Image of sporting equipment. Summer is a great time to join organized sports and practice before the school year starts.
Illustration by Everette Cogswell 

For current or aspiring athletes, the summer can be a hectic time where training can be inconsistent. It can be difficult to get organized and connected with sports opportunities without the scheduled school practices. If you find yourself searching for local events or teams, look no further!

In many scholastic sports within Portland Public Schools (PPS), there is a summer hiatus where official practices do not take place until mid-August when seasonal training and conditioning begins. For all Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) or Franklin affiliated sports, you may sign up online via the PPS website. That being said, plenty of group sports opportunities outside of PIL will take place this summer for anyone interested. 

Rose City Futsal has an open summer league where anyone can sign up as long as there are enough members to form a team. Franklin junior Justine Altman will be playing with a team called the Golden Dragons 2.0. “There is a cost to form a team, but if you split it between all the players it’s probably 50 bucks per person,” Altman explains. If this is within your budget, futsal is a great way to stay in shape for soccer if you plan to play in the fall, or just a way to have fun and meet people.

The Franklin cross country team will have continuous informal runs almost daily once school gets out. Usually meeting at the Clinton Park water fountain, the team (made up of whoever is in town during certain points of the summer) organizes for Mt. Tabor runs and Franklin workouts. For some varsity cross country runners, Altitude Camp, an intense running trip, is an annual activity where people can run in a new climate and further connect with teammates. This typically takes place in July or August. 

Franklin senior and varsity basketball player, Isa Hensley, shares her summer plans of doing workouts, weight lifting, and a few pick-up games. As a Franklin athlete, she attests that “the women’s basketball program has workouts all the time; if you can get connected to the Stack Team App, you can come to any one you want.” Hensley’s teammate, Maya Sanders, shares advice to aspiring basketball players that, “if you are new to the sport, preseason workouts are honestly the best option, since we work on a lot of fundamentals during preseason because there are usually new people.” By joining the summer workouts, athletes can quickly become connected to their team before the season starts, as well as build and maintain skills for the year to come. 

If you are interested in staying active over the summer but not certain of which sport you want to play, consider working a summer sports camp, where high schoolers can often find a job as a coach or counselor. Camps such as Baxter Sports or programs through Portland Parks and Recreation often look for athletic students to hire over the summer. Sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis, and dodgeball are played in local parks throughout Portland for campers roughly aged five to 12. This will both keep you active and provide a summer income!

Not only are there places for you to participate in sports, you can also enjoy watching from the sidelines. The Portland Pickles, a local baseball team featuring a huge green pickle for a mascot, will be playing over 40 home games throughout the summer months, typically at Walker Stadium in Lents Park. Of course, the beloved soccer teams of the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns are scheduled to play games all through the summer and into the fall, with many games at Providence Park. Finally, for a more niche sport viewing, the Portland Nitro ultimate frisbee team also has several home games in late June and July. 

The summer is an ideal time to engage in sports that help you prepare for both high school leagues and post-high school teams, and also keep you outdoors and moving. Consider looking into these options to find a team or program that works for you!

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