By Dan Trujillo

From the beginning of wrestling season, Tanner Lees vowed this would be his year.

The Washougal High School senior repeated that statement after he won the Clark County, sub-regional and regional tournaments. As Tanner stepped into the Tacoma Dome Saturday, he only had one more title to achieve. State champion.

“I got so close last year. One match away from the finals,” Lees said. “I had to break through that and get to the finals.”

And break through Lees did. He trailed by four points in the semifinals, flipped Clarkston’s Jake Freeman over and pinned him with only seconds to spare.

Lees found himself down again in the championship match. Once again, he used his long arms, strength and grit to pin White River’s Weston Lyver in the last round.

“I got my half and just put it all on the mat, right there,” Lees said. “Even if I’m losing, I know I have it in me to pull it out at the end.”


Tanner Lees. Photo by Dan Trujillo.

Tanner Lees is now a state champion, just like his sister Abby. She won state for Washougal in 2017 and 2015.

“I get to be a role model for my siblings and show them what the Lees name is all about,” he said. “Now, it’s just doing whatever I can to help keep the tradition going.”

Scott Lees is the next one up for the Panthers. He reached the Tacoma Dome as an alternate and got to warm up on the mats. Fellow sophomores Cole Pass and Jason Powell wrestled in their first state tournament this weekend and gained valuable experience.

Like Tanner Lees, seniors Andrew Hopple, Jaden Robb and Brooklyn Wurm-Wertz finished off their high school wrestling careers at the Tacoma Dome. Wurm-Wertz brought home a fourth place medal and Robb secured seventh place.

Tanner Lees is not done competing for the Panthers. He’s ready to pole vault into track and field. Does he have another state championship run left in him?

“That’s the goal,” Lees said with a smile.

Twice Saturday, he proved competitors can’t count him out.



Tanner Lees bends Weston Lyver in half during the 2A 145-pound state championship match at the Tacoma Dome Saturday.



Tanner Lees with his parents, Randy and Teresa Lees.

By Dan Trujillo

Tanner Craig unleashed the beast within him and became a State Champion at the Tacoma Dome Saturday.

Down 1-0 in the final round, the Camas High School junior turned the tables on Sumner’s CJ Richmond with about 20 seconds left on the clock. Craig gained a 2-1 advantage and held on to it until time expired.

“I could feel like he was slipping off and I knew I could go for a reversal or go for an escape,” Craig said. “I just thought, reversal. Get my two and try and ride him out … and that’s what I did.”

When the referee signaled that the match was over, Craig’s scream could be heard around the dome. He might be 132 pounds, but he still flexed his muscles like the Incredible Hulk.

“It felt so good, like everything I dreamed of,” he said.

Craig got into the championship match in stunning fashion. He outlasted Isaiah Gonzalez, of Pasco, in overtime. Craig pinned Enumclaw’s Aidan Carroll in the first round, and then defeated Tahoma’s Cameron Hanson 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

“My coaches and teammates have been pushing me ever since I lost and got eighth here last year,” Craig said. “Running a mile every day before practice. Running sprints every day after practice. Working with coaches every single day. It sucks all year … and it’s just paid off in the end.”

Craig watched the rest of the championship matches from the upper deck. He listened to how the crowd reacted to every big move from the little mats on the floor and smiled.


Samuel Malychewski clinched third at State.

“It’s so much fun seeing every one who loves wrestling and appreciates how much work goes into to it,” he said.

So what does a high school state champion do for an encore when he has another year of high school left?

“I want to be a two-time champion, just like my dad,” he said.

His father, Pat, won two state titles for North Bend and went on to wrestle for the University of Oregon.

“I learned my dad was a two-time state champion when I was little,” Tanner said. “Ever since I could understand what that meant, I’ve been wanting to do that and striving to reach that level.”

The Camas wrestling team made history at the Tacoma Dome. Jack Latimer and Sam Malychewski earned third-place medals, and Rylan Thompson and Gideon Malychewski finished in fourth place. This helped the Papermakers rise up to fifth place in the team standings with 90 points.

Head coach Cory VomBaur believes this is the best finish for Camas at state in the school’s history. Tanner Craig, Latimer, Gideon Malychewski, Isaac Duncan and Colby Stoller want more next year.

“We’re going to make it even higher next year,” Craig said. “Top three, hopefully. We’re all aiming for that number-one spot.”


Camas junior, Jack Latimer, placed third in State.


Photo Gallery

By Dan Trujillo

Three champions, three finalists and seven medalists led the Washougal boys wrestling team to first place at the 2A sub-regional tournament Saturday, at Hockinson High School.”I’ll remember some good things and bad things,” said senior co-captain Tanner Klopman. “Probably the biggest good thing is the team coming together and winning this.”

Scott Lees, Andrew Hopple and Tanner Lees captured championship medals for the Panthers. Klopman, Cole Pass and Jason Powell settled for second place. Malachai Keith and Sampson Figerora rose to third place. Tristan Elliott, Gus Shelley, Korben Modoc, Andrew Darr and Bryce William finished in fourth place.

All 13 of these Washougal wrestlers are on their way to the regional tournament Feb. 10 at Tumwater High School. Tyler Johnson and Xander Romo are going as alternates.

“I thought we had some very impressive performances,” Hopple said. “We have three freshmen on our regional team. That’s fantastic.”

Hopple and Klopman hope to compete at state for the first time.

“I came up one place short last year,” Hopple said. “I’m ready. I’m taking it to The Dome this year.”

Lees reached the state semifinals last season and settled for fourth place.

“I have some tough wrestlers in my weight class, but this is my year,” he said. “I’m going to go all out.”

Whatever happens at region, Hopple hopes the Panthers continue to demonstrate good sportsmanship.

“It’s not just about winning a match or taking first place; it’s staying afterwards to roll up mats and help clean up. Making sure you’re smiling after your match, whether you win or lose,” Hopple said. “That’s what Washougal is all about.”

Panther girls place second

The Washougal girls wrestling team hosted 22 schools at the sub-regional tournament Saturday, and finished in second place behind Union.

Aleksi Donahue clinched a championship medal for the Panthers. Samantha Eakins, Jaden Robb and Brooklyn Wurm-Wertz earned second place. Emily Eakins took third place, and Melina Aguilar and Ashley Garrison followed in fourth place.

These 10 Washougal wrestlers are on their way to the regional tournament Feb. 10 in Aberdeen. Josalyn Tanner-Ortiz and Sariah Clark are going as alternates.

See another Panther wrestler article

Camas, WA — Union won an intense District Wrestling Championship Saturday at Camas High School that saw several “civil war” matches, and a striking rematch between Skyview’s Jackson McKinney and Papermaker Samuel Malychewski.

The Titans won with 374.5 points — and Camas followed with 358.5. Heritage, Skyview and Battle Ground placed third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Spectators watched Papermakers Rylan Thompson, a senior, and Tanner Craig, a junior, battle for the first time competitively. Craig’s long winning streak was broken by Thompson during the match that went into overtime sudden victory.

“It’ll hurt no matter who wins,” said Camas Head Coach, Cory Vom Baur, prior to the match. Vom Baur was also named District Coach of the Year.

Malychewski and McKinney have faced each other several times this season, as the third and fourth state ranked (respectively) wrestlers — and will likely battle again at State. Malychewski bested McKinney on Saturday.

“I just went out there and gave it 100 percent,” said Samuel Malychewski of his match against McKinney. “I wasn’t thinking about my past loss, I just focused.”

Union continues to dominate the 4A GSHL District Championship having won seven of the last eight titles.

“This year was about depth,” said Titan Head Coach, John Godhino, “our JV has really wrestled hard and came through, and we had about the same amount of guys in the finals. Going forward these next few years, we have a strong junior base so we won’t lose a lot next year, but we have to get better to compete with Camas.”



Union High School won the 4A GSHL Wrestling Championship on Saturday.

Results by Weight Class


  • 1st Place – Sanry Nguyen of Heritage
  • 2nd Place – Ryan Esperto of Union
  • 3rd Place – Miguel Victorano of Battle Ground


  • 1st Place – Brandon Esperto of Union
  • 2nd Place – Jacob Tabor of Heritage
  • 3rd Place – Samuel McCormick of Camas


  • 1st Place – Daniel (Brett) Joner of Battle Ground
  • 2nd Place – Aaron Avery of Union
  • 3rd Place – Dilyn Jimenez of Union



  • 1st Place – Jack Latimer of Camas
  • 2nd Place – Kyle Moore of Camas
  • 3rd Place – Calvin Bahl of Union


  • 1st Place – Rylan Thompson of Camas
  • 2nd Place – Tanner Craig of Camas
  • 3rd Place – Logan Smith of Skyview


  • 1st Place – Noah Talavera of Union
  • 2nd Place – Isaac Salon of Union
  • 3rd Place – Jonah Sullivan of Camas


  • 1st Place – Isaac Duncan of Camas
  • 2nd Place – Karter Leifson of Camas
  • 3rd Place – Miles Hartwig of Union


  • 1st Place – Danny Snediker of Union
  • 2nd Place – Chris Johnson of Skyview
  • 3rd Place – Spencer Inserra of Battle Ground


  • 1st Place – Gideon Malychewski of Camas
  • 2nd Place – Kyle Brosius of Union
  • 3rd Place – Kyle Cantu of Heritage


  • 1st Place – Josh Joo of Union
  • 2nd Place – Noah Renk of Battle Ground
  • 3rd Place – Nick Oien of Skyview


  • 1st Place – Colby Stoller of Camas
  • 2nd Place – William Pettersen of Skyview
  • 3rd Place – Anthony Choi of Camas


  • 1st Place – Samuel Malychewski of Camas
  • 2nd Place – Jackson Mckinney of Skyview
  • 3rd Place – James Cook of Heritage


  • 1st Place – Austin Stewart of Battle Ground
  • 2nd Place – Dumitru Salagor of Union
  • 3rd Place – Brian Lloyd of Skyview


  • 1st Place – Marvin Barber of Union
  • 2nd Place – Giovanny Rojo of Union
  • 3rd Place – Josue Espinoza of Camas

For a complete list of results, go here: District Results

To learn more, visit

Wrestling Photo Gallery

(more will be posted at by Sunday afternoon)

This weekend is loaded with events, starting with today’s “A Wedding to Remember” in downtown Camas, which begins at 2 pm with the wedding, and then a slew of festivities from 5-8 pm.

Boys Varsity Hoops

The boys play Battle Ground at Evergreen today at 5 pm. A Papermaker win will open the door for the boys to enter the playoffs.

Boys Wrestling — District Tournament

The boys will compete for the 4A Greater St. Helens League title on Saturday at Camas High School. The doors open at 8 am, with competition beginning at 9 am. The Papermakers won Districts in 2016.

“We’re looking forward to a great competition,” said Camas Head Coach, Cory Vom Baur.

General admission for District Wrestling is $10 for adults, and $7 for students with ASB. $4 for senior citizens and elementary students. Doors will not open to the public until 8 am. Public entry is at the North Commons.

Science Olympiad

The Camas Science Olympiad team hosts the annual Camas Invitational. The 23 events for the day begin at 9, with most students competing in three to four events. Awards will be presented late in the afternoon. To learn more about Science Olympiad, click here: Camas Science Olympiad



Girls Wrestling — Sub Regionals

The competition begins at 10 am at Washougal High School.

Unified Basketball

The Unified Basketball tournament continues on Saturday at Mountain View High School — beginning at 9 am. This is a great experience for all involved.

Dance Invitational

The girls will dance the day away at Mt. View High School — beginning at 9 am.

Gymnastics — District Tournament

The girls compete for the District title at Battle Ground High School on Saturday — beginning at noon. The team hasn’t lost a league meet for the past five years.



Camas HIgh School Gymnastics team.


By Dan Trujillo

History was made in the warehouse Wednesday, when the Camas wrestling team broke the hammerlock Union had on the Greater St. Helens League for the last 10 years.

Down by 20 points with four matches left, Jack Latimer, Tanner Craig, Rylan Thompson and Karter Leifsen pinned Titans in succession to help the Papermakers win 39-35.

“I’ve never been a part of a dual like that where there were so many wrestlers, families and students. It was just a cool atmosphere,” said Camas head coach Cory VomBaur. “You had a lot of Union and Camas fans on both sides. That’s the way these two schools are, but wrestling hasn’t stepped into that dynamic until now.”

Union led 11-0, until Colby Stoller brought the Papermakers back from the brink by pinning his opponent. Sam Malychewski stuck a Titan that out-weighed him by more than 20 pounds.

“The first period, I shot in and felt how strong he was. It was a little intimidating,” Malychewski said. “I just pushed through that. I was happy to get that pin.”

Camas was still on the ropes. Ryan Ball saved the Papermakers when he rallied to defeat Brandon Esperto 6-4. The Titans countered with another pinfall victory to increase their advantage to 35-15.

But, that’s when Camas dropped the hammer down.

Latimer pinned Union senior Aaron Avery in the third round. Craig and Thompson pinned a couple of freshmen. All the sudden, the Papermakers trimmed the Titan lead to 35-33.

It was all up the Leifsen. He had to wrestle a senior who placed fifth at the Pacific Coast Championships.

“I went out there and tried to block as much of the pressure as I could,” Leifsen said. “I approached it like any other match, wrestled my hardest and stuck him.”

Leifsen locked in a near fall during the first round. The Camas wrestlers, coaches and fans were on pins and needles. Leifsen led 7-0. All the Papermakers needed was those three points. But, he wanted more.


Karter Leifsen vs. Miles Hartwig.

“Thirty seconds in, you could see Karter had something the other guy didn’t have,” VomBaur said. “We relaxed when he was up 7-0. All the sudden, Karter puts that guy on his back again. You could see it starting to sink in. Isaac was starting to fade. The pin was coming. We all knew it that time.”

Leifsen kept waiting to hear the referee slap his hand on the mat.

“I heard the crowd go crazy and I knew it was over,” he said. “Just the roar of the crowd when I heard that slap on the mat is something I’m never going to forget.”

When this wrestling rivalry started 10 years ago. Camas coaches Glenn Hartman and Brody Faler came up with a concept they called “The Battle for the Paddle.” Both schools are located on opposite sides of Lacamas Lake.

Union won the paddle in 2008, and has held on to it ever since. So long, that these Camas coaches and wrestlers had no idea this paddle even existed until the Titans gave it back to the Papermakers Wednesday.

“Never heard about this paddle in my whole life,” Latimer said. “It’s like a bonus. We have something to keep.”

“We just made history,” Thompson said.


Close up of the Paddle.



Jack attack! Jack Latimer.



Rylan Thompson pins Josh Helm.



Tanner Craig gets ready to pin Calvin Bahl.

Camas has an opportunity to win its first 4A Greater St. Helens League wrestling championship if it can beat Battle Ground Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The Papermakers are also hosting the district tournament Saturday, Feb. 3.

“Let’s not get complacent. Let’s strive to do better,” Malychewski said. “There’s a reason why they had that paddle for 10 years. We have to build off this for years to come.”

This was a night to remember for Camas Papermakers, young and old. Craig summarized the history made perfectly.

“We knew we needed to get those four pins. We were all hoping and praying,” he said. “It happened. It was the craziest day of the year.”

Wrestling Photo Gallery

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By Dan Trujillo

The Lees wrestling name will hang on the walls of the Joe Brown Gymnasium at Washougal High School forever.

Before the Panthers beat Mark Morris 54-27 in a league duel Thursday, head girls coach Heather Carver and the community honored Abby Lees with a 2017 state championship plaque. Her younger brother, Scott, climbed up the ladder and hung it next to Abby’s other banner from 2015.

Abby Lees earned a record of 105-6 for Washougal. She wrestled in four state finals matches at the Tacoma Dome and won two titles.

“Wrestling is like our family heritage,” Tanner Lees said. “We have a mat in our living room we can use all the time.”

“It’s what keeps our family together,” Scott Lees added. “When we get home, sometimes our dad might get us in a headlock and start teaching us.”

Tanner and Scott Lees are climbing their own ladders. The brothers wrapped up 2017 with Washougal River Rumble championships. Tanner finished in fourth place at state last season and hopes to win it all this year. Scott also wants to wrestle at the Tacoma Dome, in February, and bring home a medal.



Scott Lees turns his opponent into a pin fall predicament.

Scott and Tanner pinned their opponents from Mark Morris Thursday. Tanner Klopman, Andrew Hopple, Jason Powell, Jeffrey Wells, Mason Armstrong, Dakota Andleman and Bryce Williams also won their matches for Washougal.

As a team, the Panthers finished in first place at the Washougal River Rumble. They racked up 205 points to win the 13-school tournament. Centralia took second place with 159 points.

Cole Pass clinched the 126-pound championship for Washougal. He beat Centralia’s Dayvi Gaspar 6-1 in the final match.

Scott Lees defeated Castle Rock’s Elijah Bell 12-7 in the 132 title match. Tanner Lees pinned all four his opponents to finish first at 152 pounds.

Hopple took second place at 145 and Andleman earned second at 285. Jonathan Wells, Blake Webb, Klopman, Powell and Armstrong reached the third- and fourth-place round. Gus Shelley and Williams got to the fifth- and sixth-place rounds.

On Jan. 12 and 13, the Washougal boys and girls wrestling teams will compete in the Clark County Championships, at Skyview High School.



Jason Powell drives his opponent into the mat.



Andrew Hopple pins his opponent.



Tanner Klopman (right) locks up with a Mark Morris Monarch in the last match of the evening. The Panthers manhandled the Monarchs 54-27.

Vancouver, WA — Camas wrestler Tanner Craig was down 3-0 against two-time Oregon state champion Joey Coste in the Finals match on Saturday at the Pacific Coast Wrestling Championship, but he was undaunted.

After the beginning of the second period, the mild-mannered Craig went into battle mode, turning the accomplished Coste into a pretzel, and winning the finals match 9-4.

“I just kept pushing, I knew I had a bigger gas tank than a lot of people I wrestle,” said Craig. “So I kept pushing, I ended up taking him down, and got some back points, which put me ahead by two, I kept pushing and got a take down. I knew I could outlast him.”

But, going into the match, Craig wasn’t so sure.

“It was a big deal for me to beat him,” said Craig. “He’s a two-time state champion, and I saw him wrestle last season. Going in, I thought I was going to lose to Coste, but then when I saw my name in the hole, I felt I could beat him.”

The win gives Craig a 30-1 record for this wrestling season.

Samuel Malychewski battled it out with Skyview’s Jackson McKinney and barely lost the highly anticipated finals match. Rylan Thompson placed second in his finals match, and Gideon Malychewski placed third at the tournament.

“I don’t know what drives Tanner,” said coach Cory Vom Baur. “But he goes 100 percent throughout every wrestling tournament. His dad was the same way, and he’s one of our coaches. He has good lungs, and he has a mindset about him where he knows he’s going to get his opponent tired, and that pays dividends. He’s a hard, hard worker.”

Vom Baur said the boys did well at PAC Coast, and that Samuel and Rylan’s matches were really close. The boys head to Bremerton for Gut Check, which is one the largest tournaments of the season.

To learn more, visit

Wrestling Images


Coeur d’ Alene, ID — Camas sent seven wrestlers to this weekend’s Tri-State Wrestling Tournament to compete against the region’s elite from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and won first place in the Half Team division.

The half team division is for schools that send half teams. Fourteen is considered a full team, and since Camas sent seven that was their designation. Competing against 60 other schools, the Papermakers held their own, placing ninth overall.

Five of the seven Papermakers placed in the top 10. Junior Tanner Craig competed in finals, and earned second place in his weight class. Gideon Malychewski placed third, as did Samuel Malychewski, in their respective weight classes. Rylan Thompson earned fourth, while Jack Latimer placed eighth.

“The team wrestled really well,” said Coach Cory Vom Baur. “This says a lot about the seniors and juniors at Camas. It’s spreading to other parts of the team. It was a highlight to simply be in the top 10 at such an elite tournament. This is a good year, and Samuel and Rylan have really taken charge.”



There were many awards presented at Tri-State.

The team had a lot to say about the experience.

“I thought the team did very well and we are developing more and more each match,” said Jack Latimer. “And we are developing more and more each match. We all had a lot of success and we’re all ready for Best of the West next weekend.”

“I enjoyed being able to compete at Tri-State with all my teammates,” said Samuel Malychewski. “What I got out of it was that we as a team are very tough and will compete. And, I thought that it was unique to be competing against people not only from Washington or Oregon, but also Idaho and Montana, as well.”

Tanner Craig: “I think that I had a good tournament and I’m glad that I beat everyone from my state, but I am still disappointed to lose in the finals no matter how good my opponent was.”

Gideon Malychewski faced Gunner Starren from Tahoma.

“My placing match was against a tough opponent, ” said Gideon. “He was from Tahoma High School, and I ended up getting on top of it in the end.”

Rylan Thompson: “It was a great tournament, and everyone wrestled great! I enjoying getting in some tough matches and learning from my mistakes. It was an awesome experience for me and I had fun bonding with all of my team mates!”

Issac Duncan: “I think it really pushed the team to wrestle the best we ever have. It was a great experience for sure and I can’t wait to go again next year.”

Karter Leifsen: “I thought that the tournament was a great representation of how State is, tough competition everywhere! Every match is a battle. The venue is awesome, as well!”

Tri-State Image Gallery

Photos by Kris Latimer.

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To learn more, visit

Portland, OR — The Camas Boys Wrestling team made significant improvements at this year’s Rose City Wrestling Tournament at Westview High School. Four boys made it to Finals, with two winning their weight classes — Rylan Thompson, and Tanner Craig. Samuel Malychewski and Isaac Duncan placed second in their weight classes.

The Papermaker wrestlers placed fourth overall at Rose. Jack Latimer placed fourth, and Gideon Malychewski placed fifth in their respective weight classes.

“Rose City is a major tournament,” said Head Wrestling Coach, Cory Vom Baur. “We had a record finish of fourth place, and last year we took eleventh, so that’s a major improvement.  We had four finalists this year, and last year we had one, and the year before that we had one. Three years ago, no one reached the finals.”

Thompson (5-0) won by decision over Sawyer Myers, of West Albany, and Tanner Craig beat a returning state finalist (Gavin Stockwell) that beat him three times last year in the semi-finals.

“The team did really outstanding the past two days and learned a lot from wins and losses,” said Thompson, a Senior who’s been wrestling since third grade. “They battled great, it was a tough tournament, and they all wrestled well.”

The tournament brings in over 50 schools from across four states.

Thompson said the boys put in the time at school practice, club practice, weight lifting and closely monitoring their diets.

“I like when all the work I put in pays off,” Thompson said. “I also like the extreme highs and lows of the sport.”

He said wrestling’s biggest challenge is learning how to keep your mind set right.


Tanner Craig during day 1 of the Rose City Wrestling Tournament.

“I feel really good about the win,” said Craig, a Junior, who is undefeated this season. “I feel great about the win. I beat some kids I wasn’t supposed to beat who had beaten me in the past, and it felt really good to come out on top today. I feel there was some well earned wins, but some close losses that our guys should have won. I have confidence  in our team’s heart and I know that next time it’s close that Camas will be on top.”

The boys practice several hours a day, and their next wrestling match is this Wednesday at Skyview. Next weekend, they travel to Coeur d’Alene for another major tournament.

“I felt that we showed up big as a team by placing fourth as a team and showed that our team is one that is going to do well this season,” said Samuel Malychewski, a Senior.

And, the team keeps plugging away.

“Overall, I thought we did really well,” said Vom Baur. “The guys responded well, and they wrestled a really great tournament.”

To learn more, visit

Rose City Tournament Gallery

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