PORT ORCHARD, WA—Port Orchard Football Club has gone from idea to launch in a few short months. No so long ago there was no logo, no team colors, no name and just three yet to be announced guys talking behind the scenes. In a whirlind of activity and creativity in January the fledgling side started to come into focus.
David Falk, Sam Ironside and Patrick Leonard met for the first time in January at the Starbucks inside Fred Meyer on Sedgwick. After the meeting David and Patrick went to Downtown Port Orchard to so some videos and photos for the upcoming Head Coach announcement. Instinctively, Falk took Leonard to the giant marine-themed murals located between buildings on Bay Street.
“From the start I wanted POFC to be connected with local imagery,” Falk remembers of that day. “So I had Pat stand in what I later learned some had called ‘Mermaid Cove’ and he posed for some shots.” A few days later the Kitsap Sun published one of the photos. Then the Port Orchard Independent / Kitsap Daily News did more of the same.
By the time the first POFC player Sam Gomez was announced, the murals had been established as a club motif. Now they are set to appear pretty much everywhere: POFC Season Ticket Lanyards, a new flag, and a banner that will greet fans at the gate on match day. Fans can even download a desktop wallpaper.
The History Behind The Murals
The murals in Downtown Port Orchard go beyond Mermaid Cove and into other parts of the city. Some have become favorite selfie spots.
The term ‘Mermaid Cove’ might have been first introduced back in 2009 when the Kitsap Daily News did a story on muralists Peder Storseth and Rich Washek.
“He wandered in, looked around and said, ‘Can I help?’ Within minutes, the Lost City of Atlantis emerged from the walls. He is amazing.”From: Kitsap Daily News
14 years later the murals are a bit faded and worn but retain the sweeping elegance of a lively but foreboding seascape. The ground beneath your feet crunches from gravel as you approach them, but your eyes are fixed on the colors that surround you.
One of those colors, a sort of multishade of various blue greens and aquas, inspired the official main color of Port Orchard FC which the club lovingly calls “Port Shade.”
As the launch of POFC grew larger and larger, and it was becoming apparent that the community would be embracing the team in big ways, the myth and legend of ‘Mermaid Cove’ in POFC lore only increased.
POFC Club Coordinator David Falk’s eye for visual drama and knowledge of what makes Port Orchard unique have already established ‘traditions.’
“Today, even as we approach the first matches of our new team just months after starting this journey,” Falk says, “…it seems impossible to separate the downtown murals from who we are and what we want to become.”