Colgan heads to state, aims for first championship since 2016

The Panthers will face undefeated Crest on Thursday.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Colgan Panthers hit the road to Great Bend on Wednesday for the 2A state baseball tournament.

Colgan is the #8 seed in the bracket with a 10-12 overall record. They’ll face undefeated #1 seed Crest (23-0) in the first round of the tournament on Thursday morning.

“Energy is high and we’re just really excited to get back to the state tournament,” says Colgan senior Brooks Badart, “We’re right where we want to be. We just have a few games to go. It’s a business trip all the way up there.”

The Panthers have been on a roll toward the end of the season.

After going 0-6 in their first six games of the season, Colgan has gained momentum with six wins in their last eight games heading into state.

“We’re very young. We start five or six sophomores and a freshman sometimes. We knew we were going to have to deal with a lot of adversity because we were so young,” says head coach Mike Watt on the team’s progress through the season, “Our league is very good and our non-conference games were veteran teams. It takes you a while when you’re young to learn how to play against those older, more experienced kids.”

Colgan has won 16 state championships under Watt – with their last coming in 2016.

The Panthers are aiming to return to the top of 2A baseball in Kansas – and bring home another state championship.

“The history part of it is something to be respected, but we haven’t done anything this year. It’s this year that matters,” Watt says on continuing the program’s history of competing for state championships, “These guys have had brothers who have played and some relatives who have played, but this is their turn. They have to create their own history.”

“We’re going to play a very good Colony-Crest team, but we’ve faced some good teams and we just have to do what we can do,” Watt adds, “We have to be confident in the skills we’ve worked on and the mental approach that we’ve been dealing with and working on. I think overall, we’re rising to the occasion at the right time.”

Colgan and Crest will square off at 11 AM on Thursday in Great Bend in the first round of the 2A tournament.