Winter sports swing back into action

Yuma High School’s winter sports teams will get to enjoy a little home cooking coming out of the Christmas break.

All four teams open 2024 in The Pit after a two-week break from competition.

The girls and boys wrestling teams host Wiggins for duals today, January 4, with the girls taking the mat first at 5:30 p.m.

YHS’s girls wrestling team had a solid start to the season, including winning the team title in the Wray Marilyn Smith Invitational in the last action before the holiday break. Today will be the Outlaws’ first home dual of the 2023-24 season.

The girls will be back in action Friday with a long trip south to compete in the Lamar Tournament.

Yuma’s boys team gets two appearances in The Pit early in 2024 as the Outlaws also host Limon for a dual on Friday. They then will cross state lines for the Ogallala Invitational on Saturday.

The Outlaws also had a solid December with some placing efforts in tournaments.

“Overall the season has been a 10, the kids work their tails off,” coach Presley Papachek said. “We can always improve but the effort in practice and school has been great. We will be a little short handed with just a few practices before the competition picks up but hope to be firing on all cylinders come February. Can’t win a state title in January, so February is when we want to peak.”

The YHS basketball teams tip off the 2024 portion of their schedule Saturday at home against Highland. The games definitely have the potential to be as exciting as last year’s contests in Ault, where the girls won rallied late for a thrilling win, and the boys lost in overtime in a highly-entertaining game.

Yuma’s girls went 5-1 in December, winning their first five before falling to Class 6A Eagelcrest in a hard-fought game right before the holiday break.

“I would say we had a fantastic start to the season,” coach Jeremy Robinson said. “We have things to improve on and that’s what we are going to work towards as we get back into it.”

The Outlaws were as high as No. 1 in the Class 3A CHSAA RPI in December. The CHSAA Seeding & Selection Index is now online at It combines the CHSAA RPI and MaxPrep Rankings, and is what will be used to seed the postseason field. Therefore, the Pioneer will refer to just the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index the rest of the season.

Yuma’s girls return to action No. 3 in the 3A Index, behind just Peyton and Colorado Springs Christian.

Highland has struggled a bit this season, going 3-4 in December and sitting at No. 15 in the Index, with one of the Huskies’ losses being a 58-38 setback to Peyton. They play at Class 4A Sterling on Friday before coming to Yuma.

“Highland is a huge test for us coming off of break,” Robinson said. “They have two very handy guards. Their record is a little deceiving, one of their top guards has been out with an injury. We know what she can do so we will be ready for her.”

The YHS boys also went 5-1 in December, winning five straight after dropping the season opener at Manual. The Outlaws are No. 5 in the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index.

“I really liked what this team did through the pre-Christmas schedule,” coach Dave Sheffield said. “We found out early where some of our deficiencies were, and were able to make progress with them. This team showed great cohesion through the first six games, and were very efficient offensively.”

Highland went 4-2 in December and is No. 15 in the 3A Index. One of the Huskies’ losses was a quality 83-80 decision to a good Golden team.

“Highland will be a great team to open up with after the break,” Sheffield said. “They have good size, are quick, and score well. They will definitely be an early gauge as to where we are as we begin the rest of the season.”

The YHS basketball teams are easing back into the season as their next games are not until January 12 at Holyoke.


Area Class 1A teams swing back into action this week following the Christmas break.

Arickaree will be the busiest as their teams host Deer Trail today, January 4, and when welcome Fleming to southwestern Washington County on Friday.

Arickaree’s boys went 6-0 in December and are No. 1 in the 1A CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index, which combines the CHSAA RPI and MaxPreps Rankings to determine postseason seeding. Deer Trail is 1-4 and No. 48 in the Index, and Fleming is 3-3 and No. 20.

Arickaree’s girls are 3-3 and No. 19 in the Index. Deer Trail is 2-3 and No. 34, but Fleming is 4-1 and No. 6.

The Otis High School basketball teams return to action Friday with a trip to Kit Carson County for league games against Bethune.

The Otis boys went 2-3 in December and are No. 23 in the Index. Bethune is 0-3 is No. 54 in the 55-team 1A Index. Otis’ girls went 1-4 in December and are No. 32 in the Index. Bethune has had one of its better starts to a season in awhile, going 2-1 and sitting at No. 25 in the Index.

Bethune will travel to Washington County on Saturday as Lone Star resumes its season by hosting the Bobcats.

Lone Star’s girls are 3-3 and No. 24 in the Index. Lone Star’s boys went 2-4 in December and are No. 35 in the Index.

The basketball team will pick up the pace over the following week as classes resume.