Soccer coach Roland Minder led many great teams over his long career at Camas.
But there wasn’t a better year than 2005-06 when Minder led the Papermaker girls to the state title in the fall, and the boys in the spring.
This is the story of the 2006 Camas boys state champions.
SUMNER — Panic?
You bet there was panic.
Flashbacks to 2005?
The Camas Papermakers had flashbacks as they scrambled to protect a one-goal lead during the second half of Saturday’s Class 3A boys soccer state championship game.
But there was also hustle, resolve and determination. That combination, and maybe a little good fortune, allowed Camas to win its first state title by beating the Lakeside Lions 1-0 at Sunset Chev Stadium.
The loss was the only one this season for the Lions.
The win was the 19th of the year for Camas, which posted its 17th shutout.
And at every critical moment, Camas had a person in position to make a game-changing play.
Billy Keyser’s goal was one of those, as a shot by Greg Beasley bounced to Keyser in front of an unguarded goal in the 14th minute of play.
The usually attack-oriented Papermakers turned defensive from there to get their hands on the state championship trophy.
A year ago, Lakeside scored a goal with 46 seconds left in the second half to tie Camas, then won the first round state playoff game in a penalty kick tiebreaker. And, while Camas coach Roland Minder said he expected Saturday’s contest to be a 1-0 result, the Lions might have scored four or five times with a little bit of luck and a little less of Jason Martschinske.
The junior defender for Camas saved four goals himself with hustling clearances, including a header off the goal line late in the first half.
“I was just anticipating the ball going through,” Martschinske said of his first-half save. “I anticipated it correctly and I was in the right place at the right time.”
He was in the right place three more times during the second half, when Lakeside dominated possession and created a series of scrambles inside the Camas penalty area.
“Jason Martschinske saved us I don’t know how many times,” Camas coach Roland Minder said. “The guy was incredible. Impressive doesn’t begin to describe it. He was like a saviour today.”
He wasn’t alone.
Defender Josh Juarez cleared a ball from the goalmouth with 1:25 remaining just as Lakeside’s Daniel Ross was ready to tie the score.
“When I saw that ball, I knew to just boot the hell out of it and get it out of there,” Juarez said.
That was the Camas approach for most of the second half. Instead of their usual quick-paced attack, the Papermakers at time had all 11 of their men inside the defensive 25 yards of the field.
And, yes, the players who were around for last season’s heartbreaking loss couldn’t shake a feeling of deja vu.
“That was going through my mind,” Martschinske said. “I was yelling at people that it’s not happening again this year. It didn’t, and I’m thankful for that.”
Juarez agreed, admitting he never felt at ease until the game-ending whistle blew.
“I was thinking this is too much like last year,” Juarez said. “We couldn’t allow that to happen again. We had a score to settle with Lakeside.”
Camas scored the goal it needed to settle that score in unlikely fashion.
Entering the game, Minder said the Papermakers would have to play the ball quickly on the ground and go around the bigger Lions to get to the goal. But the lone tally came on a long free kick taken by Scott Downs from the middle of the park.
Greg Beasley and Lakeside goal keeper Charlie Balter both went up for the ball inside the penalty area.
Beasley said he heard Balter call for the ball.
“I knew he was coming out, so I just tried to get a flick on it and try to get it away from him,” Beasley said.
That’s what happened. Beasley turned and took a shot that caromed off a Lakeside defender right to Keyser, who had nothing but open net five yards in front of him.
“It wasn’t a normal goal,” Greg Beasley said. “It wasn’t a wing play and a cross. It was just right up the middle on a free kick. It was just a hard goal, and we got a good finish.”
From then on, Camas was in hold-the-fort mode.
“It was in our half the whole time,” Jason Martschinske said. “I was running my butt off the whole time. It wasn’t so much getting tired, because we condition a lot. But it was the most stress I’ve been under in a game.”
Lakeside coach Mark Szabo was shocked the Papermakers didn’t crack.
“As well as we played. I really feel we should have won that game,” said Szabo, whose team lost for the only time this season on Saturday..
It was just one of those days,” the Lakeside coach said. “As we were sitting there, we wanted to check the goal for Saran wrap at a certain point.”
It wasn’t plastic wrap, but guys named Martschinske, Juarez, Jake Rose, Downs and Ben Brody who shut out the Lions.
“I wouldn’t say it was confusion, but at some times there was a little ,” said Brody, the Papermakers defensive midfielder, only senior, and a team captain. “But most of the time we had our heads and were able to clear the ball.”
“A lot of time it was panic, Juarez said. “We didn’t know who was guarding who. We just had to scramble and get it out however we could.”
In the end, they got the job done, beating a team with 10 more seniors to win their first state title during the first time in seven seasons Camas didn’t earn a league championship. That was earned by Columbia River, thanks to an own goal off Brody’s head with in the decisive match of the league season.
That unfortunate bounce was long forgotten by Saturday, when the ball went everywhere but into the Camas goal, and the Papermakers reached their ultimate goal.
“It’s great to have only one senior and win the state championship,” said Beasley, a junior team captain who played the second half with a sore quad muscle from a collision with Balter just before halftime. “To come back after not being able to win league, and win state, I mean, that’s kind of defying the odds.”
Written by Paul Danzer, The Columbian, May 28, 2006