Tag Archive for: Camas High School

Welcome to The GEIGENMILLER Report, which is my way of reporting several stories into one article. It’s a highlights report with some personal perspectives. I hope you like it!

After weeks of district, regional, and state level competition, the 2022-23 winter athletic season came to an end Saturday. I did morph from zombie at noon Saturday to refreshed Ernie by 5:30 pm. There was a lot of travel back and forth between Camas and King County. All I needed was some food, and a cat nap, which I took at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Tacoma. Bye-bye, zombie face.

Boys Basketball

The Camas boys placed 6th in State, making Papermaker history for the boys. I got to know the team better this season, including the coaches, and they’re a great group of kids. They set a new level of play this season, and I think the program will continue to prosper.

Here’s the boys report: https://youtu.be/XWuFbBzIBaI

The Camas Boys Basketball team.

Girls Basketball

The Camas girls made it to the Finals, and what a sight to behold! It was so great to see the stands filled with Camas fans of all ages. The band was there, the cheerleaders, camera crews, lots of lights, and a ton of energy. The girls got off to a rocky start, which was unusual for them. They were down 26-12 at halftime, and started to close the gap in the third quarter, and with 30 seconds left in the game, they got within 2 points of Eastlake (43-41), but ended up losing 48-41. It was intense. Eastlake had an incredible defense. 

The Camas girls team is returning almost 100% intact next season, so they’re gunning for a state championship in 2024. 

“Yes, we will be back next year better and stronger than ever,” said team member Parker Mairs. 

Head Coach Scott Thompson speaks very highly of the character of his team. They really are a stellar group of athletes.

Here’s the girls report: https://youtu.be/2iuyx8cz6ZE

This season also increased my love and appreciation for basketball. These kids played with such heart, and dealt with a lot of really ruthless competitors this season. They rose above it, and worked really hard.


The Pink Room opened its doors Friday. I covered that before heading back to Tacoma. Madora, the owner, is a Camas DECA alumnus. 

Here’s the report: https://youtu.be/72ZXEcg31pc

Camas DECA

Camas DECA sent 92 kids to State this year with 28 advancing to International competition in Florida next month. The DECA program is really amazing as it teaches our teens real-life applications to realistic business situations. Advisor Suzie Down represents the best of teaching. And, she’s had a lot of support from Courtney Sanchez, Brady Miletich, Tonia Albert and amazing chaperones and volunteers.

Well done!

Here’s the DECA report: https://youtu.be/JCNniCKXERM

The Camas DECA team.

The Camas High School Athletics Department celebrated 11 student-athletes Wednesday who are making their commitments to higher institutions as part of national signing day by signing their National Letter of Intent.

Each of these seniors have made an impact in their particular sport and now look to challenge themselves at the next level.  

“We wish each of them the best as they forge their paths in the years to come both in the classroom and in their arenas,” the department said in a statement.

In Alphabetical Order:

Zach Blair is a four-year Football and three-year Baseball letterman who is committing to play baseball at Oregon State University.  Zach was part of a state champion football team in 2019, and won three league titles in football and one more in baseball over the past four years.  A first team all-league recipient in both sports, Zach also was named to the first team all-state team as a junior.

Gracie Buzzell is a four-year Cross-Country and Track letterman who is committing to run at Oregon State University.  Gracie was part of teams that placed second and fifth in the state meet, while also taking home two individual district championships.  She served as team captain and was a four time scholar athlete award winner. 

Adrianna Cortes is a two-year Soccer letterman at CHS who is committing to play soccer at Pacific University.  Adrianna was part of 2021 League, Bi-District, and State Champion girls soccer team.  She won accolades from Max Preps as the State Player of the Week, and looks to continue her work in sports medicine by pursuing a major in athletic training and/or physical therapy.

Campbell Deringer is a four-year Swimming letterman who is committing to swim for the University of Nevada Reno.  A four-time first team all-league athlete, Campbell was also the GSHL and All Region swimmer of the year this year.  She won four district championships and finished second in the state in two events this year. 

Maxwell Fraser is a four-year Baseball letterman who is committing to play baseball for Washington State University.  A two-time first team all-league player, Max looks to continue his success this spring.  He was a key part of the league champion team in 2022 that secured a state berth. 

Eleven CHS students participated in today’s event.

Boston Jensen is a four-year Baseball letterman who is committing to play baseball at Tacoma Community College.  Boston has been part of teams that have taken home both league championships and made it to the state sweet 16.  He has displayed his leadership on the field as a team captain and looks to continue to lead the Papermakers this spring.

Ryan McClaskey is a three-year Baseball letterman who is committing to play baseball at Lower Columbia College.  Ryan was part of a team that took home a league title on the diamond in 2021.  Ryan’s talents on the mound often turn heads in the stands, and he looks to build on his successes at the next level.

Riley Parbon is a two-year Track and Cross-Country letterman who is committing to row at the University of Alabama.  Riley placed second at the American Lake Fall Classic, first at the Portland Fall Classic, and first at a Dual Regatta meet.  Riley will pursue Elementary Education at Alabama and looks forward to contributing to their rowing program for the next four years.

Natalie Peddie is a four-year Cross-Country letterman at CHS who is committing to run for Seattle Pacific University.  Natalie was part of three district champion teams, she won the individual district title in 2022, and finished 16th in the state as well.  Off the course, she took home both the CHS Pride Inside award as a model student and the district wide Milltown Pride Award. 

Aaron Sung is a three-year Baseball letterman who is committing to play baseball for Whitworth University.  Aaron was a key part of the 2022 league champion team that secured a state berth.  After winning the team’s most improved player award in 2022, Aaron looks to build on his successes this spring and in Spokane with the Pirates.

Cami Young is a two-year Volleyball letterman at CHS who is committing to play volleyball at California Lutheran University.  Cami was a leader both on the court and in the huddle with teams that won league titles in 2021 and 2022.  Both years they continued on to the state tournament.  Cami also provided leadership by taking part in a sportsmanship summit her senior year.

The event was well attended.

Kelso, WA — The Camas Papermaker Boys Swim team defeated the Union Titans 100-65 Tuesday night.

It’s a sport of numbers, seconds, tenths of seconds and even though Union won five events, including two relays, they didn’t have the sheer numbers to defeat Camas.

Union dominated the first event, the 200 Medley Relay (1:38.15) with powerhouse swimmers Owen Robertson, Steven Empey, Alex Wahlman, and Sammy Empey, a Jr. National athlete.

Sammy Empey won the second event, the 200 Free in a four-man heat with Papermaker Nathan Kim placing second. 

Papermaker James Crawford won the 200 IM (2:03.30).

Mountain View’s Owen Wong won the 50 Free (:22.15).

Sammy Empey earned another victory in a brilliantly executed 100 Fly (50.26) with Nathan Kim placing second.

Titan Alex Wahlman placed first in the 100 Free (50.28).

James Crawford also won the 500 Free (5:05.62). 

Union High School swimmers (from left): Alex Wahlman, Steven Empey, Owen Robertson, and Sammy Empey.

Camas swimmers Nathan Kim, Henry Webster, Sahn Kim, and Ryan Tanner won the 200 Free Relay (1:31.08) missing the State cut by .5 seconds.

“Don’t worry, we will get the State cut at Districts,” said Webster.

Papermaker Aarmav Krishna won the 100 Back event (1:00.78).

Papermaker Sahn Kim handily won the 100 Breast event (1:01.78).

And, Union’s powerhouse relay team (Wahlman, Robertson, Empey and Empey) won the 400 Free Relay (3:17.39) earning a State cut. The Camas relay placed second, also earning a State cut.

The boys compete next at Mark Morris this Saturday.

Camas swimmer Henry Webster.

Camas, WA (Union High School) — The Papermakers wrestling team (boys and girls) sent seven of their athletes to finals at this weekend’s Clark County Wrestling tournament. 

The two-day event was hosted by Union, a wrestling powerhouse, and regular winner of the annual meet. 

Junior Jackson Lougan (182) and seniors Regan Fallon-Small (125) and Ava Addie Wunderli (140) won their weight brackets after some hard fought matches.  

Four other Papermaker’s made it to finals: Luke Wagner, Elliott Scott, Simon Jarrell, and Avery Vega- Padilla, a freshman. 

Union finished the tournament with the most points in the boys division with 234 points. The Titans got first-place finishes from Jordin Jimenez (126), Noah Koyama (132), Armando Nicacio (152) and Clayton Maus (215) — see his victory in Stories.

The Papermakers finished second with 199 points led by  champion Lougan.

Champions in the boys tournament included Liam McKee (106) of Hockinson, Brody Davis (113) of Washougal, Owen Pritchard (138) and JJ Schoelein (170) of Skyview, Tennyson Kurtz (145) of Columbia River, Nathan Wadleigh (160) of Mountain View, Seth Blick (195) of Prairie and Austin Steinbach (285) of Heritage.

Washougal edged Union 99-96 to win the girls title, thanks to Panther Kiersten Lees. 

Union earned championships with Niah Cassidy (120) and Janessa O’Connell (130) and Virginia Thomason (190) — see Stories.

Other girls champions were Maritza Sanchez (105) of Hudson’s Bay, Delilah Governor (110) of Hockinson, Uruwa Abe (115) of Ridgefield, Kaytlynn Honga (145) of Kelso, Sofia Aragon (155) of Seton Catholic, Aaliyah Young (170) and Faith Tarrant (235) of Prairie.

Camas wrestler Addie Wunderli.

Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent Dr. John Anzalone announced today the hiring of Kelly O’Rourke as the next principal at Camas High School. 

O’Rourke joins Camas from Clark County School District in Nevada, where she served as principal at elementary, middle, and high school levels. In 2019, she supported schools at the district level and oversaw assessment, accountability, research, and school improvement.

“Kelly O’Rourke’s values and experiences are a wonderful match for the Camas community. She will bring a spirit of collaboration and rich experience leading inclusive, welcoming school environments,” said CSD Board member Tracey Malone.

Superintendent Anzalone stated, “We are excited to welcome Kelly to Camas and have staff, families, and students learn more about this engaging leader known for her leadership that promotes organization, discipline, focus, and flexibility.” 

O’Rourke is adept in many diverse areas of leadership. Specifically, areas of administrative collaboration that lead to increased student achievement, school improvement, data analysis, professional development and instruction, and designing systems and structures that build effective professional learning communities. She also has a proven track record of unifying diverse school communities through genuine collaboration with students, staff, and parents.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Camas High school alongside a dedicated staff, spirited student body, and supportive parent community. I look forward to learning about the rich traditions that have proven to build excellence in education and work to increase the trajectory of success,” stated O’Rourke. “I advocate for hard work, accountability, transparency, and clear communication.”

Anzalone’s previous position was Assistant Superintendent of Clark County School District in Nevada. He started his new role leading CSD on July 1, 2022.

Camas, WA — As the Camas School District (CSD) cooperates with an ESD 112 investigation into allegations of racist taunting at a high school girls basketball game on December 10, eyewitnesses are speaking out.

The investigation follows a complaint by Eric Knox, girls basketball head coach at Benson High in Portland, which was made through his non-profit organization, Holla Mentors. In his letter, Knox said his team, which is predominantly Black, was subjected to multiple taunts and racist slurs from the Camas student section in the bleachers at The Warehouse (Camas High gym).

The following Monday, Knox, without the knowledge of Benson High School or Portland Public Schools, filed a complaint with the Camas School Board, CSD administration, and other members of the Camas High School (CHS) leadership team. Interim superintendent Doug Hood said CSD took swift action, and a formal investigation was launched with ESD 112.

“That same day, we launched an investigation led by a neutral third party and consulted with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA),” Hood said in an email sent to Camas parents on Monday.

Hood said interviews have been conducted with fans, students, athletes, and staff members present at the game, including CHS Athletic Director, Rory Oster, who was present at both the JV and Varsity games that night. 

“An active and thorough investigation is happening through ESD 112,” Oster said.

Portland Public Schools confirms Benson staff is part of the probe. The complaint hit social media last week as screenshots of the Holla letter Knox authored went viral.

In his letter, Knox said the racial taunting started during the JV game. The alleged slurs continued into the Varsity game. Knox said his Varsity players, who were sitting close to the Camas student section, reported hearing students using offensive language, including the “N-word.”

“I took their words in and encouraged them to ignore them, and allow our play to be the response to their racism,” Knox said. “I assured them that I had their back and that unfortunately racism is a fact and a reality for us, and they will have to navigate this the rest of their lives.”

What we do know from video footage is that as a Benson player drives to the basket Camas is called for a foul. Junior Onna Brown, a Benson High athlete, then looks toward the Camas student section, and walks over to her coaches. 

As play resumes, a Benson assistant walks along the baseline while Knox calls timeout, then walks toward the student section. A referee intervenes, and Knox walks back to the bench. Knox is clearly agitated.

The Benson assistant coach speaks to Oster, who was standing near a door, about 20 feet from the student section. Oster then addresses the students. 

“Throughout the game, both during play and timeouts, a number of my players told me one-on-one that they were hearing individuals from the student section using the N-word to taunt our players,” Knox wrote in his Holla letter. “Additionally, Benson parents came to me and said that they heard people in the Camas student section using very derogatory language about our players and felt it created a very hostile environment. By the second half, I had heard the same thing from enough players that I finally had to take action.”

Eric Knox letter to Camas School Board and CSD administration.
Eric Knox letter.

After reviewing footage of the game, it’s unclear whether any student or adult spectator said anything racially offensive. After interviewing 20 eyewitnesses who attended the games, Lacamas Magazine has not uncovered any evidence of racially offensive language being said at either game. During the majority of the JV game, the Camas varsity players comprised the majority of the student section.

“I was sitting in the bleachers next to the student section for the first half of the JV game,” said WIAA referee, Errol Parker. “I officiated the second half of the JV game and the full varsity game and I heard no racial comments or anything like that.”

Parker said referee protocol is to address issues like this immediately with the game administrator, who would be Oster.  

“It doesn’t fall upon us to eject fans from the game, that would be the game administrator,” said Parker. “If we heard something like that we would notify the game administrator and they would take care of it.”

Parker also said his fellow referees, Jordan Anderson, and Travis Garrison, also did not hear any racial taunting during either game. In addition, multiple CHS athletic staff stood close to the student section during both games. No one heard any racial taunting. He also said during all his years of refereeing Camas games he’s never heard a racial slur or taunt.

“I’ve never had nor heard of any racial issues whatsoever in any school sanctioned events I have been involved with, especially in Camas,” Parker said.

Camas parents are also speaking out. 

“I was at the game, my daughters are on CHS varsity, they were standing shoulder to shoulder with the Benson athletes, they sat in the student section for the JV game,” said Tad Mairs, a Camas parent. “I just looked at JV game film on NFHS … the varsity was the main body of the JV student section. My wife was was sitting in close proximity to the varsity game student section, I was on balcony at times above the student section. My family does not tolerate hate. The N-word would resonate very deeply hearing it. At no point did any of my family hear any slurs. Just saying what we witnessed first hand. … sadly yes I am sure it still happens, if it did we would not ignore it.”

Several parents, who wish to remain anonymous said: “We sat right next to the student section the whole night and not once heard any racially offensive language. It wouldn’t be tolerated.”

Another parent said: “Yes, kids say dumb things at sporting events, like ‘you run funny,’ or ‘airball’ but nothing racially offensive was said.”

One Camas student, who wishes to remain anonymous, sat in the student section the entire time said this: “Ya, I was there, but I didn’t hear any racial slurs going around, there of course are normal taunts going around that you would expect at a basketball game, though.” 

Another Camas student, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Yeah, I was at the game for the whole time, and the majority of the time I was in the student section during the game. I didn’t hear any racist things being said, and just heard normal kinda chatter during a high school game.” 

After the game, one parent spoke directly with Knox who told him “it was a good game, Camas has a legendary program. Camas never disappoints.”

Lacamas Magazine did send questions directly to Knox via email, but those emails have not been answered. In his letter, Knox said the Camas players were “great” and didn’t participate in any objectionable behavior. Benson beat the Papermakers 60-52.

The ESD 112 investigation has not been completed.

In his letter, Hood said the following:

“Racist slurs and remarks have no place in our schools or anywhere and will not be tolerated. We take these accusations very seriously and are committed to aiding a complete and thorough investigation. In our schools, in our hallways, and in our community, it is a shared responsibility to call out injustice and racism. In Camas School District, we will continue to be unrelenting in our commitment to providing safe, welcoming environments for our students, staff, community, and guests.”  

Lacamas Magazine will continue to follow this story.

Vancouver, WA — Local high schools are following Clark County Public Health recommendations and suspending the current wrestling season for two weeks due to multiple COVID-19 outbreaks that have been linked to high school wrestling tournaments in Washington. 

Thirty COVID cases have been linked to local wrestlers.

The DOH is investigating outbreaks at four different wrestling tournaments that all happened Dec. 4, and pushed for the suspension.

The department said the number of cases linked to the events is estimated to be between 80 and 90 statewide. The Snohomish County Health Department said there are at least 33 confirmed cases in their county.

“This would be considered a very large outbreak,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state’s top epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health. “This does not bode well. Really the icing on this cake is these are turning out at least some percentage of the omicron variant that is much, much more infectious,” Lindquist said.

The cases are among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the DOH said.

The tournaments are:

• John Birbeck Invitational in Lacey, Washington.

• Ed Arima Duals in Sumner, Washington.

• Lady Jags Kickoff Tournament in Puyallup, Washington.

• Yelm Girls Varsity in Yelm, Washington.

Students from Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Skagit, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima counties were in attendance. A high school in Oregon also sent students.

The DOH is continuing to investigate the outbreaks and will share more information as it becomes available.

“My hope is that the state allows wrestlers who are vaccinated or test negative to continue their participation in wrestling,” said John Constien, Camas Boys Wrestling Head Coach. “My hope is that there are alternatives to just cancelling the season that still allow us to compete against other schools safely and have a post-season.”

None of these new cases have been traced to Camas wrestlers.

“I am hurting for our seniors who have dedicated 7+ years to me and this program who are looking at the possibility of not having an opportunity to compete for state titles as upperclassman,” Constien said.

Papermaker Porter Craig wrestles teammate Jackson Lougan.

Camas, WA — The Camas High School administration team issued a statement this week regarding Monday’s freshman orientation that featured Yshai Boussi, LPC, a mental health professional, who said all students will eventually smoke pot and that “you can either be a good person or you can be a Republican.”

The CHS statement said: “It was brought to our attention this morning that a guest speaker at Monday’s freshman orientation made a characterization that was inappropriate and divisive. The remark made by this speaker does not align with our values and our mission to see and serve each student, and we apologize to the students and families who were upset or felt uncomfortable by the characterization. 

“At Camas High School and throughout our entire district, we work to ensure all students feel safe and included at all times. We will continue to work with guest speakers to ensure our student experiences are beneficial and inclusive. If you have questions, please let us know.”

In today’s CHS update they said “There were many very important takeaways from the presentation. We hope that many of the points resonated with students. Unfortunately, one comment during the presentation was hurtful for some students, and for that, we sincerely apologize. Our guest speaker from Monday, Yshai Boussi, has created a video that he would like to send to the CHS community.”


Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/KNmv5Nxv-40

“It’s important for us as a community to offer students opportunities to restore any harm created by this experience,” CHS said. “Yshai suggested the chance to meet with students next week at CHS who were negatively impacted by what they heard. At least two CHS administrators will help facilitate this discussion. It’s important that we have conversations when messages are received that hurt people. We appreciate Yshai’s willingness to model accountability and listening to understand.”

What are your thoughts?

Camas, WA – The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Riverview Community Bank, names Taylor Greenberg of Washougal High School and Joey Stanley of Camas High School as this year’s recipients of the Camas/Washougal Chamber College Scholarships. They were selected for their dedication to academics, extra curricular activities, sports, volunteerism, and community involvement.

On Wednesday, June 2nd the scholarship recipients will be honored along with the Businessperson of the Year: Marquita Call, Camas Gallery; and the Citizen of the Year: Doug Quinn at the Annual Award Banquet at Camas Meadows Golf Club. Teachers of the Year from Camas and Washougal will also be honored at the banquet. Social hour begins at 5:30, with dinner being served at 6:30 pm.


Greenberg is graduating from Washougal High School and plans on attending Whitworth University pursuing a major in Elementary Education and ultimately obtaining a Master’s degree in Education Administration.  Greenberg’s positive experience at Camas Schools and Washougal Schools helped her develop a sense of community and love for education.  She recognizes the importance of dedicated teachers and the true impacts that they have on their students’ lives. Her goal in life is to make a difference and change the world.  She wants to teach kids in the Camas-Washougal community how to thrive both educationally and in life.  She enjoys golf, basketball and dance.  


Joey is graduating from Camas High School and plans on attending John Hopkins University pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering. Stanley is a self-starting, diligent, creative problem-solver who is courteous and trustworthy.  He is logical, mathematical, and physically capable.  He values promptness, collaboration and is steady under pressure.  Stanley serves at the Camas High School ASB government treasurer.  He received the WoHoLo Award the highest award earned in Campfire USA (similar to the Eagle Scout award).  His Science Olympiad team placed first in regionals in 2018, 2019, 2020 and first in state 2018; second in state 2019. Stanley plays the flute, piano, and is an active fly fisherman involved with Clark Skamania Flyfishers Club. 

Camas, WA — Camas High School Principal Tom Morris announced today that CHS will continue remote learning through March 16. On Wednesday, CHS closed its doors just days ahead of its one-year anniversary of closing due to the pandemic because of an outbreak stemming from an on-campus social gathering.

“Thank you for your support as we continue to work with Clark County Health Services to complete our COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing,” Morris said.

He continued:

“At the time of this release, there are 16 known positive cases and 34 close contacts among youth who attend Camas High School. To date, all confirmed cases are tied to a non-school, off-site event that occurred over the weekend involving CHS students.

“Although Cohort A students attended school in-person Monday and Tuesday last week, we are relieved to report no current confirmed spread of the virus at school. Safety protocols and excellent adherence to mask-wearing and social-distancing by students and staff at school are likely to thank for the lack of spread in our school or classrooms.

“That said, with the growing number of cases, and to prevent the spread of the virus that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they have the virus without feeling symptoms, we will continue teaching and learning through Remote Learning through Tuesday, March 16.”

At this time, CHS plans to return to in-person learning starting Thursday, March 18.

Cohort B will return to Thursday/Friday  in-person learning on Thursday, March 18.

Cohort A will return to Monday/Tuesday in-person learning on  Monday, March 22.

In-person athletics and activities will resume on Wednesday, March 17. This decision is made collaboratively with District leadership and in consultation with Clark County Public Health.


At this time, those who were not at the event, and/or not in contact with someone who was at the event, and/or are COVID-19 symptom-free are considered low risk for COVID-19 exposure.

Students and families, please wear a mask and practice physical distancing, avoid group settings and stay at least 6-feet from other people.

Additionally, please be aware of the following:  

  • Monitor for fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell. *Please seek out COVID-19 testing and notify CHS if your student develops symptoms.
  • If your student’s temperature is above 100.4°F at any time, or you get a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell
    • Have them avoid direct contact with household members and others and wear a mask any time you are in a shared space.
    • Contact your primary care provider or urgent care clinic and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have symptoms.
    • If you can’t contact your provider and are very ill, call 911, and tell them that you are at risk for COVID-19 and have developed symptoms.