Camas Football Training Camp

Camas Papermakers
Coach Jon Eagle

Higher and higher: 
A lot of programs take day-trips here and there in the offseason for a little team-bonding. Earlier this summer, the Papermakers went for a hike.

Camas had 81 players and 12 coaches endure a hike from the top of Multnomah Falls to Larch Mountain. (No, not the Larch Mountain in Clark County. That would have required a swim to cross the Columbia River. Instead, it was the Larch Mountain in Multnomah County.) All in all, it was a 7-mile hike, uphill, about 4,000 feet in elevation. 

The trek went along with the team’s motto this season: “Keep Climbing.”

“It was awesome,” coach Jon Eagle said. “It gave the kids a chance to see a part of the world that’s right in their backyard.”

He added that when they got there, they could look west and see Camas. It looked really small from way up there.

Parents had a barbecue waiting for the players when they were finished. All in all, a good day.

With Union now in the 4A Greater St. Helens League, many expect Camas to be the team atop the standings by the end of the season. Heck, one could argue that even if Union, the two-time 3A GSHL champion, had not moved up to 4A that Camas would still be the “team to beat” this season.

Coach Jon Eagle and his players won’t shy away from the lofty aspirations.

“We want to play in a place with high expectations from our fans, our players, our school,” Eagle said. “What’s the alternative? Low expectations?”

“Of course we should win league,” senior wide receiver/defensive back Brent Hill said. “We should get pretty far in the playoffs. I don’t see why not.”

The way last season ended also has fueled the Papermakers. Camas just missed beating Union for the league title in Week 9, then lost to eventual state runner-up Liberty in the state qualifying game. 

“It was definitely a tough draw,” senior Jeremy Faulkner said. “We learned a lot from that game. Now we know what it takes to go to the playoffs and make it to a championship game because Liberty did that.”

“Kids get over that a lot faster than the coaches do,” Eagle said. “But we all got a sour taste in our mouths.”

He said the disappointing finish to 2009’s season led to an amazing off-season conditioning program. He said these Papermakers are the hardest working, in terms of off-season drills, in Eagle’s 29 years of coaching.

“We don’t have one disappointment,” he said. “These kids have really gone out of their way to prepare themselves for the season.”

Confident but not satisfied: 

Sure, the Papermakers don’t mind being the so-called favorite of the league. They also know nobody has ever won anything based on predictions. 

“The thing that we are focusing on now is getting better every day,” Faulkner said. “We want to step up the intensity every single day, even if it was high the day before. We know (Week 1 opponent) Timberline has a lot of weapons. We want to be ready for them.”

Standing out:
Brent Hill got past his defender in practice and made a nice grab on a ball thrown by quarterback Logan Grindy. As the ball was in the air, his teammates were yelling “Purple.”

Hill is stylin’ purple receiving gloves, at least during camp. 

He said he is not trying to be flashy. 

“I couldn’t find any black ones or red ones,” he said. “It was either purple or orange. I went with purple.”

Look for another feature on Camas football next week in The Columbian’s Class 3A Greater St. Helens League preview.

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