The Mudville Panthers

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Mac McClintock, Reporter

“Losing is a disease more contagious than the bubonic plague.” The quote from the 1984 movie The Natural is probably what best describes the current state of Woodland Park High School basketball. The team was coming off a 2015 campaign that ended without a win at the varsity level. The team had not won a game since 43-42 win over The Vanguard School, on January 8th of 2014. After that game the program rattled off 38 consecutive loses. As I said before “losing is a disease,” but at some point you have to get better and make the soul sucking illness of losing end. The Panthers were able to do this on December 5th of 2015 against Dolores Huerta Prep. Ending a losing streak that started nearly two years ago and must have pushed every single player and fan to their breaking point.

While it is great that Woodland Park was able to win a game, the games following the win have not been pretty. Woodland Park has played 9 games since then and has lost every single one of them. Even worse most of these games have not been close. The Panthers have lost there past nine games by an average of twenty-one points. To the team’s credit they did put together a great game against Cannon City. They were down 60 to 55, but came through in the clutch with a great forth quarter. Unfortunately, even with this valiant effort they still lost, but by the nail biting score of 74-73. With the overall losing streak ending there is actually an even more daunting streak that still is hanging over the team. The streak of never ending losing inside of their league. Woodland Park’s last league win came on January 25th of 2013 against Mitchell by a score of 50 to 45. This means that the basketball program has gone two whole seasons without a win in their league.It should be mentioned that our league is one of the top flight leagues in the state. With it consistently sending teams to the final four and also is one of the most athletic and fast leagues in the state. The number of games that it currently sits at is 37, which is honestly shocking. It also means that if you are currently a junior this whole time you have been at this school you have never seen our basketball team win a league game. If you think that this losing is just a brief 3 year period you would be wrong, the team’s winning percentage over the past 10 years is 16.4% (36-183). Is there a clear cut answer to how to solve the losing environment built up here above the clouds? Obviously not or else it would have already been corrected. Can this program be fixed? Of course it can, but will it? Only time will tell.  Until then,

“Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shinning bright’ the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout’ but there is no joy in”… Woodland Park.

-Ernest Thayer