WP Girls Soccer Teams Battles Through Injuries

Photo By Paul Magnuson

Track and Field Team Enters Mid-Season Grind

Trevor Phipps

Photos By Paul Magnuson

When the Lady Panthers soccer season first started, their winning prospects looked gloomy with the team featuring many new players, suffering several consecutive defeats.

But then starting this month, the girls got back on track, winning two big matches in a row.


However, following these impressive wins, the team is now forced to battle through adversity, with three of their defenders getting injured within a week period. Moreover, the team now has to figure out how to stay competitive after losing several star players.

At the time of our TMJ press deadline the team sported a 2-6-1 overall record and they still hadn’t played any league matches. Even with a losing record, Marcie James, the team’s head coach, said she has high hopes for the team to snag the number one spot in their 3A Tri-Peaks League and secure a playoff spot.


The team’s coach said that they have a great group of players this year and they are consistently working hard. “Everybody kind of knows their job and they all work together,” James said.


But she did say that the team was battling through a lack of experience this year compared to other seasons. “We have 15 returning players from last year and about 18 brand new players to our program,” James said. “It’s a pretty wide range of talent. Only maybe five or six of those girls have much year-round soccer experience, many of them are trying it for the first time.”

But on a positive note, she said that she has noticed the more experienced players helping encourage the younger players. The team’s coaches have been happy with the progress the team has made so far this season.


“Even though our record isn’t the best as it has been maybe compared to previous seasons, I think realistically we are also playing some pretty talented teams that have a little more depth of experience,” the coach said. “But I think overall we are definitely holding our own. I think we are still putting up some very respectable scores nonetheless.”


The coach said that senior Kara Wiley has considerable experience and has shined when it comes to controlling the ball. James said that Wiley is a versatile player that can play any position on the field.


Senior Katie Roy is the team’s goalkeeper and is credited for making critical saves during this season. “She is playing probably her best season of soccer she has played during her four years at the school,” James said.

Senior Lily Urban has also impressed the coach by being a “vocal leader.” She has also displayed strong resiliency by working through a season-ending broken ankle she suffered last season.


Junior Missa Kleppe has been helpful with sparking the team’s offense. She has put many points on the board and has given the team the majority of their assists this season.


This Tuesday, the Lady Panthers play on the road against the 1-6 Atlas Preparatory School Gryphons. On Thursday, the team battles the 5-3-1 Salida Spartans. Then on Saturday, the girls hit the road again to play the 4-3 Pueblo Centennial Bulldogs.


Track and Field Team Setting Nearly 100 Personal Records

So far, the track and field team has impressed their coaches as they work hard to improve before the state championships. The team started off on a good note with many of the athletes placing in meets and setting personal and school records.


Now that they are in the middle of the season, the team’s head coach, Jeremy Grier is optimistic about how the team will finish their 2024 season. “This is where the athletes have to really focus and grind through practices,” Grier said. “In a few more weeks the team will slowly begin a taper that should have them feeling fresh and ready to crush their personal best performances.”


According to the track and field coach, out of the 46 athletes that have competed on the team this season, there have been 99 personal records earned. “That is an incredible number this early in the season,” Grier said. “We will have to keep improving our marks if we want to stay qualified, but it is a testament to the hard work of our athletes that many of them are in a good position in the state rankings at this time.”


The coach also said that 28 athletes have moved into or moved up in the Woodland Park High School’s all-time top 10 list. The track team currently has a number of athletes that have qualified for state events.


The team plays a few more meets to get their numbers good enough to qualify for the state championship tournament. The Colorado State Track and Field Championships are slated to take place May 16-18 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.