Stories by Dan Trujillo

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August 31, 2010
D'Andre Aaron (left) delivers a hit on defense for the Washougal High School football team during practice.

First step for Panther football

With a new head coach preaching physicality and toughness, the Washougal High School football players take the first step to becoming a harder, better, faster and stronger team Friday. The Panthers pounce into the 2010 season against the Hudson's Bay Eagles. The game starts at 7 p.m., at Kiggin's Bowl in downtown Vancouver. New Washougal head coach Bob Jacobs grits his teeth with anticipation for the opening kick off. The first game at Fishback is Sept. 17, when Washougal takes on Fort Vancouver.

August 31, 2010
Stefani Sorensen puts the hammer down for the Papermaker volleyball team during practice.

Packing a Papermaker punch

Stefani Sorensen is one of several Camas High School volleyball players ready to rise. "I'm very excited about this year," she said. "It's my senior year, and I want to make it the best it can be." On Saturday, the Papermakers venture to the University of Washington to play in the Emerald City Volleyball Invitational. Doors open at noon, and admission is free. Camas faces Union at 1 p.m.; Christian Faith at 2 p.m.; Mount Si at 3 p.m.; Life Christian at 3:30 p.m.; Eastlake at 4 p.m. and Bellevue at 5 p.m.

August 11, 2010
Jake Rose conquers Mather Pass, elevation 12,100 feet. "I had to dig in with my ice ax each time, and basically climbed straight up," he said. "I was sweating hard, but at the top I felt very rewarded."

Touching the sky

Bruised, sun burnt and blistered, Jake Rose has never seen so much beauty. Since May 18, the 21-year-old hiking enthusiast from Camas has walked from the Mexico border, through California and into Oregon on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. "The miles don't get easier. It gets a little bit harder each time," Rose said during a phone interview Wednesday. "Although it's tougher than I thought it would be, it's definitely one of the best summers I've ever had. You meet a lot of great people, and make hiking partners and friends for life. I love to explore, and I get to see new scenery all the time. It's definitely one of the best things I've ever done."

August 10, 2010
Gage Dillon (left) and Blake Adair (right) get ready to grapple Wednesday, during the Clark County Coach-A-Roo wrestling camp at Skyridge Middle School in Camas.

Wrestling camp brings county grapplers together

As many as 60 young wrestlers were anxious to learn from Clark County champions during the first Clark County Coach-A-Roo wrestling camp, which concluded Friday at Skyridge Middle School in Camas. Camas High School wrestling coach Brody Faler organized the camp to build relationships between high school and middle school wrestlers, and the upcoming youth. He dreams of this camp becoming as prestigious as the Clark County Championship wrestling tournaments.

August 3, 2010
Drew White of Camas delivered on defense for U-18 national champion EastSide United FC Liverpool.

United frontier

Drew White can still hear the whistle, the one signaling a U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship for him and his EastSide United FC Liverpool teammates. "They were just pounding us with the ball, nonstop for the last 10 minutes," said the Camas High School senior. "The most incredible feeling was when that final whistle blew. I just turned around and knelt down at the 18, and then embraced my teammates. "There's nothing like winning a national championship," White added. "I just wanted to enjoy the moment."

August 3, 2010
Devin Mounts of Gresham, Ore., is all smiles as he makes his way across the finish line.  Mounts, 20, placed first in a field of nine finishers in the Camas Twilight Criterium's Category 4/5 race.  A total of about 50 participants were entered into the five races held  Saturday evening in downtown Camas.

Cycling Camas until sundown

As the sun set in Camas Saturday, streets were buzzing with bicycles. After a six-year hiatus, the Camas Twilight Criterium returned to downtown with mixed results. The five different races drew about 50 riders, from children to people in their 50s. Although Camas Bike & Sport owner Ed Fischer was pleased with the amount of spectators, he was hoping for more participants.

July 27, 2010
Dirt flies and fans cheer as riders make their way around the bend during the Washougal AMA National Saturday. Guests began showing up at Washougal Motocross Park on Wednesday for the 30th anniversary celebration.

Kings of the hill

Ryan Dungey's reign over Washougal continued for a third year Saturday, but the 30th annual AMA event at Washougal Motocross Park belonged to Trey Canard. The 19-year-old 250 class rider from Shawnee, Okla., is on quite a hot streak since breaking his leg at Washougal during his rookie season of 2008. Hitting every jump, twist and turn on pins and needles, Canard completed two nearly flawless motos to win his third straight national event on the 2010 tour. "When you get in the zone like that, it's a really good place to be," he said. "I had a lot of emotions coming back here after I broke my femur. To be able to come out and win two motos, it was just an awesome day."

July 27, 2010
The kids run closed out the Fit Right Northwest running and walking events around Lacamas Lake Sunday. Race director Dave Sobolik said 120 kids registered ahead of time, and many more signed up before the run began.

Discovering the beauty of Lacamas Lake on foot

Babies in strollers to athletes in their 80s made their way around the track at Cardon Field Sunday as part of the seventh-annual Fit Right Northwest Lacamas Lake half marathon and Round Lake four-mile run and walk. At the age of 80, Esther Nosler of Vancouver was one of the oldest participants in the event that drew approximately 1,675 runners and walkers from Camas, Washougal, Vancouver, Portland, and other areas in Washington and Oregon. In 2009, she finished first in her age group on the four-mile walk. On Sunday, she took second with a time of 57 minutes, 55 seconds. "I love this course, but it's very tough. It's a hard one because there are a lot of hills," Nosler said. "I had a good time. The weather was just beautiful."

July 22, 2010
The bunny hops and big jumps at Washougal Motocross Park have been thrilling riders and racing fans since 1971.

Washougal motocross 30 years

This 39-year-old beauty, nestled in a forest of fir trees near the Washougal River, continues to captivate riders and racing fans with its hairpin turns, hang time jumps and breathtaking scenery. When AMA professional riders Ryan Dungey, Andrew Short, Kevin Windham and Chad Reed hit the park's famous Horsepower Hill and Scott Ski Jump during the eighth round of the 2010 Lucas Oil National Championship Saturday, fans are going to be right on top of the action. "We are very excited for the 30th anniversary of the national," said spokesman Brian Barnes. "There's a tremendous amount of hype, mostly from the racers and fans who have been with us since the park opened in 1971."

July 20, 2010
Kids kick the ball around Friday, during the final day of the Dan Macaya Soccer Camp at the Prune Hill Sports Park in Camas.

Palodichuk inspires young soccer players in Camas

An opportunity to speak to kids at the Dan Macaya Soccer Camp Friday took Nick Palodichuk back in time. Long before he won a state championship on the Camas High School boys soccer team, or scored a goal for the United States in the U-17 World Cup against Nigeria. Back to when he started kicking a soccer ball against a wall at the age of 5. "My mom coached my team for the first two years. She's a very big part of my life," Palodichuk said. "When you're young like that, you don't care about anything. You're just out there having fun. "I remember when I was 11 or 12, running as fast as I could just to get to the ball," he added. "Camps like this one is where I got started. I used to be one of these kids, just messing around and having fun with my friends."