WP Baseball and Soccer Teams Finally Make Local Debut

WP Baseball and Soccer Teams Finally Make Local Debut

Lady Panthers Get Up-Close Visit With Colorado Springs’ Switchbacks

Trevor Phipps

After the weather recently hit the 60s earlier this month, many local sports fans encountered a case of spring fever.

And luckily for them, they finally got a chance to see live action as the Woodland Park High School baseball and girls’ soccer teams made their long-awaited debut following a rough bout of non-action due to difficult weather conditions, following record-breaking storms.


To kick off April, both Panther teams had their home openers. Even though both teams’ seasons officially started in March, they really couldn’t compete in the Teller high country until this month. And even then, Mother Nature had the final say.

As a result of these delays, both teams will find themselves enduring a busy schedule for the remainder of their respective seasons.


Panther Baseball Team Drops First Home Game


On April 5, Panther baseball fans made the trip outdoors to Woodland Park’s Meadow Wood Sports Complex to partake in their first match out on the home diamond. Neighbors of the field said that crews spent hours clearing snow for the home opener. But for a change, the fans and players were graced by a fairly sunny day for Woodland Park.

During the home opener last year, temperatures dipped into the 20s. Those temperatures, coupled with 30 mile-per-hour wind gusts, made watching the match quite unpleasant for viewers. But the home opener this year was a completely different situation with sunshine and temperatures in the low 60s.

The boys looked good to start with some big offensive plays. But then after their starting pitcher gave away some big runs during a couple of innings, the game got away from the Panthers.


In fact, the game ended after the fourth inning when the Sand Creek Scorpions were up 18-3. The recent loss marked the Panthers fifth of the season as they recorded a 2-5 overall record at press time.


However, the determination visible in the players signified that they do have a chance to improve. And when looking at their stats, the team still doesn’t look bad.


Sophomore pitcher Link Bryden currently leads the team in batting after the first seven games with a batting average of .421 and a total of eight hits. Bryden also currently leads the team on the mound with a 1-2 record and a 6.56 ERA (earned-run average.)


Junior first baseman Gabe Marquez has the team’s best on base percentage with 0.500 and most runs with 10. He also leads the team with six stolen bases so far this season.

Sophomore Gavin Strouse has also been a key player this season with a .389 batting average, along with nine runs and seven hits. Strouse leads the team with the most RBIs at eight and the most doubles while at the plate with three.


This Thursday, the Panthers challenge the 4-3 Evangel Christian Academy Eagles on the road. Then on Friday, they return home to face the 3-2 Widefield Gladiators.


Lady Panthers Visit Weidner Field


As the spring sports season wears on, the Lady Panthers soccer team already got the opportunity of a lifetime while they rested from their studies during spring break. Instead of spending their week off soaking up sun in some place like Cancun, Mexico, the girls’ soccer team instead traveled down the Pass for a unique experience with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks professional men’s soccer team.


According to a statement sent out by the team’s head coach, Marcie James, the girls got a much-needed break from their rigorous practice routines to witness firsthand how it’s done by the pros. “The high school players got the opportunity to watch a full training session, followed by personal greetings and a conversation with the Switchbacks coaching staff!” Coach James said. “The experience was a huge hit with the players who eagerly asked questions after getting to see a glimpse of how professional workouts compare to their own experience as an athlete. It brought new insight and perspective on how training sessions are designed, and it helped the athletes see how all the aspects of practice apply to performing well in competition.”


The girls will then return to the stadium in the near future to cheer on the Switchbacks team as group tickets were provided as a part of the team’s one-of-a-kind opportunity.


So far, the soccer team’s overall record is 0-5-1. But as of TMJ’s press time, the team had not yet played a league match that. These matches are what makes or breaks high school teams in the spring for playoff possibilities.


This Tuesday, the Lady Panthers hit the road to battle the 3-2 Vista Ridge Wolves. Then on Thursday, they host their first league match at home against the 3-0-2 James Irwin Jaguars