Camas has the makings of a special wrestling team

Tanner Howington, Dylan Ingram, Sam Malychewski and Luke Pipkin are back to the grind. This time in wrestling.

These members of the state championship football team are getting ready to make an impact in the ring for the Papermakers.

“It’s hard to come back in here after 17 weeks of football, but I love both sports. Both mean a lot to me,” Ingram said. “There’s a goal at the end. Hopefully, the same.”

The Camas wrestling program earned an important milestone when it won the district tournament for the first time in 22 years. Ingram and Rylan Thompson brought third place state medals home from the Tacoma Dome.

“At the beginning of the season last year, I had no idea where I stood,” Ingram said. “Then, I won Rose City and other tournaments along the way. It didn’t dawn on me until probably the second day of the state tournament. ‘Wow! I can make it pretty far.’ It’s something I’ll never forget, but it’s also something I want to build off of. That’s not where I want to stop. I want the ultimate goal.”

Malychewski had an impressive season debut at the Rose City tournament Friday and Saturday. After winning four matches to reach the finals, Malychewski defeated Chazz Amundson, of Milwaukie, Oregon, 12-3 for the 195-pound championship belt.

“It was just awesome. It was spectacular,” Malychewski said. “I knew going into that tournament, that’s exactly what I wanted — to come out with that belt.

“I had a goal that I set before each match,” he added. “I wanted to score early and I wanted to score fast, and I went out and I did it. There was another time when I wanted to do this move or that move, and I succeeded.”

The Papermakers secured seventh place at the Rose City tournament.

Jack Latimer finished in fifth place at 120, Michael Strickland took sixth place at 132, Tanner Craig claimed seventh place at 126, Matthew Pershing grabbed seventh place at 106 and Isaac Duncan notched eighth place at 160.

Lacy Dunlop clinched second place for Camas in the 125-pound bracket at the Tiger Classic Saturday, in Centralia.

“People see [wrestling] as an individual sport, but it’s not,” Dunlop said. “You have the individual aspect, but you also have this community. You fall back on each other. You cry, you bleed and you laugh together.”

Dunlop and Sydney Burres are both seniors. They are teaching the rest of the girls about dedication.

“I run two miles before practice, and then I come in here,” Dunlop said. “You have to strive to want more. You don’t have to live it, but if you want to do well, it’s something you got to live.”

Head coach Cory VomBaur believes this could become one of the best Camas wrestling squads to come together in a long time. It’s just going to take a while to get all the Papermakers on the same page.

“When situations arise and difficulties arise, and you face those adverse situations, it’s all about figuring out how you push through those adverse situations, and how you improve from day-to-day competition and day-to-day life,” VomBaur said. “A lot of growth takes place in this room every day. You see people push through that grind and come out of it a different individual. And in my mind, a better individual.”