May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Portola’s PCL championship basketball team and fans inspired by jazz band

Members of the Portola jazz band entertain at a Bulldogs’ home game. (Photo courtesy Portola Athletics, For OC Sports Zone)

Portola’s High’s boys basketball team, which captured the outright Pacific Coast League title this week, is getting some musical support from the school’s jazz band.

“We have been trying to create a different culture at Portola than what has been at other IUSD schools, as far as student/fan attendance,” said Portola Coach Brian Smith.

“In order to do that, last year we asked the Jazz band if they’d be interested in attending and playing at the league games.  Since then, the jazz band hasn’t missed a league game and has put in countless hours rehearsing and practicing to make the games more enjoyable for fans.  As a result, our attendance has increased and we’ve created some fans from the music department.”

Smith believes the group is “the best jazz band in the state of California.”

“They transformed our games and are a staple at our games,” Smith said. “Last year,  they had T-shirts made with “Jazzthletics” on the front and it became a joke amongst us all. 

“Desmond Stevens and Kyle Traska do a phenomenal job of getting the kids involved and producing a quality show.”

“Those students love to put on their jazz jerseys and play for the girls and boys basketball teams,” Stevens said.

Portola wrapped up the PCL title outright on Thursday, defeating Irvine 70-51.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com