Football preview: Camas has attitude with aggression

Camas’ goal is to put 11 helmets on the ball all the time

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Camas Papermakers

Coach: Jon Eagle

2010: 11-1, 6-0 3A GSHL.

Key players: Jonathan Warner, sr., wr-db; Gary Stokes, sr., ol-dl; John Payne, sr., wr-db; Zack Marshall, sr., rb-db; Kyle Goodnow, sr., te-lb; Kamari Brown, sr., te-dl; Tony Gennaro, sr., qb; Chris Galusha, sr., wr-db; Scott Feather, sr., ol-lb; Max Goss, sr., ol-lb; John Norcross, jr., te-lb; Anthony Fallin, sr., db;, Dylan Harris sr., ol; Roldan Alcobendes, jr., k/p.

Season outlook: It’s the year after the best season for Camas in the state playoff era. That means expectations are high.

With an all-league running back leading the way on offense and a punishing defense, these Papermakers believe they can keep the program on top.

2011 SCHEDULE

Sept. 2 Timberline

Sept. 9 Mountain View

Sept. 16 at Columbia River

Sept. 23 at Skyview

Sept. 30 Prairie

Oct. 7 at Hudson’s Bay

Oct. 14 at Heritage

Oct. 21 Fort Vancouver

Oct. 28 at Kelso

Home games played at Doc Harris Stadium

photoCamas linebacker Kyle Goodnow, left, running back Zack Marshall and defensive lineman Kamari Brown are three senior leaders for a Papermakers team that has high expectations.

(/The Columbian)

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Before all the wins, the league championship, the state playoff victory, before any of that, the attitude had to change at Camas.

After years of success, including last season’s 11-1 record and a trip to the Class 3A state quarterfinals, some might forget that the Camas football program was not always a winner.

First came the belief that the Papermakers could do it.

Then, with Jon Eagle as the coach, that belief morphed into an attitude of making it happen. By force.

These days, the seniors who have learned from past players and their coaches are doing their part to pass on the legacy. The strength of the Camas program is its physical aggression on the field. With defense, it is full pursuit to the ball, no matter what side of the field the opposition takes the ball. On offense, it is a punishing, physical style that starts up front.

“Last year’s class, we had a lot of leaders and teachers. They pretty much taught us to be aggressive,” senior defensive lineman Kamari Brown said. “It trickles down. Now, I’m trying to be a leader, do the same thing.”

Linebacker Kyle Goodnow appreciates what he calls the “high-intensity practices.”

In one drill, called shotgun, the defense must go, one play after another, against two offenses. That first group on offense runs a play that the defense must stop, then the second group comes in with a new play. It is almost like a hurry-up scenario, but the offensive players get breathers between plays. The defense gets no rest.

“Right after another. Keep going, keep going, keep going,” senior Zack Marshall explained.

Exhausting? You bet. But Brown said it is worth it.

“You have to fly to the football. If you don’t, you’re going to get punished on the scoreboard,” he said. “Eleven helmets have to be on the ball.”

Eagle said that can be a lot to ask of young athletes, to play all the way to the whistle but also to learn when the play has concluded. Aggression only works on the football field with discipline.

“High school football is trying to teach well-mannered kids to cut loose a little bit and play to a real aggression,” Eagle said. “We have a large number of kids who are able to do that.”

That’s what keeps a winning program a winner.

“Talent ebbs and flows (through the years), but your aggressive style of play is an attitude,” Eagle said.

That style also works on offense.

Marshall, one of the top returning running backs in the region, said the offense will keep working a drill, over and over again, if necessary.

“He wants things perfect,” Marshall said of Eagle. “We run it until we get it right.”

“Bottom line: Do your job,” Goodnow said.

That’s part of the Camas attitude, as well.