Winter Sports Review: Five team champions from Clark County

Local teams finished on top in basketball, wrestling, bowling

There are a lot of different skills on display in high school sports during the winter season.

Clark County is pretty darn good in every one of those skills.

As we say goodbye to the 2018-19 winter sports season, here is a salute to some of the best of the best.

The county dominated in state bowling, with Evergreen winning its third consecutive Class 3A team title.

There were eight individual champions in wrestling. The Union girls won the team title, too.

In gymnastics, Camas won its second consecutive team title and the county celebrated an all-around champion.

There were no state boys champions in swimming, but Camas did win team titles the past two seasons.

Then there was basketball. An incredible ride for Clark County fans, featuring two state champions: The Prairie Falcons (3A girls) and Washougal Panthers (2A girls).

Here is some of what we reported on the past few weeks:

Bowling

Kerissa Andersen won her second individual state title and helped Evergreen to a third consecutive team title.

The Evergreen Plainsmen won the team bowling title for the third year in a row. Photo courtesy of Kerissa Andersen
The Evergreen Plainsmen won the team bowling title for the third year in a row. Photo courtesy of Kerissa Andersen

Just like she had planned.

Seriously, she told us that we walked into the building at state determined to win an individual title and lead the Plainsmen to team glory, too.

“It brings a happiness to me I can’t even express,” she said.

Teammate Dakota O’Neil finished second in the individual competition.

Prairie, meanwhile, finished second in the team category.

Wrestling

Following the brackets during Mat Classic, it was starting to look like a Clark County Invitational. All the locals seemed to keep winning. To the quarterfinals, the semifinals, the finals.

In the end, eight individuals — four boys and four girls — won state championship: Allison Blaine of Hudson’s Bay; Tanner Craig of Camas; Ashlyn Daugherty of Woodland; CJ Hamblin of Seton Catholic; Annabelle Helm of Union; Gideon Malychewski of Camas; Danny Snedicker of Union; and Krista Warren of Union.

And, of course, Union got the team title in girls wrestling.

Annabelle Helm of Union helped the Titans win the girls wrestling team title. Photo by Betty Snediker
Annabelle Helm of Union helped the Titans win the girls wrestling team title. Photo by Betty Snediker

“Wrestling is an individual sport but also a team sport,” Helm said. “We created this poster, with our goals. Being a team state champion. We all signed it at the bottom. We bonded through much of that. We’re more than just teammates. We’re a family. It wasn’t just one person. All of us were part of it.”

Gymnastics

The Camas Papermakers not only won their second consecutive Class 4A team gymnastics title, they dominated the event. Camas recorded the third-best team score in state history. While the team was excelling, Shea McGee was winning the prestigious all-around title.

Also at state, Columbia River’s Grace Gordon won the 3A/2A title on the balance beam.

Basketball

The rest of the state might want to book a trip to Clark County, maybe get a few tips from the champions.

The Prairie Falcons and Washougal Panthers gave the county two team champions in girls basketball. Prairie won the 3A title in Tacoma, and a few hours later, Washougal won the 2A title in Yakima.

“It’s an honor to just wear the uniform across my chest,” Allison Corral said. “To go to Prairie, to play basketball for Prairie, it’s an honor every day.”

It is Prairie’s seventh state title in the sport.

Brooke Walling of Prairie was named the Class 3A girls basketball tournament MVP. Photo by Patrick Hagerty
Brooke Walling of Prairie was named the Class 3A girls basketball tournament MVP. Photo by Patrick Hagerty

At Washougal, this was a first.

“I’m just so grateful and thankful,” Washougal’s Beyonce Bea said. “It’s a dream come true to end your season with a state championship.”

Beyonce Bea was named the Class 2A girls basketball tournament MVP. Photo by Mike Schultz
Beyonce Bea was named the Class 2A girls basketball tournament MVP. Photo by Mike Schultz

Those two teams realized their ultimate goals, but so many other teams also performed at a high level.

The King’s Way Christian boys finished second in the 1A state tournament. An incredible postseason run, the Knights had to win back-to-back elimination games just to reach the quarterfinals, then won two more games to make it to the finals.

La Center, meanwhile, had a tremendous season, too, reaching the 1A semifinals. The Wildcats were No. 2 in the 1A boys RPI for much of the season.

Back at 4A, the Union boys did not like how the season ended, with back-to-back losses in the Tacoma Dome. Still, the Titans won 22 in a row during the season and earned the No. 1 spot in RPI.

And the Columbia River boys had a similar story. Not the way they wanted to end the season, but still an amazing campaign, No. 2 in the RPI prior to state.

Clark County Today salutes all of you.

We'd love to hear your comments!

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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