Dream realized: New Parkrose soccer fields opened

Take a look, and discover a new professional-quality sports facility at Parkrose High School – and, what its opening means for the greater community …

Students, alumni and friends try out the new Parkrose Soccer Field on its opening day.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“This day is twelve years in the making,” was what Parkrose Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Damian Califf remarked, at the August 18 celebration of the new soccer fields at Parkrose High School.

> To see our 2011 story,
Groundbreaking marks start of new Parkrose soccer complex”: CLICK HERE.

“Way back in 1995, when the bond measure was passed to build the ‘new’ high school, I though it would be great to have a soccer field here for both the school and the community,” Califf said. “It’s centrally located in the community.”

Having this new facility is good for both the school and the community, says Parkrose Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Damian Califf.

As a Bronco alumnus, Califf pointed out that having this new facility adds to a sense of pride among members of the student body, whether or not they play the sport. “Players remember what it was like having to play in other areas. Having this purpose-built field encourages more students to participate, I think.”

In addition to student use, Califf observed that the field will be available to the Parkrose Youth Soccer Club and other organizations, making this a truly community resource.

Mike Golub, CEO of the Portland Timbers, spends a moment with Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish at the opening of the Parkrose Soccer Field.

“I’m here representing the City of Portland,” Commissioner Nick Fish told East Portland News.

“Commissioner Amanda Fritz and I are strong supporters of this outer East Portland project,” Fish continued. “The reason the City invested in this field is that it’s part of our overall vision of making sure that every high school in the city has a quality field for kids to play on. We’re very proud to partner with the Timbers, and the Parkrose family, to help make this a reality.”

When asked why the special interest in Parkrose, Fish replied with a knowing smile, “Parkrose is in the City of Portland. We think a healthy outcomes means a providing a good education in the classroom, and an opportunity to stay healthy outside.

“We’re delighted to be supporting a [Parkrose School District Superintendant] Dr. Karen Fischer Gray in this project,” Fish concluded.

Kari Gothro, of the Parkrose Soccer Club, shows off the team’s new sweatshirt.

On the podium, to the right, Parkrose School District Superintendant Dr. Karen Fischer Gray welcomes everyone to the celebration.

“We are so gratified and so ready for this new field to be used,” Parkrose School District Superintendant Dr. Karen Fischer Gray told us. “We’ve waited years and years for this dream to come true.  Now the Parkrose School District, and outer east Portland, has a beautiful soccer field – and two practice fields, for us to be able to offer to the community. We could not be happier.”

It’s very important to the school district because, Gray said, it supports extracurricular activities. “Giving something to do, outside of taking classes, that is constructive, helps with academics.”

Organized sports builds more than muscle, says Superintendent Gray.

“We’re proud of our student athletes,” continued Gray. “Soccer, football, and baseball are all good for kids, and for the outer East Portland community in general. Sports builds team relationships, and leadership skills.

“But beyond playing the game, these activities also help build character, and confidence in their ability to do well,” Gray said.

With a deft snip of the scissors, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish officially opens the Parkrose Soccer Field facilities.

Portland Timbers Left Defender Chris Taylor autographs a ball for this young fan.

As 2006 Parkrose High grad Camrun Arkills suited up for a scrimmage on the new outer East Portland playfield, he commented, “I’m glad they finally did something with the  open space here. When I was here, there was just dead grass in a field that wasn’t being used for anything. It’s cool that they finally made something productive here.”

It’s “Game on!” on the new Parkrose Soccer Field.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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