Proud to be out on the field

THREE CHEERS: The Gryphons Rugby Football Club held seeding competitions May 19-20 at Edgley Fields in Fairmount Park. The Colonial Cup went to the Washington Renegades RFC, represented by Joe Chapman (from left), while Gary Durden of the Atlanta Bucks RFC raises the Independence Cup and Joey Brakefield of the Nashville Grizzlies holds the Franklin Cup. Standings will aid in team placement for next year’s Bingham Cup in Amsterdam. More information on the Gryphons and the cup can be found at and Photo: Scott A Drake

Summer starts either June 21 if you’re an astronomical purist, May 1 if you follow the meteorological calendar or Memorial Day weekend if you’re all about the days off. Days off? Yep! That’s what I’m talking about!

We tend to think of the summer months as the apex of relaxation and vacation time for some reason. Personally, I prefer to stay in Philadelphia for the most part, unless there’s a nearby Pride festival. Seriously, why spend half a weekend off frustrated in traffic trying to get somewhere and standing in line waiting, just to be crowded into a small beach spot, bar, table or boardwalk — and then run into the people you escaped town from to refresh yourself?

Sports in Philly really reach a fever pitch during the simmering summer months. There’s softball, tennis, flag football, soccer, kickball, sand volleyball and probably a few others I am not recalling right now. There are also tournaments galore either hosted here or in various places across the country to which many of our fine athletes will be traveling.

There’s also plenty to do indoors in the summer if you’re one of those people who can’t stand the heat. There’s pool, swimming, wrestling, basketball … you get the idea. For that matter, pop into Toasted Walnut and play beer pong one afternoon. You never know just how great an athlete you are until you’ve had a few beers.

The beauty of this wide variety of sports is there’s something for almost anyone. I’m still waiting to show my prowess at darts. That’s the extent of my athleticism.

What’s also great is you don’t have to play to participate. Players love an audience! Feel free to grab your cooler and follow your favorite person, team or sport while enjoying one of Philadelphia’s great parks or recreation centers.

There’s a list of organizations inside the back cover of this paper. Check it out and then go check them out! You never know; after a few visits, you might think it looks like fun and decide to get out and play!


Short stops

  • Join the Falcons for the second-annual Philadelphia Union LGBT+ Night Out! Discounted tickets are available with a portion benefitting the Falcons. Bring your friends and family for a great night of soccer, socializing and fireworks! Info for the game and pre-game tailgate party is at
  • City of Brotherly Love Softball League holds its annual Liberty Bell Classic block party on Camac Street May 26 during registration. Come join the fun and find someone from out of town to stalk during the softball tournament Memorial Day weekend.
  • Stonewall Sports PHL announced it is adding bowling to its ever-encompassing list of sports it’s putting its name on. See for more information.
  • Stonewall Yoga (yes, you read that correctly) is a new 10-week program being held at 11 a.m. Saturdays beginning May 30 at William Way LGBT Community Center. Local instructors from around the city will lead various sessions.
  • Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association’s Liberty Open tournament will be July 28-30 at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center. You must be registered and paid by July 12. Visit for more information.

Scott A. Drake was the 2015 Sigma Delta Chi national winner for best sports photo and the 2017 Professional Keystone Press Awards winner for best sports column in a weekly paper. If you have a person or event you think should be highlighted, email [email protected].

Newsletter Sign-up