The fall sports season for the Woodland Park High School Panthers was filled with chills, thrills, and maybe a few spills.
For the most part, the fall season was spilling from the brim with effort, passion, and changed lives.
Let us first recount the epic tale involving the girls’ varsity softball season. Through much hardship and troubling times, the team was able to persevere, and won their third straight league championship. As for the surreal experience regarding WP softball, Jayllan Krause described the team as “hard working and very determined to accomplish their goals.” The softball team was unable to achieve their goal of winning state, but put together a very solid season.
Meanwhile, the quintessential high school sport, football, had a season that read like an epic novel filled with mystery, intrigue, and possibly a little romance. The team sported a respectable 4-5 record, which could have been much better without the tragic loss of starting quarterback, Matt Cox. Dan Knapp and Orion Drummund spearheaded a vaunted defensive strike force that will go down in history as the driving force of Woodland Park’s vastly improved football team. Knapp spoke subtly with grace and when he described the season by saying, “Even with the improvement of the football team, we still have a long way to go.”
Let us not overlook the more footloose part of the sports spectrum by analyzing the age old tradition of boys’ varsity soccer. Their season was certainly not an easy one, with the team having trouble reaching the golden paved track of victory. The team learned that victory is an elusive mistress that is as fickle as a midsummer’s breeze. But fret not, the boys soccer team hasn’t abandoned their victory quest and are preparing for next season as we speak.
For local golf fanatics, we have the harrowing tale of Sam Levy, who was the only member of our beloved linksters to advance it to the contest of champions, known as the state tournament. Unfortunately, Levy wasn’t able to make it to the top tier of the state competition. But he golfed his heart out, making us all proud in the process. In fact, Levy became the first member of the WP golf team to make it to the state tourney in four years.
The volleyball team this year was exquisite as they achieved new milestones in their progression as a team. They posted an impressive 16-9 record overall and a 10-4 record inside their league. Even with this impressive record, they finished third in their league and did not qualify for the state tournament. The biggest moment of the season, though, was when Coach Roshek was able to claim her 100th victory as the head volleyball skipper in Woodland Park. Going forward, this team will have a great chance at reaching the state tournament and finishing as one of the top volleyball forces in the state.
The Woodland Park cross country team was able to once again have a great season with many participants securing new personal best performances. Aspen Heidekrueger prevailed as the league champion in the girl’s 5,000 meters with a time of 19 minutes and 56 seconds. Jack Fisher also put up stellar times in the men’s 5,000 meter with a time of 17 minutes and 34 seconds. Fisher recorded the best time for any Woodland Park runner since 2011, when Joe Hopfe posted a time of 17 minutes flat. The cross country team has to be thrilled, as both of these athletes will be returning next year for their senior year. As a team, the girls were able to win the league championship for the first time since 2006.
The fall sports season demonstrated that Woodland Park’s athletic programs are trending in the right direction. The progression, especially highlighted by football, volleyball, and cross country, is truly staggering. The softball team has been able to remain dominate for three straight years now, which is absolutely astounding. We hope that this level of progress continues for the rest of Woodland Park’s athletic teams as we head into the winter sports season.
Editor’s Note: Tyler Damico and Mac McClintock are students at the Woodland Park High School. Look for more upcoming articles in our sports and recreation section, authored by local students, and in other sections of The Mountain Jackpot (TMJ) publication.