Previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in Washington: No. 2 Camas Papermakers

SBLive Washington is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in the state. Here’s an inside look at the Camas Papermakers of the 4A Greater St. Helens League – No. 2 in our countdown.

2019 IN REVIEW

14-0 (first place in 4A GSHL); won 4A championship over Bothell.

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Jon Eagle, 13th season.
  • Overall record: 123-20.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Jon Eagle (spread). Defense – Dan Kielty (4-3).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

QB Blake Asciutto

DB Kolby Broadbent

WR Jackson Clemmer

RB/DB Tyler Forner

PK/P Bryce Leighton

LB Jackson Preston

OL Rush Reimer

OL/DL Tristan Souza

OL Tai Tumanuvao

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 1. Defense – 2.

TOP PLAYERS

QB Jake Blair, 6-2, 190, sr.

WR Zach Blair, 5-10, 160, so.

WR Bryce Dewey, 5-9, 170, sr.

RB/DB Gabriel Guo, 5-9, 180, sr.

LB Luke Jamison, 6-2, 205, jr.

TE/DL Quaid Milholin, 6-3, 235, sr.

LB Logan Silva, 6-1, 190, jr.

OL/DL Robert Silva, 6-0, 260, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Jake Blair, quarterback

Oregon State signee missed 4A title game (collarbone), but returns as Clark County’s top signal caller.

Gabriel Guo, running back

Was going to be part of the running-back rotation anyway, but now with Jacques Badolato-Birdsel injury, he’s the guy.

Robert Silva, defensive tackle

Really the lone big-man standout returning for the 4A champions; he will man both interior positions (DT, NG).

2021 OUTLOOK

Early in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived before the Papermakers’ state championship rings.

So, Camas coach Jon Eagle told his players they could stop by his house and pick them up on the front porch.

“Thirty players showed up,” Eagle said. “And they all got together with their rings on, took a photo – and then posted it.”

From a culture – and success – standpoint, few programs in the state rival what Eagle has built in Southwest Washington at Camas.

In 12 seasons, Eagle and the Papermakers have won 86 percent of their games. And since 2011, they have advanced to the state semifinals five times – with three trips to the 4A title game (lost in 2013; won in 2016 and 2019).

Those are reasons enough to never bet against Eagle’s teams – even in what is perceived as a retooling year.

“The vibe in our room has been good,” Eagle said.

But Camas graduated its entire offensive line – one of the best the state has seen in decades. Its next wave of talent up front is in the class of 2023.

It graduated all of its top wide receivers – and quarterback Blake Asciutto, who came on for the injured Jake Blair late in the regular season to lead the offense. It also bid goodbye to all-purpose standout back Tyler Forner.

Jacques Badolato-Birdsell, one of the state’s top running backs, was set to be a centerpiece of the offense this shortened senior season, but the Nevada signee suffered a season-ending knee injury during a workout in early January.

That leaves Blair as truly the only proven commodity. It will take time for this new offensive cast to grow together (the Papermakers scored just one touchdown in a season-opening loss to Union).

That is why Eagle might have to rely on his defense in the early going, particularly a strong defensive front, led by Robert Silva and Quaid Milholin, and a trio of junior linebackers – two of whom started in the 4A title game (Luke Jamison, Luke Silva).

“It is one of the better defensive fronts we’ve had,” Eagle said.

One thing that should never be underestimated is Eagle’s ability to put Camas on a championship track very decisively.

“We should be very competitive. We have a strong underclass group,” Eagle said.

COVID-19 IMPACT

“We’ve been off our normal schedule, but there is value in that – learn how to manage and adjust. We look for solutions, not excuses.” – Jon Eagle

2020-21 SCHEDULE – CAMAS TEAM PAGE

  • Feb. 26 vs. Union (17-9 loss)
  • March 12 at Battle Ground
  • March 18 at Kelso
  • March 23 vs. Skyview
  • March 27 at Heritage
  • April 2 vs. Prairie

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