RENEWING A RIVALRY
When Woodland Park played Discovery Canyon in a Class 3A South Central League football game on Oct. 27, it marked the eighth time the head coaches of the respective teams had met each other on the gridiron. But only the second time at their current schools.
Panthers coach Joe Roskam and Thunder coach Shawn Mitchell have been locking horns dating back to the 2002 season when Roskam was the head man at Sierra and Mitchell was guiding Harrison - both District 2 schools.
Roskam’s Sierra teams defeated Mitchell’s Harrison squads 4 of 5 times from 2002 through 2006.
Mitchell left in 2007 to start up the Discovery Canyon program. His teams played mostly a junior varsity schedule through 2009.
Meanwhile, Roskam stayed on at Sierra through the 2010 season. But Discovery Canyon did not play Sierra in 2010.
The coaches reunited with their new teams in a 2011 game at Woodland Park, with the Panthers coming out on top, 33-28. Mitchell returned the favor this year with a dominating 49-14 victory at District 20 Stadium in Colorado Springs.
“Shawn’s a good man,” Roskam said. “He and I go way back. I’ve always enjoyed coaching against him.”
Mitchell also has respect for Roskam.
“Joe is good coach,” said Mitchell, whose Discovery Canyon squad is the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 3A state playoffs. “We just happened to get the better of him this year.”
WINTER SPORTS PRACTICE GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY
The CHSAA winter sports season gets underway on Friday when teams can officially meet.
Woodland Park and Cripple Creek-Victor each feature boys and girls basketball teams. Woodland Park also has a wrestling team. But unlike years past, Cripple Creek-Victor no longer has wrestling a program.
Due to dwindling enrollment and participation, the wrestling program was scrapped after last year. A few wrestlers have joined the Woodland Park program and will help the Panthers this season in their quest for a league title.
The first basketball games for the following teams are as follows:
Woodland Park boys; Dec. 7 vs. Palmer Ridge. Woodland Park girls; Dec. 1 vs. Buena Vista. Cripple Creek-Victor boys; Nov. 30 vs. Moffat County. Cripple Creek-Victor girls: Nov. 30 at Moffat County.
DID YOU KNOW
Woodland Park did not field a junior varsity football team in the Class 3A South Central League this season. Declining numbers allowed the Panthers to field only a varsity and “C” squad team.