Camas and Washougal wrestle maniacs of all ages got their blood pumping Thursday night, as the Panthers and Papermakers wasted little time pinning their opponent’s shoulders to the mat.
The opener between Washougal’s Monte Miller and Lucas Nicacio of Camas at Washougal High School went bell to bell, before Nicacio emerged victorious by the score of 7-1. The majority of the matches ended by pin fall in less than two minutes. Six of those pins went in favor of the Papermakers, which helped them defeat the Panthers 51-30.
“Washougal beat us the last few years. It’s been a tough rivalry, and a good one for us to have,” Nicacio said. “It feels good to see our team evolve and gel, and finally beat them in my senior year. So many of our guys got the reversal and flipped the match in our favor.”
Camas gained a 21-0 advantage before Washougal even got on the scoreboard. Devin Scott and Tyler Weiss won by pin fall in the first round, to go along with Nicacio’s victory by decision and a forfeit in favor of Dakota Safford.
“Watching points rack up on our side is pretty cool,” Nicacio said. “It felt good to be able to enjoy that as a team.”
Washougal chipped away on pin falls by Michael Huck, John Barrette and Robert Melton, but could not get any closer to Camas.
“Our new guys wrestled hard for going up against such a good team,” Huck said. “[Melton] wrestled really aggressive out there. It was a great win for him. I can tell he’s going to be good for us this year.”
Gabe Wells and PJ Badertscher both turned some impressive reversals into pin fall victories for the Papermakers. Marcus Hartman pinned his opponent in the second round to win the final match of the night for Camas.
“I’ll remember the effort our whole team put forward to beat Washougal,” Wells said. “It shows you can achieve limitless things if you put in the work.”
In his first match of the year since helping the Camas football team reach the state quarterfinals, Miguel Salamanca won by pin fall in the first round.
“It feels great to win this one. A lot of our guys fought off their backs to win matches,” he said. “Now people know we can wrestle. We made a name for ourselves, and hopefully we continue to get tougher.”
The Camas and Washougal wrestling rivalry is alive and well, and the Panthers and Papermakers look forward to being a part of it every year.