Lily Loughney appreciates the school spirit and history associated with Camas soccer
She has been a Camas Papermaker student for all of her high school years, but she wasn’t allowed to be a Camas Papermaker athlete.
At least for the first two years.
The rules changed for Lily Loughney, and today she is proud to wear the Camas girls soccer uniform.
Loughney is in her fifth year with the Portland Thorns Academy club team based in Beaverton. In her first two years of high school, the Thorns played in a league that prohibited its athletes from playing high school sports.
So Loughney watched the Papermakers from the seats at Doc Harris Stadium, cheering on her classmates.
Last year, though, the Thorns moved into the Elite Clubs National League, a league that sees value in allowing its athletes to represent their high schools, too.
Loughney no longer had to watch the Papermakers. She could join them.
“Coming to their games, seeing the team play, and hearing about it at school and seeing them wear the gear … I was really excited to be a part of that,” Loughney said.
Camas varsity won a state title when Loughney was an eighth-grader. The team finished third and second in the next two seasons.
“It’s always been a great program. I knew I was going to come to a great program,” Loughney said. “I was super excited. Everybody here loves soccer. In Camas, there’s football, but a close second is girls soccer. I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
Loughney helped Camas go undefeated during the COVID season in the spring.
“She is another tenacious player with a really good sense of the game,” Camas coach Keri Tomasetti said.
Unfortunately for Loughley, she suffered a concussion in one of the final matches of the abbreviated season. The rehabilitation took months. While she is cleared and playing this fall, she said she still does brain exercises to stay sharp.
“It was hard, but it definitely made me a stronger player,” Loughney said. “It made me appreciate the game so much more. It definitely helped me get to where I am now. It sucked, but I wouldn’t change anything because it just made me a better player overall.”
As Camas heads into the final two weeks of the regular season, Loughney and the Papermakers are hoping to play all the way through Nov. 21, the day of the state finals.
That is something Loughney never thought she would have the opportunity to do when she entered high school.
“It’s just awesome. We have a good group. It just makes me proud to be part of it and be able to give it my best,” Loughney said. “Hopefully my best will help us win state.”