Noel Sawyer steps down from position as WPHS boys' soccer coach
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Noel Sawyer, second from far right holding a clipboard, recently stepped down after five seasons as the Woodland Park boys’ soccer coach. 

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More coaching changes at Woodland Park High School are on the horizon after the resignations of boys’ soccer coach Noel Sawyer and girls’ basketball coach Del Garrick.

“I haven’t had time to facilitate a plan, but one of the first things we’ll do is open up a search,” said Woodland Park athletic director Joe Roskam. “I’d like to find some people we can get in the building (as teachers).”

Sawyer’s resignation came three months after the Panthers completed their most successful season in almost a decade. Woodland Park went 8-7 (3-4 in the Class 4A Metro League). It was the first winning record by a Panthers team since 2010 when they went 7-6-1 under Andrew Pappadakis.

Pappadakis is a teacher at the school and has remained close to the program. His son, Greg, will be a senior next fall. Last season, Greg scored 11 goals and had five assists (second on the team in both categories) in 13 games.

The bulk of last year’s team could return. There were seven seniors, including leading scorer Julian Vega (15 goals).

Garrick stepped down following the Panthers’ season finale at The Classical Academy. He guided Woodland Park to a 7-16 record, the best mark for a Panthers team since 2014-15 (10-13).

“This is something that’s been on the radar for a little while,” Garrick said. “It was a very tough decision.”

Garrick added that health concerns factored into his decision.

Garrick took over the program early in the 2015-16 season when Kris Kemp stepped away for personal reasons. He was the high school principal at the time. He remained in that capacity until this year when he became the district’s human resource director.

“If the situation worked out in the future, I would be happy to get back into it,” said Garrick, a 1988 Woodland Park graduate. “Being involved in athletics is something I’ve done my entire life. I was able to coach in the same gym I played in. How cool is that?”

Woodland Park baseball coach Neil Levy said Garrick will be one of his assistant coaches this season.

Recently, Roskam hired Tristan Mannix as the school’s co-head track coach. Mannix is expected to handle the boys side of things, while Sara Martinez runs the girls.

Mannix, 35, is a world-class runner. He most recently competed in a race in Japan, according to Roskam.

“We have a great coaching staff and we have quality coaches at every sport,” Roskam said. “I know we will continue that trend.”

Pikes Peak Newspapers Sports Reporter

Pikes Peak Newspapers Sports Reporter

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