CHS soccer players to continue athletic careers at college level

It’s not very often that five seniors on a high school soccer team land college scholarships to play at the next level, but that’s exactly what happened in Camas this year.
Tybalt Thornberry, Luke Davidson, Conner Flolo, Brennan Martin and Andrew Boyle have been part of a traditionally dominant Camas High School (CHS) program that sent teams to state tournament play 19 years in a row. But that record-breaking streak ended after their junior season and the Papermakers failed to return to the state tournament this spring, so the five players have experienced a wide range of successes and failures together.
Despite a disappointing end to their high school careers, the long-standing pride of CHS boys soccer is still alive, and several former Papermakers are about to take what they learned in Camas to colleges all over the United States.
Tybalt Thornberry
Thornberry will play for Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. He learned about the college while playing in a tournament in North Carolina for his club team last summer. He emailed Bulldogs coach Tony Setzer before the tournament, and representatives from the college watched him play, then later offered him a scholarship.
Thornberry said he’s excited but also a bit nervous about moving to the South.
“It’s so different, a different culture,” he said. “Everything is different in North Carolina. The food is different, people even talk different, so it will be a bit weird at first. But after a few months I’ll get accustomed to all of it.”
Luke Davidson
Davidson is also heading east, off to Marion, Indiana, to play soccer for Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU).
Davidson learned about the college after a club soccer friend went to a soccer camp in Marion, then signed a letter of intent to play for IWU. After Davidson made an official visit and practiced with the team, he instantly made a connection.
“Everything just really clicked,” Davidson said.
While Indiana is a long way from Camas, Davidson, who will be majoring in marketing with a business minor, is looking forward to independence, but will deeply miss his Camas mates.
“I’ve been a part of many teams over 14 years, and this team, more than any, was like a family,” he said. “Over the past four years I created such great relationships with these guys, and it’s pretty unique that we are all heading off to play in college.”
Conner Flolo and Brennan Martin
Flolo and Martin don’t have to say goodbye because they’re both playing for George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, where they will also be dormitory roommates.
Flolo has played club soccer most of his life, but said he had a great experience playing for CHS.
“High school soccer is a lot different from club,” Flolo said. “It means a lot to be able to play for your school, and we’ve had a lot of great players to look up to.”
Martin said he and Flolo quickly became friends after Martin’s family moved to Camas four years ago.
“This is honestly the best team I’ve ever played for,” Martin said. “I moved here from Colorado my freshman year and didn’t know anybody, and Conner was the first person I really connected with.”
Andrew Boyle
One of the “fab five” soccer players will be playing football in college instead of futbol. Boyle will be using his foot as a kicker for the Washington State University football team in Pullman, Washington.
Boyle played football at CHS and was part of the 2016 team that won the school’s first 4A state championship.
During his senior season, he was not only among the top kickers in the state, but he also played quarterback until he suffered a season-ending knee injury which prevented him from playing soccer his senior season.
He was happy to help his teammates by working as the team manager and is now feeling healthy and ready to play football for the Cougars, but said he’ll always stay close to his CHS soccer companions.
“These guys mean everything,” Boyle said. “Your team is your teammates, so these four mates have made it a great four years of Camas soccer, and I really appreciate everything.”
The friendships run deep among this group of seniors, according to CHS boys soccer coach Dan Macaya.
“We had a good connection in the locker room this year because of the senior class, a strong class of good character kids that made it more than just about soccer,” Macaya said.
Now, soccer and the friendships that were created have provided the “fab five” with outstanding opportunities to pursue excellence not only on the soccer field, but in classrooms and life.

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