Boys soccer preview: Camas standout puts best foot forward

Camas' White wants to end prep career with state title

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Community Sports Reporter

Published:

 

Boys Soccer Preview

Players to Watch

Zach Anderson, sr. Camas (GK); Jeff Carmody, sr., Mountain View; Erik Davis, sr., Evergreen; Mikhail Doholis, jr., Union; Isaiah Escobedo, sr., Hudson's Bay; Andrew Graham, sr., Skyview; Michael Granados, sr., Union; Travis Heim, sr. Ridgefield; Chris Miller, sr., Camas; James Nosack, soph., Skyview; Jarren Parthemer, sr., Hockinson; Keenan Townsend, jr., Skyview (GK); Drew White, sr., Camas; Mikhail Wingate-Pearse, sr., Skyview.

League overview

CLASS 4A GSHL: Skyview and Union appear poised to battle for the league title. The Storm have a nice nucleus and are strong up the spine of the field. The Titans are led by veterans in their fourth season with the program. Both teams have dynamic playmakers who are in top developmental programs. Evergreen is less experienced, but always finds a way to be there.

CLASS 3A GSHL: Camas has owned this league for a decade, with Columbia River often pushing the Papermakers. It looks like a similar scenario this season, though both clubs must replace key players from 2010 -- among them national player of the year Nick Palodichuk, who graduated early from Camas and is now at Duke University. Mountain View looks like a solid side that can push the top two, and Hudson's Bay has several proven playmakers.

Class 2A GSHL: Hockinson and Washougal have reason for optimism, and hope to fight Mark Morris for the league title. The Hawks have 10 returning lettermen and 10 upper classmen. Washougal coach John Tyger believes this is the most talented Panther squad in his 10 years.

Class 1A Trico: Look for defending champion White Salmon to battle Ridgefield for the title. The Bruins won the first meeting between the teams. The Spudders won the 2A GSHL a year ago and are led by Seattle University bound midfielder Travis Heim. La Center has new coaches and a new system of play.

CAMAS — Drew White loves baseball. A left-handed hitting outfielder with above-average speed, he’s pretty good at it.

But he doesn’t play the game anymore.

The Camas High senior also enjoyed the thrill of high school football, but passed on it this year.

Because when it came time to choose the sport that White would stick with, the decision was clear.

Drew White chose soccer because he enjoys the one-on-one battles, how any little clash can define success or failure. He chose soccer because it is an ultimate team endeavor. If one player breaks down, the guy next to him must respond quickly and decisively in support.

“If you don’t win individual battles, the team’s not going to win,” White said.

He chose soccer, too, because it provided the opportunity to compete at a very high level. He will play for the University of Washington next fall.

Gifted with speed and agility, White has been battling at a high level on soccer fields throughout his teen years — often with older teammates. He has seen a lot of success.

He was a freshman on Camas’ 2008 3A state championship team, was a starting defender for Eastside United of Gresham’s 2010 national championship team, and plays for the successful Seattle Sounders FC academy squad.

Before he heads to the University of Washington, following the path taken by earlier Papermakers Brent Richards and Quinton Beasley, White wants to make the most of his last soccer season at Camas.

Players to Watch

Zach Anderson, sr. Camas (GK); Jeff Carmody, sr., Mountain View; Erik Davis, sr., Evergreen; Mikhail Doholis, jr., Union; Isaiah Escobedo, sr., Hudson’s Bay; Andrew Graham, sr., Skyview; Michael Granados, sr., Union; Travis Heim, sr. Ridgefield; Chris Miller, sr., Camas; James Nosack, soph., Skyview; Jarren Parthemer, sr., Hockinson; Keenan Townsend, jr., Skyview (GK); Drew White, sr., Camas; Mikhail Wingate-Pearse, sr., Skyview.

League overview

CLASS 4A GSHL: Skyview and Union appear poised to battle for the league title. The Storm have a nice nucleus and are strong up the spine of the field. The Titans are led by veterans in their fourth season with the program. Both teams have dynamic playmakers who are in top developmental programs. Evergreen is less experienced, but always finds a way to be there.

CLASS 3A GSHL: Camas has owned this league for a decade, with Columbia River often pushing the Papermakers. It looks like a similar scenario this season, though both clubs must replace key players from 2010 — among them national player of the year Nick Palodichuk, who graduated early from Camas and is now at Duke University. Mountain View looks like a solid side that can push the top two, and Hudson’s Bay has several proven playmakers.

Class 2A GSHL: Hockinson and Washougal have reason for optimism, and hope to fight Mark Morris for the league title. The Hawks have 10 returning lettermen and 10 upper classmen. Washougal coach John Tyger believes this is the most talented Panther squad in his 10 years.

Class 1A Trico: Look for defending champion White Salmon to battle Ridgefield for the title. The Bruins won the first meeting between the teams. The Spudders won the 2A GSHL a year ago and are led by Seattle University bound midfielder Travis Heim. La Center has new coaches and a new system of play.

White is one of five seniors on this Camas team who started playing soccer together at age 11 with the FC Vancouver Cobras. Chris Miller, Zach Anderson, Parker Roland and Drew Gorley were on that club team.

“When this year is over, it’s going to be hard,” White said.

The perfect finish to high school soccer would be a state title. The Papermakers lost some significant firepower from last season’s team that placed third in state — including Parade Magazine national player of the year Nick Palodichuk, who graduated early and is enrolled at Duke University.

White said last year’s Camas team was fun to play on because it had so much talent. Perhaps it’s because he’s a senior now and a team captain, but White senses a different vibe this spring.

“Everybody trusts everybody,” he said. “If we can build off that, and build on our strengths, we could be a very successful team.”

Camas coach Roland Minder points to White’s speed as one thing that separates him from most players.

“He can kick it into a higher gear,” the coach said, adding that White has “incredible overall athleticism” that makes him valuable anywhere on the field.

White is a weapon up front who scored 30 goals and added 20 assists in his first three Camas seasons. But he has spent a lot of his time on the back line — a position where he has thrived in club soccer, as well.

Minder said White has matured into a player willing to do whatever he’s asked.

“He’s come to understand the role that he plays on the team a lot better,” Minder said. “He has the ability to provide some leadership. He understands when we need him in the back.”

One reason White is so valuable on defense is his effectiveness with either foot. He throws a baseball right-handed and bats left-handed, but said his strong left foot is the result of work, not natural ability.

White learned several years ago that most players don’t work to improve their weaker foot, which means few players want to play on the left side of the field.

Developing his left foot was a way to get into the lineup with the best teams he joined. In fact, White said, he concentrated so much on developing his left foot that he recently had to focus more on improving his touch and accuracy with his right foot.

White credits the opportunities to play with and against older players in youth soccer with feeding his success in the sport.

“I feel really lucky,” he said. “If you’re surrounded by good players and coaches, it really pushes you to improve.”

He was losing some of his passion for the game until he was selected for the Seattle Sounders FC under-18 academy team. That team competes against clubs affiliated with other Major League Soccer clubs.

Nick Palodichuk also has been on the U18 Sounders’ roster, while Skyview goalkeeper Keenen Townsend is in his second season on the U16 Sounders Academy team. Several other Clark County players, including Camas’ Chris Miller, have been attending Sounders FC Academy training sessions.

“When I went to the academy and got to see the pace and all those talented guys around me, it really energized me,” White said. “It’s an amazing team. It really brought back my passion for soccer.”

In a season when he has had to do some lineup shuffling, including filling some unanticipated open positions on the defense, Minder is happy to have a motivated Drew White on his roster.

“I’m glad he’s on our team and not somebody else’s,” Minder said.