Chico’s pros

A little basketball and soccer, plus a lot of baseball, attract local sports fans

If you and yours enjoy a day at the ballgame, hanging around Chico for the hot months and taking in the action of local pro sports teams can help take the sting out of forgoing an expensive road trip.

Many of you are already familiar with our boys of summer, the Chico Outlaws, who last year brought pro baseball back to the city after a three-year hiatus. But we have two other pro franchises: the Chico Rooks soccer team and the Chico Force basketball team.

Before it gets too hot, the Force and Rooks will be done with their home games, leaving only the Outlaws to face the dog days of summer.

Chico Rooks

Now in their 14th season, the Rooks take to the pitch at the Chico State soccer stadium and are part of the 3-year-old independent National Premier Soccer League. The growing NPSL added five teams this year and is now 18 teams strong. Chico is in the six-team Northern Conference of the league’s Western Division, along with Sacramento, Sonoma, Salinas, San Jose and Redwood City.

For this season, the Force has moved home games from Pleasant Valley High to the March Junior High Fieldhouse. Now in its second year as one of the founding members of 24-team independent International Basketball League, the Force is anchored by former Boise State guard Franco Harris, who is averaging about 22 points per game. The Force finished second in the IBL’s West Conference last year.

This second edition of the Outlaws will feature a couple of former San Francisco Giants—first baseman Desi Wilson and utility player Tony Tocato—as well as a smattering of former Triple-A prospects. The team opens the season with a three-day, four-game homestand against the Fullerton Flyers on June 2.

Chico Outlaws

The independent Golden Baseball League is without its traveling Japan Samurai Bears squad as well as the Surprise and Mesa, Ariz., teams this season, but the new Reno Silver Sox round out the league to six teams. There will be no Fourth of July game and fireworks program with the Outlaws away that day, but the league’s All-Star Game will take place in Chico on July 18.