Twenty eleven goes down as the year of redemption for the Camas High School boys soccer program.
After losing in the state semifinals in 2010, and the first game of 2011, the Papermakers won their last 20 matches of the season. They did not stop scoring goals and slamming the door on opposing offenses until they were crowned state champions.
“After what happened last year, it’s nice to be able to come back here and win it all as seniors,” said Drew Gourlie. “This is the way you want to go out.”
Camas came back to Harry Lang Stadium on a mission. On Friday, the Papermakers thrashed Southridge 4-1 in the semifinals. Swift ball movement between Parker Roland, Drew White and Adam Allison, and a brilliant finish by Nate Beasley, got Camas on the board early.
“I knew Adam was going to cross. The ball fell right to my foot, and I put it in the corner,” Beasley said. “Everything happened from there. We just started scoring and scoring, and we were unstoppable.”
Allison scorched Southridge on the second goal. The defenders and the goalkeeper were caught flat-footed, as Allison kicked the ball into a nearly empty net.
“Everybody kind of just stopped,” he said. “I didn’t hear a whistle, so I just kept going. It was a good goal.”
White delivered back-to-back goals in less than a minute in the second half. The first was a header shot off of a corner kick from Chris Miller. The second one rocked Southridge like a tidal wave, following a perfectly placed ball by Roland.
“Redemption is what we all wanted,” White said. “There was no way we were going to lose this game.”
Thriving off a shootout victory over number-one ranked Glacier Peak in the semifinals, Bainbridge tested Camas early and often in the state championship game Saturday. Camas denied Bainbridge 3-0 on two goals by Beasley and one from Roland. Sheer determination by goalkeeper Zach Anderson, and defenders Wyatt Brown, Michael Dyra, Michael Kojeca, Matt Palodichuk and Bryce Ponder, gave the Papermakers their 14th shutout of the season.
“When you’re playing in the state championship game, you’ve got to be on your ‘A’ game,” Anderson said. “The whole team played like they wanted it today.
“This is the third state boys soccer championship for Camas High School, and I got to be a part of two of them,” he added. “After winning state first time when we were freshmen, we finally got the one we all worked so hard for the last four years.”
Head coach Roland Minder enjoyed seeing Anderson, Miller, Roland and White embrace another state championship.
“What’s so cool about this is seeing the guys who won this the first time as freshmen come back and win it again as seniors. Now, they’re passing the torch to the younger players,” Minder said. “We’re not going to talk about last year any more. This year, we did it the right way.”
And then there was the fans. You cannot say enough about the Camas soccer faithful.
“We have the greatest fans in the world,” Minder said. “It feels great to be able to energize off them.”
“Camas is such a great hometown to be a part of,” Anderson said. “We had so much support for soccer, baseball, track, golf and all of our other sports. It’s really great to see.”
The story of 2011 for Camas boys soccer is more than just about redemption and winning championships. It is also about the family that was created by just kicking a ball around.
“Camas is such a tight-knit community,” White said. “I’m sure I’ll see guys like Zach Anderson, Drew Gourlie, Chris Miller and Parker Roland on and off again for the rest of my life. You just can’t escape them.”
“We’re already brothers,” Miller said. “Becoming state champions just solidifies that bond forever.”