Woodland Park Spring Sports’ Season Reaches Final Conclusion

Trevor Phipps

Last weekend marked the end of the 2023 high school spring sports season in Woodland Park.

Some track and field stars will still be competing in the state championships this weekend, but the season is officially over for the rest of the teams.

Even though most local athletic squads did not make it far into post season play, many team participants and  supporters cited a spree of  improvements during the season. And most of the teams now boast of a number of young players who will be competing next year.

Girls’ Soccer

The Lady Panthers had a rough start to their season, but they won some key games during their final games. At the end of regular season play, the ladies did well enough to qualify in the state championship playoffs.

Last Thursday, the team was scheduled to travel to Denver to face their first round of playoff action against the Colorado Academy. However, due to the stormy weather that struck the state last week, the game was rescheduled to the following day.

The girls showed up under “Spring Friday Night Lights” to battle their opponents with high hopes. But in the end, the Lady Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs with a 10-0 loss.

The team eventually ended their season with a 5-9-2 overall record, a 2-2 league record, and they finished in third place in their 3A Tri-Peaks League. According to a press release sent out by the school district, the team was successful despite downfalls in the form of transitions, injuries, and uncooperative weather.

“The coaching staff would also like to honor the four senior soccer players, Makayla, Kamila, Marin, and Shea, for their exceptional contributions to the team,” stated the staff. “These players have shown outstanding leadership, dedication, and skill on and off the field. They have achieved the highest academic success, poured hours of service into their community, and have been exemplary teammates to their fellow players.”

The coaches also pointed out the fact that COVID robbed the senior players one year of play during their high school career. “The coaches recognize the challenges the players faced, especially overcoming the cancellation of their freshman year due to the COVID pandemic. However, they returned to the field with much to contribute, and their growth has been remarkable,” the district’s press release said. “The seniors have shown us what it looks like to lead a team, build a culture of excellence, and leave a legacy of success. They have also challenged themselves to improve and have demonstrated how to handle frustrations, overcome season-ending injuries, and make the most of every opportunity.”

Track and Field

The track team this year may be the most successful of the spring sports season. The boys’ and girls’ teams have both placed in and won quite a few meets.

Many of the athletes also broke dozens of personal records with several of them slated to compete at the state championship in the Denver area this weekend. According to Lindsey Prahl, the school district’s chief communications officer, the official results regarding who would make the state championship would not be decided until early this week.

The RE-2 communications chief  did say, though, that at least four athletes had already qualified for state at the end of last week. She also said that there were a total of 18 athletes that had a chance at qualifying for the state championship.

During their second to last meet in Canon City, both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished in second place out of 14 teams. The only school that did better than them was Widefield, which is twice the size of Woodland Park High School.

According to the coaching staff, the seniors on the team helped them achieve one of the most successful seasons in school history. “I am so proud of the accomplishments of this senior class,” Head Coach Jeremy Grier said. “As the WPHS track team continues to grow and improve in the future, this senior class will be able to look back and know they were the ones that changed the culture and began the relentless pursuit of excellence that is becoming the WPHS track team.”

During the season, athletes broke a total of 48 personal records. The team, however will be losing several seniors to graduation (who COVID also robbed them of their freshman year) including Alli Costello, Hailey Elliott, Emma Graber, Ella Hage, Alex Miller, Hayden Molina, Kurtis Schoenberger, Lorna Stone, and Dan Summerill.


Last weekend, the Panthers played their final matches of the 2023 regular season. At the end of last week, the boys had a 3-16 overall record and a 1-7 league record.

The Panthers were scheduled to play three matches at the end of last week, but at least one of the games scheduled last Friday was cancelled due to weather. At press time, the results were not in for the boys’ three final games of the season.

However, before the severe weather struck the area, the boys were applauded after they ended their lengthy losing streak. On May 8, the boys came up with a big 7-6 win against Colorado Springs Christian, a victory that demonstrated a huge sign of improvement.

According to school district officials, team showed progress and resiliency in all facets of the game when they battled Colorado Springs Christian. “Offensively, the Panthers were led by Junior Griffin King with 4 hits, including a home run,” stated a district press release. “Senior Ethan Horton and Tanner McAfee also contributed with 2 hits each, and the team showed their speed with 9 stolen bases, led by Senior Tanner McAfee with 3.”

The coaches were also thrilled with the team’s performance on the mound. “Pitching was efficient all night, with Freshman Link Bryden throwing the first 6 innings on 93 pitches, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and striking out 7 Lions,” according to district officials. “Senior Ethan Horton came in the 7th to close the door on the Lions, throwing only 18 pitches to end the game.”

The playoff picture will be decided early this week, but the  Panthers chances of seeing postseason action are not very high.