Linebacker/running back Beau Harlan is the epitome of the Camas Papermaker football player
Many years ago, there was a rumor, a vicious rumor going around Camas about a pretty famous name.
It seems that a few in the community thought this name had run its course, that it was time for a change.
Turns out, it was just talk, perhaps generated by some new citizens of the city who, at the time, just did not understand the meaning of the Camas Papermakers.
That name means pride. It means hard work. Guts. Loyalty. It means showing up for a hard day’s work, for putting in the time to create a quality product.
That perseverance from mill workers years ago made Camas.
That same attitude is what guides the school’s athletic teams.
They are the Camas Papermakers.
And every year on the football field, there are at least a few players who seem to epitomize that name, with work ethic, academic excellence, and a drive that never stops.
Beau Harlan is a Papermaker.
That is how Camas coach Jack Hathaway described Harlan on Friday night, about an hour before the Papermakers defeated Skyview 21-9 at Doc Harris Stadium. Camas improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League. Skyview dropped to 6-1 and 0-1.
It was an hour before Harlan, a linebacker, helped keep Skyview out of the end zone until the game’s final moments. It was before Harlan scored two rushing touchdowns on offense, following the push of his offensive line.
Harlan, listed at 6-feet, 190 pounds, had tackles for loss on defense, and key short- to mid-range runs on offense that just seemed to deflate Skyview, a few yards at a time.
Work. Work. Work. Do your job.
The Papermaker Way.
“Being a Papermaker is hard work and determination,” Harlan said. “We had determination today.”
What makes Harlan an example of the Papermaker standard is that he does not think, just yet, that he has reached Papermaker status. And he had an interesting description of his journey toward that end goal.
“There are 100 men on the battlefield. Ten shouldn’t be there. 80 are just targets. Nine do the work. They’re the killers. One is a warrior,” Harlan explained. “I’m a killer right now, trying to be a warrior. I’m working to be that Papermaker. Not there yet, but it means a lot for the coaches to say that about me.”
It also means the world for Harlan, a junior, to put on the Camas jersey, to play in front of the Doc Harris Stadium crowd. He remembers going to games when he was in elementary school. Now, he’s excelling under the lights.
“It’s a beautiful community that we have. I love playing for this community,” Harlan said. “I love every single one of these people, every single one of my teammates, every single one of my coaches, my family. I love them all.
“I grew up watching this stuff. It was inspiring. To be a part of it when I’m older now, it’s a dream come true.”
Through most of his years, Harlan has only seen success when it comes to Camas vs. Skyview.
The Papermakers beat Skyview for the 13th consecutive matchup. The last time the Storm were able to prevail in this rivalry was 2011.
There have been many close calls in recent years, and this season, based on rankings, was supposed to be Skyview’s year.
No way, the Papermakers said.
“Believe and have heart out there,” Harlan said. “This game was about heart.”
It doesn’t start with the running backs. Not even the linebackers. But the guys up front.
“We ran that ball down their throats,” Harlan said. “We showed them who’s the boss. That’s the nice way to put it. We killed them in the run game. That really comes down to our O-line. Our O-line killed their front. Every single point we scored was because of our line. That’s really the heart of our team right now.”
Sure enough, when it came down to winning time, the Camas offensive line took over Friday’s game. It was 14-3 at halftime. The next touchdown would say a lot. If Skyview scored, it was anyone’s ball game. But if Camas could get the first touchdown of the second half? Game over. That was the mentality, anyway.
The Papermakers went on an 11-play, 87-yard drive that included nine run plays. Titan Brody amassed 49 yards on that drive alone, and then Harlan cashed in with a 9-yard touchdown run.
“That’s Camas football right there,” lineman Carson Osmus said.
Marc Jackson, the center, said that drive was exhausting. But if the Papermakers were tired, they didn’t show it. Jackson said he and his teammates have that “dawg” in them that keeps them going in the right direction.
“We fought with all the energy we had to finish off the game. We ran it down their throats, all the way down the field, and scored another touchdown,” Jackson said. “We closed this game out. That’s what we do here at Camas.”
Osmus and Jackson were joined on the line by Evan Paul, Jaxon Goode, Ethan Linerud, and tight end Nikko Speer.
Just more guys with that Papermaker attitude.
Defensively, the Papermakers held Skyview to a season-low nine points. The Storm came into the game averaging more than 42 points a game. Oh, and Skyview’s lone touchdown came with 2:47 to play in the game. Sure, had Skyview recovered an onside kick, that touchdown could have been the start of a special comeback. But once the kick went out of bounds, it was time for the Camas offense to get back on the field. Three run plays, a first down, and the Papermakers were able to get into Victory Formation.
Osmus, who plays on the offensive and defensive line, said this win over Skyview will be special.
Again, computer rankings and human polls had Skyview as the better team this year. That was motivating enough for the Papermakers.
“The rankings don’t mean anything. We knew that going into this game,” senior Trenton Swanson said. “We knew we were the better team. And we just did what we knew we were going to do. We executed and we didn’t get into our own heads. That’s what we did.”
There were a few other motivating factors as well.
“They made it personal,” Osmus said. “They painted our rock outside. They put a (Skyview) jersey on (the statue of) Doc Harris. They made it personal.”
The Papermakers said they did their talking with their football pads this week.
They also made quite the statement early on in this game. Skyview blocked a Camas punt and started its first possession on the Camas 17-yard line.
The Camas defense was ready. Skyview made it to the 6-yard line, but the drive stalled and the Storm settled for a field goal.
“Our defense prides ourselves on never giving up,” Harlan said.
A three-point deficit instead of seven was a win for the Papermakers at that moment. Then it was time for the offense.
Jake Davison, the junior quarterback making his first varsity start against Skyview, found Anthony Forner on a 26-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play early in the second quarter.
Then, after Camas’ Ayden Jones recovered a Skyview fumble, Davison threw a perfect ball to Swanson for a 37-yard gain, setting up a short Harlan touchdown run and a 14-3 lead at the half.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to be on this field,” Davidson said. “It feels great.”
“This win right here shows how good this team is,” said Swanson, who also had an interception Friday night for the Camas defense. “I truly believe we are going to make a deep playoff run this year.”
“We’re coming for that state title,” Harlan added.
That is how these Papermakers roll.
- State basketball: Skyview among four schools celebrating two teamsThere are 10 teams from Clark County still playing in their state basketball tournaments and four schools — Skyview, Camas, Columbia River, and Skyview — are sending their boys and girls teams to this weekend’s opening round games.
- Chat with the Champions: Seven state wrestling champs from Clark CountyThere were seven state champions from Clark County schools at Mat Classic, and we reached out to all seven to see what life is like after winning it all in the Tacoma Dome.
- Clark County Today Sports Podcast, Feb. 22, 2024: A salute to wrestling champions and a look ahead to state basketballWe recorded this episode a few days after one of the biggest days in Clark County high school wrestling history, with seven state champions, including four from Skyview.
- 2024 Columbia River spring Chinook fishing seasons announcedFishery managers from Washington and Oregon on Wednesday approved this year’s recreational spring Chinook salmon fishing season for the Columbia River.
- High school basketball: Camas earns top seed for 4A girls tournamentCamas girls, Columbia River girls, and Seton Catholic boys get top-8 seeds, while seven other Clark County teams made it to state and will play elimination games this week.