their future destinations after graduation. “I’m excited to play football and not have my parents tell me to clean my room,” said Drew Clarkson after signing with Oregon State University. It has been a crazy road to this point in Clarkson’s life. Eleven months ago, he found out that he had stage 2 testicular cancer. Though surgery, rest and recuperation, Clarkson never lost sight of his goal. He was going to play football during his senior year. Clarkson returned to the front line without losing a step. He helped the Papermakers become league champions again, return to the Tacoma Dome for the third year in a row and play for the state championship.

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Washougal boys net first league victory

The first league victory came in the nick of time for the Washougal boys basketball team. Austin Tran netted 13 of his team-leading 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Panthers defeat Ridgefield 62-48 Jan. 28, at Washougal High School. He also made all eight of his shots from the foul line during those final eight minutes. “I think this was one of the most important games,” Tran said. “It was either win this or not make districts. Hopefully, this will be the start of our run back into the playoffs.”

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ROARING RIVALRY

The Camas girls basketball team finished the deal with Union Friday, but the boys ended up digesting another bitter pill. Senior Night started off right for the Papermakers when Rachel Rice, the only senior on the Camas girls team, delivered the first basket of the game. Rice also served Brenna Khaw and Nikki Corbett passes on a silver platter to help the Papermakers put the finishing touches on a 37-30 victory against the Titans.

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Paddleboard from Cottonwood Beach

Athletes from around the globe are coming to Washougal to stand up on a board and paddle in the Columbia River. The World Paddleboard Association’s first Salmon Classic takes off from Cottonwood Beach Saturday, Aug. 31, at Capt. William Clark Park. An 8-mile long course challenge kicks off at 9 a.m., followed by a 4-mile short course race at 11 a.m., and a 2-mile novice event at noon. The winning male and female competitors will receive a $2,000 prize. Awards will also be given to the top three winners in each class.

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Papermaker bowler rolls along to state

Shelby Chartrand will crash pins with the best bowlers in the state Friday, at Tacoma Narrows Plaza Bowl. The 14-year-old Camas High School freshman finished in seventh place at the 4A district tournament Jan. 30, at Allen’s Crosley Lanes in Vancouver. She rolled games of 170, 174 and 183 for a 527 series. “This is a really big opportunity,” Chartrand said. “Basically, what I did was have fun and bowl my game like it’s just a Saturday. It actually felt nice.” Camas finished in fifth place at districts with a combined total of 3,424 points. Battle Ground won the six-team scramble with 4,104 points.

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Watermark moments

The Papermakers earned their watermarks Wednesday, at LaCamas Swim & Sport. Kasey Calwell, Lucas Ulmer and John Utas won all four of their events to help the Camas boys beat Union, 155-130, Mountain View, 183-94, Evergreen, 211-36, and Heritage, 212-25.

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Panthers carve up Lumberjills

The Washougal High School girls are ahead of the curve after the first run through league. Besides a 44-point loss to defending 2A state champion Mark Morris, the Panthers took care of business against Ridgefield, Hockinson and R.A. Long.

Washougal wins Gorge Invitational

Twelve out of 14 Washougal wrestlers snagged medals from the Columbia Gorge Invitational Saturday, at Stevenson High School. And the team brought home the trophy.

Camas gymnasts stay in command

The Camas High School gymnastics team racked up 168.52 points to beat Union by 23.62 points Saturday, at the Northpointe Gymnastics Center in Vancouver.

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Back-to-back cardiac victories help Camas boys get even

The hearts inside these Camas High School boys basketball players are beating fast. They started out 0-3 in league. Now they are 3-3, after defeating Skyview 50-48 Friday, and Battle Ground 50-47 Jan. 21, in the Camas warehouse. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” said junior James Price. “When the fans are in it and the team is in it, it’s an exciting time.”

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A Papermaker beats a Titan to become county champion

Bryant Elliott took Daniel Rice to the wood chipper Saturday, at Mountain View High School.

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County excellence

Erin Locke and Morgan Ratcliff wrestled each other like they would any day in Washougal. There just happened to be fans from all over Clark County watching them under the lights at Mountain View High School, Saturday. “It’s always hard wrestling your teammate,” Locke said. “Right off the whistle, I could see her trying not to smile. I tried not to make eye contact with her. But in the end, it’s all good.”

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Pink sweep for Camas

The Camas High School basketball teams dominated their Hoops for Pink games Friday, inside the Camas warehouse. A 22-8 scoring barrage in the first quarter helped the Papermaker boys beat Heritage 55-28. It was their first league victory of the season after falling behind early in their previous league games and not being able to catch up. “Our motto tonight was ‘refuse to lose.’ We’re done with that,” said junior post Trevor Jasinsky. “For us to come out and get a big win on Hoops for Pink night was special for all of us. Not just me. I think I speak for the whole program when I say that.”

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Golladay Way

By digging into dirt and evidence, Dick Golladay found his way into people’s hearts. “I know how to do it, and I know where the masters are,” said the 66 years “young” police officer turned landscaper. After graduating from Camas High School in 1965, Golladay served as a volunteer firefighter and then joined the Camas Police Department May 30, 1973. He dedicated 24 years to the force, retired in 1997, returned in 2002 and became the supervisor of the offender work crew.

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A Papermaker beats a Titan to become county champion

Bryant Elliott took Daniel Rice to the wood chipper Saturday, at Mountain View High School. The Camas Papermaker defeated the Union Titan 15-11 to become the 132-pound Clark County wrestling champion. “This was my first time out there in the finals at Clark County,” Elliott said. “It was a little nerve wracking, but it’s a good feeling to be able to come out with a win. And it’s always good to beat a Union kid.”

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Good times for Camas at Winterfest

The Camas High School gymnasts misplaced their equipment, uniforms and music, but that didn’t stop them from winning the first session of the Winterfest Invitational Saturday, at the Naydenov Gymnastics Center in Vancouver. “This was one of the funniest meets because it was like we forgot everything,” said freshman Alexis Sabatini. “But most importantly, we remembered to have a good time. That’s the only way we can win is to have fun.”

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On the sidelines: Pink sweep

The Camas High School basketball teams dominated their Hoops for Pink games Friday, inside the Camas warehouse. A 22-8 scoring barrage in the first quarter helped the Papermaker boys beat Heritage 55-28. It was their first league victory of the season after falling behind early in their previous league games and not being able to catch up. The Camas shared the basketball. Jordan Anderson and Trevor Jasinsky each netted nine points, James Price added eight, and Jordan Lenard and Nick Lopes both had six points. The Papermaker girls pummeled the Timberwolves 62-20. Camas outscored Heritage 12-7 in the first quarter, 20-7 in the second quarter, 16-4 in the third quarter and 14-2 in the fourth quarter. On the receiving end of passes from Brenna Khaw, Rachel Rice and Meghan Finley, Nikki Corbett delivered 16 of her team-leading 22 points in the first half. She scored 10 of those points in the second quarter. Khaw netted 13 points. Brenna Vargo and Teague Schroeder sparked the Papermakers off the bench. Vargo earned eight points and Schroeder added six.

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Papermakers wear pink

Break out the pink uniforms and shoelaces. It’s time for the Papermaker girls basketball players to play for victims of breast cancer Friday, at Camas High School. The Camas boys and girls basketball teams host Heritage for the event. The varsity boys play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity girls. General admission is $5. Hoops for Pink T-shirts will be on sale for $10. A silent auction will be held through the night. Winners will be announced after the third quarter of the girls game. All donations will benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

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Panther girls obtain first league win

Bumps, bruises and weary legs turned into two hard fought victories for the Washougal High School girls basketball team. The Panthers kicked off league play by beating Ridgefield 58-43 Friday, in Washougal. RaeAnn Allen netted 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Alyssa Blankenship added 15 points, five rebounds and four steals. Megan Sharp racked up 12 steals to go with eight points. “It was a commanding win for us. Our girls are starting to get back in the groove and confidence is on the rise,” said head coach Brian Oberg. “I still feel like the second and third seeds in our league are wide open. Getting an early win like this is very helpful in the big picture. We still need to keep working hard every day, but this was a great way to get league started.”

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Papermaker girls roll

Seven months and seven games back from knee surgery, Brenna Khaw continues to gain confidence with each step. “If I get injured again, I get injured,” said the Camas High School junior after she tore her ACL during a game on May 16. “I can’t play scared. I just have to give my all and trust [my knee].” Nikki Corbett and the rest of the Papermakers are benefitting from Khaw’s presence on the court. Corbett delivered 21 points to help Camas beat Evergreen 54-29 Friday, at Camas High School. Rachel Rice netted nine points and Emma Jones earned eight. Khaw contributed four points and nine assists in the contest.

Wrestlers excel at tournaments

This will be an exciting week for the Camas and Washougal high school wrestling teams. The Panthers and Papermakers are competing in the Clark County Championships Friday and Saturday, at Mountain View High School, 1500 S.E. Blairmont Drive in Vancouver. The Washougal boys wrestling team captured first place against eight other schools Saturday, at the Grandview Invitational.

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Washougal sweeps King’s Way off court

A 12-0 start for the girls and a 25-13 finish by the boys led to a doubleheader basketball sweep for the Panthers Dec. 30, at Washougal High School. Noah Prangley netted 11 of his team-leading 16 points in the fourth quarter to springboard the Washougal boys to a 57-42 victory against King’s Way Christian, of Vancouver. Austin Tran added 12 points in the game. Rick Stephens, Yorro Bah, Patrick Jones, David Wallace and Spencer Adams all made critical baskets and played ferocious defense. “This was our best game as a team so far this season, both offensively and defensively,” said head coach Malcolm Estes. “We need to continue to share the basketball, play hard on defense and improve on all fundamental aspects of the game.

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The river wild

Tanner Baldwin and Roger Polanco went down to the Washougal River and brought home championship medals. Polanco pinned Hockinson’s Nate Lazzaretto for the 132-pound title Saturday, at Washougal High School. Polanco also beat teammate Tony Maniscalco in the semifinals. Maniscalco finished in fourth place at 132 pounds. “This is my second time wearing the orange,” Polanco said. “I feel like I wrestled better with it on.”

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A One Center Court experience of a lifetime

The Camas High School boys basketball players and coaches embraced the opportunity of a lifetime when they played a game at the home of the Portland Trail Blazers Friday. “This is a memory we will always share,” said senior Jordan Lenard. “We got to play in the Moda Center, walk through the same halls and be in the same locker room as NBA players.” Jordan Anderson, Trevor Jasinsky and Nick Lopes each netted 10 points. Lenard nailed a 3-pointer and finished with six points. Jasinsky stole the ball and dunked it through the hoop in one sequence. It would not be enough for Camas, as Columbia Christian of Portland won 76-50.

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On the sidelines: The river wild

Tanner Baldwin and Roger Polanco went down to the Washougal River and brought home championship medals. Polanco pinned Hockinson’s Nate Lazzaretto for the 132-pound title Saturday, at Washougal High School. Polanco also beat teammate Tony Maniscalco in the semifinals. Maniscalco finished in fourth place at 132 pounds. Baldwin beat Skyview’s Cameron Hutchison 14-7 for the 152-pound title. Baldwin also pinned Wahuke’s Francisco Tapia and defeated Battle Ground’s Steven Evans 11-1 to get to the championship match.

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On the sidelines: Camas basketball at the Moda Center

The view of One Center Court from press row was incredible for this small town sports reporter. I can only imagine what it felt like to make a basket. So I asked Camas High School basketball players Jordan Anderson, Trevor Jasinksy and Jordan Lenard after their game against Columbia Christian Friday, at the Moda Center. “I got to play the game I love with my best friends on the biggest stage in basketball,” Jasinsky said. Anderson, Jasinsky and Nick Lopes each delivered 10 points for the Papermakers. Lenard nailed a 3-pointer and finished the game with six points. Jasinsky stole the ball and dunked it through the hoop in one sequence. It would not be enough for Camas, as Columbia Christian won 76-50.

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Like son, like father

The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son. Robert and Marisa Harvey signed their son Brandon and daughter Tianna up for Riverside Martial Arts classes through Washougal Community Education in March of 2009. Eight months later, Robert joined his children in this family quest for fun. “It just got too tough sitting on the bench,” Robert said. “I think it’s a decision he made on his own,” Brandon said. “The class itself encouraged him to join.”

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A Camas state of mind

Camas High School football players Drew Clarkson, Michael DiGenova, Zach Eagle and Reilly Hennessey are graciously accepting statewide awards, but it takes a village to make history. The Papermakers went 13-1 this season and became the school’s first football team to play in the state championship game, at the Tacoma Dome. The 27-26 loss to Chiawana, of Pasco, still stings weeks later. The pain might not completely go away, but this team will always be remembered for what it accomplished. “It’s humbling to know you’re getting recognition all around the state for all the blood, sweat and tears. We’ve opened people’s eyes and let them know what Camas football is all about,” Hennessey said. “These awards have our names on them, but they really are a reflection of all the people around us.”

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Washougal sweeps King’s Way off court

A 12-0 start for the girls and a 25-13 finish by the boys led to a doubleheader basketball sweep for the Panthers Monday, at Washougal High School. Noah Prangley netted 11 of his team-leading 16 points in the fourth quarter springboard the Washougal boys to a 57-42 victory against King’s Way Christian, of Vancouver. Austin Tran added 12 points in the game. Rick Stephens, Yorro Bah, Patrick Jones, David Wallace and Spencer Adams all made critical baskets and played ferocious defense. “This was our best game as a team so far this season, both offensively and defensively,” said head coach Malcolm Estes. “We need to continue to share the basketball, play hard on defense and improve on all fundamental aspects of the game. “We are a work in progress,” he added. “We took a step in the right direction tonight.” The King's Way girls had a grapefruit on the scoreboard until there was 18.1 seconds left on the clock in the first quarter. By then, Washougal built a 12-0 advantage. Alyssa Blankenship racked up 20 and Haley Briggs added 10 to lead Washougal to a 55-15 victory. Megan Sharp earned eight points and RaeAnn Allen had six. Sharp and Allen also served up some assists.

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On the sidelines: Camas basketball teams sweep Washougal Friday

The Camas girls basketball team scored the first 16 points of the game and beat Washougal 68-28 Friday, at Camas High School. Over in Washougal, the Papermaker boys basketball team rebounded from their first loss of the season to beat the Panthers 55-43.

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Papermaker gymnasts, coach reunite

Carol Willson helped many of these Camas High School gymnastics find their footing in this sport. After taking some years off to adopt and raise a child, Willson was hired as the new head coach for the Papermakers just as these girls reconnected as sophomores and freshmen in high school. “It’s like a family reunion,” Willson said. “I met all of these girls when they were first-graders. It’s fun to see them now as young ladies.”

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Evergreen Storm wins the day at nationals

The Evergreen Storm Track Club had an exceptional day at the Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships Dec. 14, on the National Shooting Range in San Antonio, Texas.

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CHS boys basketall team is making it count

Washougal fought back to within four points going into the fourth quarter Friday at Camas High School, before the Papermakers pulled away for a 74-54 victory. “I love the support we got from both communities. It made the game a lot of fun,” said Camas head coach Skyler Gillispie. “Both teams came out and played extremely hard.”

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Thriving wrestling tradition

Erin Locke and Sara Sanchez picked up right where they left off last season. The two Washougal High School seniors earned championship medals to help the Panther girls wrestling team win the 22-school Warden, Wash., Invitational Saturday. Sanchez pinned all four of her opponents in the 137-pound bracket. Locke nailed three pin fall victories and a 15-0 technical fall at 145 pounds. Morgan Ratliff (130) snagged second place for the Panthers. Yaneli Martinez (100) and Emily Alder-Storm (112) took third place. Jessica Biron (155) and Katelyn Purkeypyle (235) finished in fourth place. Logan Sanchez (118) and Abby Lees (170) claimed fifth place. Baylee Wright (124) grabbed sixth place.

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Camas wrestlers are building a brotherhood

After becoming a district and regional champion, Tye Lommasson earned the opportunity all wrestlers in the state of Washington dream about. He competed for a state championship medal. The match only lasted 21 seconds before Lommasson was pinned, but it was enough to make the Camas High School senior believe he could achieve his ultimate goal. “It just taught me to be humble. Be grateful for the opportunity,” Lommasson said. “I’m going to go twice as hard this year to get back there. Hopefully, I get another shot at it.”