Spring Sports Enter “Do or Die” Time in Woodland Park

Fans Have High Hopes for Baseball, Soccer, Track and Field Teams

Trevor Phipps

Spring sports in Woodland Park has officially kicked off, with students returning from their break.

And in the next few weeks, it’s “do or die” time for local teams if they want to see post-season play, as they contend with the bulk of their key league matches and games.

In reality, the spring sports season began last month, but many of the teams play non-league matches initially, which don’t really count towards their potential playoff prospects.


 But with spring break ending, most of the teams will now face off against key challengers in their leagues.  This means that the games coming up over the next several weeks could determine the final playoff picture for key WP Panther teams.
Unlike past springs in Woodland Park, optimism is running high for this year’s high school sports outlook.
In fact, many local prep sports fans have been keeping their eye on the girls’ soccer team as they have fared quite well in the past. Baseball fans, meanwhile, like what they have seen thus far from the Panthers on the diamond.  Their initial non-league play too has been quite impressive. And the track and field team now sports more than 50 participants, the most in recent memory.

The following is a brief description of how each springs sports team at Woodland Park High School fared last season and a brief overview regarding how their seasons are going in 2024.




Last year, the Panther baseball team went through a lot of ups and downs, but they finished on a high note. Most of the year the team struggled with long losing streaks, but the boys came up with a huge 7-6 win against Colorado Springs Christian towards the end of the season.


But with their 3-18 overall record and 1-9 league record, their fifth place finish in their 3A Tri-Peaks League proved not to be good enough to see any postseason action. However, the team is back this year, and they seem hungrier than ever to win games.


The Panthers went into spring break with two big wins in a row. On Mar. 12, they obliterated Sierra 18-5 and then on Mar. 22 they destroyed Palmer 12-7.


The team doesn’t start league play until later this month, but the Panthers came off their spring break with a 2-2 overall record. The team plays in a tournament on the road starting on Friday where they will face the 2-1-1 Colorado Springs Christian Lions and the 2-4 Mesa Ridge Grizzlies.



Girls Soccer


In past seasons, many local fans were focused on the Lady Panthers soccer program, as they were one of the highlights of springs sports in Woodland Park. Last season, the team had a decent start, but in the end, they fell to a 5-9-2 overall record.


But with their 2-2 league record, they picked up third place in their 3A Tri-Peaks League and qualified for a playoff spot. However, their postseason ended promptly as they fell 10-0 to Colorado Academy and were eliminated in the first round.


This year, Head Coach Marcie James is back and the girls are looking to improve from last season. And even though the Lady Panthers are currently winless to start their 2024 season, the non-league battles they have lost have been close so far.


Before spring break, the girls lost to Coronado 4-0 on Mar. 19 and they fell to Doherty on Mar. 21 by a 3-0  margin.


The team hits full stride this week, as they face three matches. On Tuesday, the Lady Panthers hit the road to battle the 1-3 Pueblo East Eagles.


On Thursday, the girls play another road game against the 1-5 Sand Creek Scorpions. The team plays their next home match on Saturday at 1 p.m. versus the 1-1 SkyView Academy Hawks.


Track and Field


Last year the Woodland Park High School Track and Field Team athletes broke several personal records and reached historic milestones shattering school records. The team qualified 17 athletes in 13 events for the state championship tournament, meaning that the school had more athletes earn the right to compete at the state level than ever before.


This year the team’s head coach, Jeremy Grier, is excited about the new group he has for the 2024 season. The team has 55 students this year with as many as 24 that have been attending off-season workout sessions since last December.


During the team’s first meet this spring, nine athletes in nine events broke school records. The team has already had 45 personal bests set and a few competitors have already done well enough to qualify for the State Track & Field Meet in late May.


“On March 9th the team competed in their first meet. At the end of the day, 9 athletes, in 9 events, climbed into the WPHS record books,” Coach Grier said in a press release. “45 personal bests were set, and a few athletes have already punched their ticket to the State Track & Field meet in late May. On March 20th, the team traveled to Harrison HS and again had a great day, despite missing several key athletes.”


Boys Swimming


Last season marked the first year that the Woodland Park High School team offered boys swimming as a sport.

The team consisted of six swimmers with the majority of them coming from the pre-high school club swim team offered by head coach Rusty Bernstein.


At the end of the ’22-’23 school year, four of the swimmers competed at the state championship tournament. This year the team enters its second season in existence and more swimmers have signed up to compete.