On the sidelines: Dreams do come true

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The Camas High School boys basketball team captured a league championship for the first time in 49 years. Pictured, left to right: Addison Owen, Richard Schultz, Kevin Basilio, Jacob Kaler, Dobilas Zalpys, Kyle Friend, Bryan Butler, Marc Eppinger, Michael Neff and Damon Kosaki.

If you were one of the estimated 1,800 fans inside the Camas warehouse Friday night, I don’t have to tell you what happened.

But for those who missed out, the Camas High School boys basketball team beat Mountain View 60-37 to win a league championship for the first time since 1962.

This was a night seniors Bryan Butler, Marc Eppinger, Jacob Kaler, Damon Kosaki and Addison Owen have been dreaming about since fifth grade. Kevin Basilio, Kyle Friend, Trent Johnson, Michael Neff, Richard Schultz, Kurt Yinger and Dobilas Zalpys also made dreams come true for the Papermakers.

“I couldn’t be more prouder and happier for a group of kids,” said head coach Scott Preuninger to the players in the locker room after a prolonged celebration with the Camas faithful.

“It’s truly a pleasure to watch you grow up as young men and basketball players,” he added.

An emotional Larry Crafton had the last words in the locker room. He has been coaching Camas basketball teams since 1996, and this is his final season before retiring.

“The dream I had when I came here was to get this program back to where it needed to be,” Crafton said. “And tonight, the dream I had, it came true you guys.

“It’s been a long journey for you,” he added with a tear in his eye, “but damn, it was a good one.”

And it’s not over yet. Winning league puts the Papermakers on the fast track to the district championship game Saturday, Feb. 12, at Hudson’s Bay High School.

There’s so much more to share, but so little time right now. Pick up a copy of Tuesday’s print edition of the Post-Record to hear what the players had to say about making history. And, check back online for a photo gallery of this unforgettable event.

See you on the sidelines.