WP High School Sports Season Ends on a High, Winning Note

2023 Year Concludes with College Signings and Athlete Accolades

Trevor Phipps

Last week, the ’22-’23 school year in Woodland Park officially came to an end with a number of local athletes proving to be big winners.

This year marked one of the most successful sports seasons on the record books with WP athletes and teams completing impressive performances, and with more athletes competing in state championships and a record number gearing up for college-team commitments.

On May 16, the high school honored their star athletes with a special college signing event. In total, seven senior students signed on to play sports at the college level next fall, representing various sports teams.

Athletes Signing to Play College Sports: Cierra Ramirez – University of Wyoming for Cheer Mia Nickelsburg – Oklahoma City University for Music Bella Slocum – Olney Central College for Basketball Daniel Summeril – Simpson University for Football and Track Caleb Hughes – Ottawa University for Basketball Ethan Horton – Friends University for Baseball Emma Graber – Bethel – Track & Field and Cross Country

For the first time in school history, a team won the state championship when the cheerleaders took number one statewide. The track and field team also produced a state champ at the end of the school year.

Other activities and teams in the Woodland Park School District this spring also experienced much success. The following is a wrap up of some of the achievements students made to end the school year.

Track and Field Team Sends Stars to the Podium at State Championship

Two weeks ago, the state track and field championship was held in the Denver area where track stars across the state competed for end of the year honors. The WP track and field team participated in their last meet of the season on May 12 during which the team took fourth place due to the storm keeping a third of the squad from making it.

At the end of the regular season, 17 track stars qualified for the state championship in 13 different events. According to the team’s head coach Jeremy Grier, the athletes had to finish in the top 18 in their event to qualify for state.

He said that there were several other participants that ranked between 19th and 22nd,, who just barely missed their chance to compete at the state level. But including alternates, the WP track and field team took a total of 20 student athletes to the championship tournament.

At the state championships, there were some Panthers that made their way to the podium. Jaedyn Kohn was crowned the state champion in discus with a distance of 125 feet and 7 inches. Kohn also took second place in the shotput competition.

Daniel Summeril took third in discus and he came in at fourth place in shotput. Caden Howard earned eighth place in the 300 yard hurdles event and the 4X400 relay teams each broke personal records during the competition.

Baseball Players Make All-Conference Team

Even though the Panther baseball team struggled during the season, the team had some players ending the season with good statistics. The coaches were also pleased, as the team vastly improved over the duration of the season.

The team ended their 2023 season with two big losses against Manitou Springs. In the end, the Panthers finished the regular season with a 3-18 overall record and a 1-9 league record. Their third place finish in their 3A Tri-Peaks league was not quite good enough for the team to see postseason play.

However, team coach Chris Becker did say that four Panther stars received All-Conference honors. Senior Ethan Horton made the All-Conference team as a third baseman and pitcher. Horton finished the season with a .333 batting average, 16 runs, 14 hits, and two homeruns.

Freshman Link Bryden also made the All-Conference team as a pitcher and a center fielder. Bryden went 1-0 as a pitcher, earned a .229 batting average, and he racked up 10 runs and 11 hits during the season.

Senior Tanner McAfee received an All-Conference Honorable Mention for the pitcher, shortstop and second baseman positions. McAfee was the team’s best hitter, recording an impressive .345  batting average. He picked up 10 runs, 19 hits, and seven RBIs.

Junior Griffin King also earned an All-Conference Honorable Mention at the shortstop, third baseman, and center fielder positions. King finished the season with a .930 fielding percentage, a .259 batting average, nine runs, and 14 hits.

Summit Elementary’s Destination Imagination Teams Takes Fifth Place at Global Competition

DI Team Bradley Seal, Cara Roynon, Nicklas Adams, Ben Rexford and Eli Yakel

High school students weren’t the only ones this year to see some success when competing against other schools. The Divide Summit Elementary School’s Destination Imagination (DI) team earned the chance to compete at the highly competitive Globals Competition in Kansas City, MO.

According to a press release sent out by the school district, “the team showcased their skills, determination, and sportsmanship as they competed against teams from around the world, including Mexico and Brazil.” After the event, the district was proud to announce that the team took fifth place.

“The team’s resilience, perseverance, and ability to rise to the occasion make us immensely proud,” the press release stated. “In the face of fierce global competition, the team demonstrated their expertise and commitment, leaving an indelible mark on the international stage. Their exemplary performance was a testament to their countless hours of practice and dedication to their craft.”

The fifth place winning DI team included fourth graders Cara Roynon, Eli Yakel, Nicklas Adams, and fifth graders Bradley Seal, Ben Rexford, and Donna Frick. “I am so incredibly proud of our Eagles as they continue to soar to new heights!” said Summit Elementary Principal Katie Rexford.