Persistence pays off for Papermaker wrestlers

Camas clinches third place at Yakima tournament

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ZACHARY KAUFMAN/The Columbian Vancouver mayor-elect Tim Leavitt watches a television interview featuring incumbent Royce Pollard at his downtown office on Wednesday.

Tyler Weiss is doing whatever it takes to become a state champion.

After wrestling with his Camas High School teammates for a few hours every day after school, the senior heads down to Clackamas, Ore., for another practice with the Cobra Wrestling All-Stars. He does this twice a week.

“I just want to make the whole team better,” Weiss said. “I went to lots of summer camps, I’m going to three extra practices a week and I’m running every day. Hopefully, that’s enough.

“To be a state champion would be amazing,” he added. “I wouldn’t even know how to describe it, seeing all that hard work pay off in such a big way.”

Weiss enjoyed watching his former teammate and practice partner Miguel Salamanca capture a state championship last season. It made the dream of winning such a prestigious title more possible for every Papermaker.

“The biggest message you could take from Miguel winning state is that it does happen,” said Camas head coach Glenn Hartman. “If you prepare yourself and you pay the price, you can be that person too. It was great for our kids to see that.”

Tyler Weiss leads a determined group of returning wrestlers in PJ Badestscher, Philip Barlas, Marcus Hartman, Vince Huber, Tye Lommasson, Taryn Lommasson, Austin Miller and Adam Weiss. Coach Hartman said the Papermakers might not have enough depth to beat Kelso, Mountain View or Columbia River in a dual meet, but they do have the work horses who can go deep in tournaments.

Camas is coming off a successful weekend in Yakima. After beating host West Valley by a tiebreaker Friday, the Papermakers finished third as a team in the West Valley Invitational Saturday. Tyler Markham topped his opponent from West Valley by the score of 13-12. He came back the next day and captured the 106-pound championship, winning by a technical fall in the final round. Hartman, Miller, Tyler Weiss and Evan Miller earned second place in their respective brackets, and Noah Shannon took third.

“We want our kids to go out there every time and wrestle the best match they can. It’s fun to watch them get tougher and win the matches they couldn’t in the beginning,” said coach Hartman. “In the inter-squad matches we had, I saw a lot of real good efforts by the younger kids. I hope they continue to strive to get better and push the guys ahead of them. It makes for a tougher team and a more competitive room. That’s what we want.”