A major challenge not just at the high school level, but in athletics as a whole, is the increasing number of competitors for people's time and money.
At Portland High School, local fans get a chance to check out nearly all the Raiders have to offer during a season that rarely draws football or basketball-sized crowds.
A decade ago, athletic director Kevin Veale looked at the unwieldly matrix of dates, times and sports fighting for spectators in his community, and decided to try something. This April 14, Portland hosted its 10th “Spring Sports Carnival."
“Every spring, we have a date when all of our spring sports host home events; except golf, because of its off-campus nature,” Veale said. “It’s a unique event, and from the top of the football press box it’s a pretty awesome scene to view baseball, softball, tennis, soccer and track events taking place at one time.
“Our crowds depend on the weather, of course. But the community has grown well aware of the event, and our local businesses and boosters get behind it,” he added. “We do special concessions, too. One year we barbecued half chickens, and this year it was cheeseburgers, with a lot of the food and supplies donated.”
PHOTO: From the football stadium press box, one simultaneously could watch track, soccer and softball competitions at Portland's Spring Sports Carnival, despite an overcast sky when this photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Portland High School).