The Woodland Park High School’s (WPHS) girls’ and boys’ basketball teams recently competed in the 2023 State Championship tournament, and we couldn’t be more proud of them. Both teams worked hard all season, pushing themselves to their limits on and off the court.
For the girls’ team, this marks a significant achievement. They worked towards this goal all
season, putting in countless hours of practice and training to improve their skills and
teamwork. They are a close-knit team that faced challenges along the way, but they never
gave up. Their hard work and determination paid off.
Senior Avery Larsen shared her sentiments from the season. “Over the last couple of years,
our basketball team has grown from a 3-10 record to an appearance in the State
tournament. Competing in these games was nerve-wracking, emotional, and exciting. To top it off, I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience playing on the same team as my sister,
Emmorette; my built-in best friend was by my side for every step of the season.”
In their first game of the playoffs, the lady Panthers achieved a thrilling 50-49 victory over
Ignacio. The game was hard-fought and intense, with both teams giving it their all until the
very end. But in the end, the WPHS Panthers emerged victorious, thanks to their skill,
teamwork, and never-give-up attitude.
In the second game of the State tournament, the lady Panthers faced off against the
two-time defending State Champions Platte Valley Broncos. Despite their best efforts, the
Panthers were unable to overcome the Broncos’ dominant play, and the final score was
33-60 in favor of Platte Valley.
Freshman Emmorette Larsen expressed her thoughts on the team’s achievement: “This was an incredible experience to be a part of, and as an underclassman, I hope to take the
knowledge I learned and use it to help get our program to State again next year.”
The boys’ team also had an incredible season. They faced some tough opponents, but they
never backed down. They worked together as a team, supporting each other on and off the
court, and have shown what it means to be true champions. Their efforts earned them a spot in the State playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Senior Joshua Tanis expressed his thoughts on the team’s bond: “We became a family this
season, which helped build chemistry with everyone on and off the court. I’ve been playing
basketball with some of the guys for ten-plus years. Coach Crawford was also very
influential in ensuring I had an enjoyable season. He made an effort to teach lifelong skills
and basketball skills too. He would always say, ‘do what you think is right!’”
In the first game of the State playoffs, the WPHS boys’ basketball team faced off against the Roaring Fork Rams. The game was hard-fought, with both teams battling it out until the very end. In the end, the Panthers came up just short, losing to the Rams by a score of 53-48.
Junior Caden Howard shared his thoughts on the team’s success: “This year was definitely a year for the record book. Ending our season with a winning record for the second year in a row shows great improvement within our program. Thanks to Coach Crawford and the rest of the coaching staff for putting together two very successful years of basketball.” His
statement highlights the team’s continued improvement and the vital role of the coaching
staff in achieving their success.
Despite the outcome being less than ideal, the boys’ team displayed an impressive level of
effort and determination, demonstrating their commitment to the game. They left everything they had on the court, and it was clear that they had worked hard throughout the season to get to where they were. The team should take pride in their achievements and the progress they have made this season.
Senior Sam Patterson shared, “This year’s Seniors have played together since 7th grade, and we have fought through many adversities. For many of us, Coach Crawford was our fourth coach, so we never had much consistency. We worked with what was given to us, and we are blessed to have each of our coaches, but most specifically Coach Crawford, for coming in and showing us Seniors how to end our high school basketball careers with a bang! I will forever remember being a Woodland Park Panther and forever be grateful for my teammates and coaches–they became my family!”
WPHS Athletic Director Chad Cosner is proud of this year’s accomplishments: “I’m
continually blown away by the successes this year by our student-athletes and coaches.
We’re building strong young men and women of character through athletics, and it’s been
special to be a part of that!”
About the Woodland Park School District Re-2
A Place of Becoming.
Woodland Park School District Re-2, 155 Panther Way, Woodland Park, CO 80863. Phone:
719. 686.2000. Learn more at https://wpsdk12.org.