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Martinez: Spring sports 2022 truly feels like a normal season

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: March 22, 2022, 8:09pm
3 Photos
Battle Ground’s Rylee Rehbein celebrates after getting her 10th strikeout to end the game in the 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League district championship game on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Camas High School. Battle Ground defeated Mountain View 8-0 to take the title.
Battle Ground’s Rylee Rehbein celebrates after getting her 10th strikeout to end the game in the 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League district championship game on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Camas High School. Battle Ground defeated Mountain View 8-0 to take the title. (Joshua Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The spring prep sports season is upon us, and I, for one, have been looking forward to this spring season.

I know for some, the spring make lack some of the pizazz of fall or winter. The spring doesn’t have a “band sport” — a sport at which you would expect to find the band playing.

But who wouldn’t want to spend a spring afternoon camped out along one of the baselines or sideline or even walking the golf course, particularly on a warm, dry spring day like Tuesday.

However, getting back outdoors only partly fueled my anticipation of this spring season. I was also looking forward to getting back to normal.

Two years ago this month, the world was turned on its head, and it has been a very slow rotation back to upright.

But this spring with sports moving back outdoors while mask requirements are being dropped, the spring season of 2022 will feel like the first truly normal season since the spring season of 2020 was wiped away.

And there is something symmetrical about that.

It’s almost hard to imagine the last time this season’s seniors had a normal spring season, they were freshmen. That means the vast majority of high school athletes this spring have never experienced a season that ended with a trip to the state tournament or state meet.

This spring promises to bring some great matchups. And even though many spring events are played in the late afternoon, which can present a challenge to some to attend because of work schedules — if you get a window in your weekday late afternoon, wander out to spring prep event, bring a chair and camp out for some action.

Here is a quick preview of what to expect this spring in the team sports of baseball, softball and boys soccer.


Players to watch: Tyler Howard, sr., Skyview; Kyle Merriman, sr., Skyview; Dylan Osborne, jr., Union; Zach Hauser, sr., Battle Ground; Kevin Ferguson, jr., Battle Ground; Zach Blair, jr., Camas; Carter Gaston, sr., Kelso; Jacob Martin, jr., Mountain View; Reece Walling, sr., Prairie; Brady Trombello, jr., Prairie; Nikki Scott, sr., Heritage; Sam Boyle, sr., Columbia River; Khol Bush, sr., Ridgefield; Travis Gibson, jr., Washougal; Dossen Morrow, so., Mark Morris.

Teams to watch: The 4A Greater St. Helens League looks to be highly competitive with some talented teams. Skyview returns several players off a squad that went unbeaten. But Battle Ground, Union and Camas also have talent, particularly on the mound that could allow each to challenge the Storm. In the 3A GSHL, Prairie returns several key players from a team that played for the 4A/3A GSHL title last spring. Kelso also looks to contend for the 3A GSHL title. Coaches in the 2A GSHL see a four-team battle for the top spot between Ridgefield, Columbia River, Mark Morris and Washougal. Some also see Hockinson getting into the mix. Most of the Trico League teams have younger rosters, which should keep things very interesting with the improving Seton Catholic squad. Kalama, although losing several key seniors, still has an eye on the Central 2B crown.


Players to watch: Rylee Rehbein, jr., Battle Ground; Liv Gruenberg, sr., Battle Ground; Candice Adams, so., Battle Ground; Maggie Lyons, sr., Camas; Alysia Fraly, sr., Prairie; Kya Jenkins, sr., Skyview; Ashley Griffith, sr., Union; Lexi Grumbois, sr., Kelso; MaKenzie Misner, sr., Heritage; Mary Fogg, sr., Mountain View; Gracie Byrnes, sr., R.A. Long; Sophia Reyes, sr., Columbia River; Leanna Russell, sr., Woodland; Elizabeth Peery, so., Ridgefield; Payton Kessler, sr., Castle Rock.

Teams to watch: Battle Ground returns several key players from a team that went 16-0 last spring. But Skyview also has a solid group of returners as well as a talented group of freshmen, as evident by the Storm’s win over the Tigers last week. Union and Camas also return veteran players. Kelso, Prairie and Mountain View expect to battle it out in the 3A GSHL. The 2A GSHL figures to be highly competitive led by the likes of R.A. Long, Ridgefield, Columbia River, Woodland and Hockinson. King’s Way Christian, which launched a softball program three years ago, and Seton Catholic, launching its first varsity team this spring, expect to be right in the mix with more experienced teams like La Center and Castle Rock.

Boys soccer

Players to watch: Jeremy Mohn, sr., Camas; Jacob Miklas, sr., Union; Fedya Henrich-Tarasenkov, sr., Skyview; Daniel Hurtado, sr., Heritage; Diego Bejar, Evergreen; Alex Brown, sr., Columbia River; Logan Simmons, sr., Columbia River; Jude Willis, sr., Ridgefield; Musa Jatta, sr., Hockinson; David Moore, sr., Seton Catholic; Kaegan Young-Byle, sr., Seton Catholic.

Teams to watch: Like it did last spring, the 4A GSHL looks to be a battle between Camas and Union. But Skyview returns a senior-led roster that could get the Storm in the mix. The 3A GSHL looks to be a wide-open battle, but Evergreen is off to a strong start. Columbia River and Ridgefield are the top contenders in the 2A GSHL. Woodland and R.A. Long could be surprise teams, with Fort Vancouver being a “wild card.” Led by David Moore, Seton Catholic is the favorite in the Trico League and state contender in Class 1A.