Rookies and veterans seek Fire place
Tully Bevilaqua will be absent until end of European playoffs
The Portland Fire's third season gets under way Monday with the first practice of training camp at ClubSport in Tualatin. Eighteen players are scheduled to be in camp, not including point guard Tully Bevilaqua.
Bevilaqua will miss the first six games of the season while her European team concludes its playoffs.
The WNBA has assigned some free agents to Portland to help the Fire fill out its training camp roster. Veterans were scheduled to arrive by Sunday, coach and General Manager Linda Hargrove says, including DeMya Walker from Italy and Jenny Mowe from Poland.
Rookies were scheduled to arrive Saturday, including third-round pick Mandy Nightingale, who played at Colorado. The guard faces an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, however.
Hargrove says the Fire will focus on defense and transition offense as two areas in which to improve.
By acquiring point Ukari Figgs on draft day, the Fire have addressed another concern: turnovers. The Fire's preseason starts at Sacramento on May 11, with the first home game being against the Chinese national team May 15.
The Oregon Ducks' annual spring game is 1 p.m. Saturday at PGE Park, and Oregon State's spring game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.
Portland State will scrimmage at 9:30 a.m. Saturday on its practice field.
More spring football
Women's football is back in town. The Portland Shockwave, 1-0 after a 42-0 road victory last week over the Eugene-based Oregon Unforgiven, will play host to the Boise Xtreme, 0-1, at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at Jefferson High.
General admission tickets to the Women's Spring Football League game are $6.50. Children 12 and under are free.
Several Shockwave players were inaugural members of the Rose City Wildcats, who went 0-8 last year in the Women's American Football League.
In their opening win, the Shockwave got 90 yards rushing from Yvette Shephard, 20 yards passing (2 for 7) and 43 yards rushing (on seven carries) from quarterback Rebecca Brisson, and key defensive plays from Kay Williams, Kylee Brooks, Anetra Torres and Kathy Gottberg.
Portland State has hired a men's basketball coach, former Wyoming assistant Heath Schroyer. É Viking junior Morgan Seibert broke Deb Fitzhugh's softball strikeout record, reaching 550 in her career Monday against Oregon. É The PSU men's golf team, a program set to disband after this season, finished second in the 54-hole Big Sky Conference tournament, seven shots behind Weber State, at St. George, Utah. Ben Guinta was sixth and Brodie Jordan seventh. The PSU women golfers took third, as freshman Jeana Lee, from St. Mary's Academy, tied for fourth. É A three-day clinic for basketball coaches featuring 10 top college coaches starts at 5:45 p.m. today at the Marriott, 1401 S.W. Naito Parkway. Maryland's Gary Williams, Arizona's Lute Olson, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson and Oregon's Ernie Kent are among those taking part. Registration, at $100, is from 3-9 p.m. today and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Former University of Portland pitcher Andy Hazlett joined the Portland Beavers, who will open a four-game home series against Calgary on Monday. É The Portland Timbers, who have outscored their competition 29-4 in compiling a 6-0 record, welcome defender Sean McAuley from English Third Division Rochdale in time for final tuneup matches on the road Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sunday versus the Seattle Sounders. Portland opens the A-League regular season at home May 4 against Seattle. ... Six bouts, including a 10-round main event featuring welterweights Tony Martinez and Francisco Mendez, are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Multnomah Greyhound Track.