Magical Saturday for Mountain View, Columbia River soccer

Clark County hosts three state playoff events; plus a roundup of all county teams

There was playoff magic in the air throughout the state, and a couple big moments Saturday right here in Clark County.

The Mountain View Thunder are going to the Class 3A state semifinals in boys soccer after a 2-0 win over Kamiakin at McKenzie Stadium in the afternoon.

Christopher Grozav is mobbed by his Mountain View teammates after scoring a goal in the first half Saturday against Kamiakin in the Class 3A state boys soccer quarterfinals. Mountain View would go on to win 2-0. Photo by Mike Schultz
Christopher Grozav is mobbed by his Mountain View teammates after scoring a goal in the first half Saturday against Kamiakin in the Class 3A state boys soccer quarterfinals. Mountain View would go on to win 2-0. Photo by Mike Schultz

In the evening, defending 2A boys soccer state champion Columbia River got the job done against Franklin Pierce in a quarterfinal, also punching a ticket to the final four.

Earlier in the day, the Camas baseball team did not get going in its state regional round game at Propstra Stadium. The Papermakers lost, with their season coming to an end.

Oh, but up north, another baseball team has continued on its roll. The Skyview Storm won a pair a 1-0 games — in the round of 16 and then the quarterfinals — to make it to the Class 4A state final four next week.

More on other baseball, softball, and soccer teams below. First, here is how state playoff action in Clark County went down Saturday.

Class 3A boys soccer

Mountain View 2, Kamiakin 0

Christopher Grozav was running late, but he was also right on time.

He did not start Saturday’s quarterfinal match. Another school-related commitment meant he had to hustle to McKenzie Stadium. He arrived just before the match started.

No warm-up? No problem.

“I got subbed in, I did my thing, and we were up 1-0,” he said with a smile.

“I rushed over here, and I helped my boys out.”

For sure. His first-half goal turned out to be the difference.

Mountain View’s Carlos Cruz looks up to the crowd Saturday, seconds after the final whistle in the Thunder’s 2-0 win over Kamiakin at McKenzie Stadium. Mountain View is going to the Class 3A state semifinals. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mountain View’s Carlos Cruz looks up to the crowd Saturday, seconds after the final whistle in the Thunder’s 2-0 win over Kamiakin at McKenzie Stadium. Mountain View is going to the Class 3A state semifinals. Photo by Mike Schultz

Nathan Purvis got another one late in the match, and the Thunder will be on their way to Sparks Stadium in Puyallup for the final four. Mountain View will take on Lakeside in a semifinal at 2 p.m. Friday. The finals are Saturday.

“Making history,” Grozav said. “Beginning of the season, we didn’t expect this. Now that we’re here in this situation, we want to do it all. It’s a great achievement, to go undefeated in league and now the final four in state.”

Melvin Ramir (5) of Mountain View is focused on keeping control of the ball while fending off a Kamiakin defender Saturday during their playoff match. Mountain View won 2-0. Photo by Mike Schultz
Melvin Ramir (5) of Mountain View is focused on keeping control of the ball while fending off a Kamiakin defender Saturday during their playoff match. Mountain View won 2-0. Photo by Mike Schultz

Purvis gave Mountain View some breathing room with his goal.

“They were pressuring us big time. I put that away to give us that much more confidence,” he said.

“It’s amazing. I don’t even have words,” Purvis said of going to the final four. “A great team we just played. We just happened to get the best of them. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. So amazing. So good.”

That is kind of how Mountain View coach Dustin Johnson explained it, too.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “This team and what they’ve been able to accomplish this year, it’s great. No other word. Just great.”

Mountain View had to go on the road for its first-round playoff match. The bracket listed Mountain View as the home team for the second round, though.

“It was huge to have the support from the school, the parents, and the fans,” Johnson said.

Class 2A boys soccer

Columbia River 4, Franklin Pierce 1

In a rematch of last year’s semifinal, Columbia River once again topped Franklin Pierce’s season, this time in the quarterfinals.

Now the Chieftains are going back to the final four.

“Pretty crazy,” said junior Jake Connop, who scored two goals and assisted on another Saturday at Columbia River High School. “It’s mind-blowing.”

Jake Connop of Columbia River scored two goals and assisted on another in River’s 4-1 win over Franklin Pierce in a Class 2A state quarterfinal boys soccer match Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Jake Connop of Columbia River scored two goals and assisted on another in River’s 4-1 win over Franklin Pierce in a Class 2A state quarterfinal boys soccer match Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Just because the Chieftains are the defending state champions did not make this run an automatic. The 2018 squad had seven seniors.

“It might have been easy to think maybe next year would be our year. They really wanted to make a run at it this year,” Columbia River coach Filly Afenegus said. “I told them it was going to be difficult. They’ve been up to the task, and they’ve done an amazing job.”

Sideris Kosaris scored River’s first goal Saturday.

Columbia River’s Sideras Kosaris (11) is being hugged by teammate Aaron Espinosa as they await Jake Connop, who is on his way to join the celebration. Kosaris put Columbia River ahead 1-0 in the state quarterfinals. Photo by Mike Schultz
Columbia River’s Sideras Kosaris (11) is being hugged by teammate Aaron Espinosa as they await Jake Connop, who is on his way to join the celebration. Kosaris put Columbia River ahead 1-0 in the state quarterfinals. Photo by Mike Schultz

“I never really thought I’d get an opportunity to score in a state quarterfinal, just the environment and the atmosphere and everything, especially in a game like this,” Kosaris said. “They wanted their revenge. It’s such a big game for us. Such an unreal feeling for me.”

Jackson Kleier of Columbia River gets control of a pass during River’s 4-1 win over Franklin Pierce. Columbia River is going back to the state final four. Photo by Mike Schultz
Jackson Kleier of Columbia River gets control of a pass during River’s 4-1 win over Franklin Pierce. Columbia River is going back to the state final four. Photo by Mike Schultz

In fact, the Chieftains are used to big matches. They are the defending champs, after all.

“We know we’re always going to get everyone’s best game,” Kosaris said. “These teams really want to beat us. For us, we just have to ignore the noise and just kind of keep moving forward.”

Columbia River will be moving on to Sumner for the final four. The Chieftains take on Fife at 8 p.m. Friday in a semifinal. The finals are Saturday.

The goal?

“Get two wins and add a star to the crest,” Connop said.

He was on his game Saturday. His first goal seemed to surprise the Cardinals. The Franklin Pierce goalkeeper appeared to think he was all alone, jumping for a high pass that was sailing in the air toward him.

Connop, though, had other plans.

“I put a little extra boost on,” he said of his sprint toward the keeper and the ball. “I saw the keeper coming up. ‘I think I can beat him.’ I just jumped and got the ball and saw it go in the back of the net.”

He headed the ball just before it got into the keeper’s hands.

“At the end of the day, it’s a goal,” Connop said.

And at the end of the day, Columbia River remains unbeaten this season, now at 20-0-1 going into the final four.

Class 4A baseball

Issaquah 5, Camas 1

This Camas baseball season will be one to remember fondly for the Papermakers, even if the final game did not go their way.

Issaquah scored a run in the top of the first and added three more in the second inning to take control in a state regional game at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver. Camas never recovered.

The Papermakers got some life on offense in the fourth inning. Quinten Sawyer crushed a double to the wall and Shane Jamison drove him in with a single.

Quinten Sawyer of Camas had three hits in Saturday’s state playoff game, including a triple and a double. He also scored his team’s only run in a 5-1 loss to Issaquah. Photo by Mike Schultz
Quinten Sawyer of Camas had three hits in Saturday’s state playoff game, including a triple and a double. He also scored his team’s only run in a 5-1 loss to Issaquah. Photo by Mike Schultz

That was it, though.

Still, Camas will always be the 4A Greater St. Helens League champion from the 2019 season. The Papermakers will always be the bi-district champions, too.

“I’m super proud of my team. We battled through a lot of stuff,” Camas senior Grant Heiser said. “We couldn’t pull this one out, but I love these guys. I wish I had one more season with them. I wish the best for them in the future.”

Grant Heiser, a senior from Camas, said he is proud of his teammates for winning the 4A GSHL and bi-district titles this season. Camas’ year came to an end in a 5-1 loss to Issaquah. Photo by Mike Schultz
Grant Heiser, a senior from Camas, said he is proud of his teammates for winning the 4A GSHL and bi-district titles this season. Camas’ year came to an end in a 5-1 loss to Issaquah. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas coach Stephen Short said the final day is always the toughest day of the season for every team but the state champion.

This was a successful campaign, though.

“It was a special season for our players and this program,” Short said. “Such an enjoyable team to coach and a group that truly cared for each other. I’m proud of our seniors for building a culture of success as they will be greatly missed.

“Tough way to end, but they will remember all of the great moments we shared and relationships built.”

Shane Jamison tries to get under the tag during Camas’ baseball game against Issaquah. Later, Jamison got Camas’ lone RBI of the game. Issaquah beat Camas 5-1. Photo by Mike Schultz
Shane Jamison tries to get under the tag during Camas’ baseball game against Issaquah. Later, Jamison got Camas’ lone RBI of the game. Issaquah beat Camas 5-1. Photo by Mike Schultz

There was a lot going on outside of Clark County, too.

Baseball

Four other Clark County baseball teams won their first games Saturday to make it to the state quarterfinals, and the Skyview Storm won in the elite eight to advance to the semifinals.

Ryan Pitts struck out eight in a 1-0 shutout over Inglemoor in the first game, then Cooper Barnum struck out six in his 1-0 shutout over Eastlake. Skyview will face Moses Lake at 7 p.m. Friday at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. The finals are set for Saturday.

Mountain View, Ridgefield, and Columbia River all lost in the quarterfinals.

The Thunder did win earlier in the day, picking up their first state playoff win in program history with an 8-0 win over Edmonds-Woodway. Andrew Gulliford drove in three runs, and Quinn Rooks drove in a pair. Riley McCarthy and Aaron Hsu combined for the shutout in the history making victory.

Mountain View lost 6-2 to Capital in the 3A quarterfinals.

Ridgefield reached the 2A quarters with a 9-3 win over White River. Jimmy Wallace drove in three runs and Kellen Bringhurst drove in two. Archbishop Murphy got the Spudders in the quarterfinals, 7-2.

Columbia River also made it to the 2A quarters, beating West Valley 5-1. Nick Alder went the distance, striking out seven. Derek Mettler and Parker McNeil each drove in two runs. Sehome was too strong for River in the quarterfinals, topping the Chieftains 6-2.

Soccer

Woodland’s impressive soccer season came to an end in the 2A quarterfinals. Sehome topped the Beavers 4-0.

Softball

It is not state competition yet. This weekend is all about qualifying for state. And Clark County has plenty of teams going to state or still alive to make it to state.

Woodland and Ridgefield renewed their rivalry, with Woodland scoring three runs late for a 3-1 victory in the district championship game. Both teams qualified for 2A state.

Other softball teams going to state: Skyview and Battle Ground are both going to state. The Storm and Tigers won quarterfinal games Saturday in the bi-district tournament. The tourney was postponed by rain Friday and is being played Saturday and Sunday. The Storm and Tigers both won two games Saturday to qualify for next week.

In 3A, Mountain View clinched a berth to state Thursday in its bi-district tournament. On Saturday, the Thunder won two games to claim the bi-district title. Meanwhile, Prairie became the final team from the bi-district to clinch a spot to state, surviving three elimination games, including two on Saturday.

In 1A, La Center lost in the district tournament consolation bracket and missed out on going to state by one game.

The state qualifiers in individual sports were earned this week as well. Check back early next week at Clark County Today for a list of all individuals who will be competing in state in track and field, golf, and tennis.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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