The fall sports season at Woodland Park High School has come and gone, with few award ceremonies, but a few promising signs for next year.
For most of the teams, it was a less than successful season.
The three major team sports that play in the fall; volleyball, softball, and football, all finished with records below .500. The year before the only team not above that mark was the football team. The combined record of these three teams was 20-32, which definitely leaves something to be desired. One of the big highlights for the fall season involved the golf team, which captured the league championship for the first time in the school’s history.
But frequent disappointments confronted the main high school fall spectator sport, varsity football
The football team’s failures were very well documented throughout the year as the losses continually piled up for this team. There are hundreds of reasons for the 2-8 record that the team finished with, from untimely penalties, to a crazy amount of fumbles. The list of mistakes this team made is long and lengthy. The few positives that the team can take away from this season is that junior Dominic Roskam led the 3A Southern League in rushing yards with 1,192 yards. In addition, senior Orion Drummond also lead the league in tackles with 124. But unfortunately, Woodland Park’s football team, even with Roskam returning next year, looks extremely far away from being a playoff team.
The volleyball team fared the best of any of the three sports teams. They finished with a 11-12 record. They finished the season in fourth place in their league. That is obviously a step down from what they were last year.
When asked why this decline occurred, senior Kayla Woods said, “We just weren’t as experienced as the girls last year. They had played with each other for years so they all knew how each other played. This year we were just young. Most of us hadn’t played with each other at all and with all the new people coming in and playing together like that it is a challenge.”
Obviously Kayla won’t be around to see this team rebuild, but several key young players will still take the court. These include sophomore Kourtney Cox who lead the team in kills this year with 130. Along with Cox, there will be junior Taylor Alvarez, who dominated this year serving the ball and lead the team with the most points generated from serves. The future for the volleyball team does look bright. Hopefully, these new meme bears of the team will learn how to play with each other.
The softball team probably was the biggest disappointment, finishing the season with a 7-12 record. This was disappointing, as they won their league during the previous three years. Those three teams had a combined record of 48-17. Those three years will probably be looked back on as the greatest years in Panthers’ softball history and rightfully so. As for this year, senior second basemen Jayllan Krause, who lead the team in basically every single offense category, noted, “we ended up having to rebuild our team this year, we had a lot of first time softball players, and the team ended up being a very young team.”
The future prospects for this team do not look particularly bright especially with both two star senior players leaving after this year with Kelly Marolf and Jayllan Krause. This team will definitely be looking to rebuild. WP softball buffs may look at the 2013-2015 stretch as their glory years.
A dream golf season
For golf, 2016 emerged as a dream season for the Woodland Park High School. The WP linksters shocked the 4A division by winning the league championship and several key tournaments. Once again, senior Sam Levy had an inspiring year, and snagged the individual league title, courtesy of several amazing tournament rounds in the low 70s in Colorado Springs.
Head coach Brian Gustafson attributed the team’s success to a considerable amount of hard work and a competitive fire. “We have a lot of course rats,” said Gustafson, when the team won the league championship during the final tourney, held at Shining Mountain in Woodland Park. A number of their top players are regular fixtures at Shining Mountain. “These guys have really worked hard and really push each other.”
Levy, a senior, was the only player who qualified for the state tournament. Unfortunately, Levy had a bad first round during the state tournament in Carbondale, which killed his chances of finishing in the top 10. The team may face a few more challenges next year, with Levy’s departure. But they have several returning players who have displayed much promise.
As far as winter sports we will get to see what the girls and boys basketball teams will be able to offer up. The boys’ team will look to rebound from their 1-22 season last year. The girls’ basketball team will try to improve on their 2-22 record from a year ago with their new head coach Del Garrick. Both teams play in a tough league so it will be interesting to see how they compete.