After becoming a district and regional champion, Tye Lommasson earned the opportunity all wrestlers in the state of Washington dream about. He competed for a state championship medal.
The match only lasted 21 seconds before Lommasson was pinned, but it was enough to make the Camas High School senior believe he could achieve his ultimate goal.
“It just taught me to be humble. Be grateful for the opportunity,” Lommasson said. “I’m going to go twice as hard this year to get back there. Hopefully, I get another shot at it.”
In the meantime, Lommasson has become a leader for the Papermakers in the wrestling room. He has help from veterans Bryant Elliott, Talon Edmiston, Wesley Gilge, Gavin Grable, Max Grimes, Marcus Hartman and Noah Shannon.
“It’s a brotherhood,” Lommasson said. “Everybody loves coming in here and battling.”
Elliott has made two trips to the Tacoma Dome. He hopes this will be his breakthrough season, like Lommasson had last winter.
“My goal is top three at state. If I can do that this year, my ultimate goal for my senior year is to win it,” Elliott said. “It won’t come easy. It will take a lot of sacrifice.”
There’s a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk.
“Everyone wants to be the best, but you got to have it in you,” Elliott said. “Every single person in this room has the potential to be good. It all depends on how much they put into this.”
Head coach Glenn Hartman has high hopes for Lommasson, Elliott and Edmiston. He is also excited about the addition of Cory Vom Baur to the coaching staff. Vom Baur won a state championship during his senior year at Evergreen High School, in 2005. The Vancouver resident splits time between coaching wrestling and competing in MMA fights.
“He has so much knowledge to share with these kids,” Hartman said.
Defending league champion Union looks strong once again this season. Hartman said Camas should be able to contend with Battle Ground, Evergreen, Heritage and Skyview. The Papermakers will also be tested by the Tri-State tournament Friday, in Idaho, the Pacific Coast Championships Jan. 3 and 4, at Hudson’s Bay High School, the Bearcat Invitational Jan. 11, in Chehalis and the Clark County Championships Jan. 17 and 18, at Mountain View High School.
“Wrestling is mostly about character building. You are part of a team and part of a family. It’s more than just wins and losses,” Hartman said. “Once you walk through those doors and wrestle for this school, you are a part of this family. You will always wear the symbol of Camas on your chest.”