Five West Linn football players ready for All State Games on Saturday
The calendar may tell us it's summer, but for the best young football players from across the state of Oregon, it's time for their version of the Super Bowl.
Five players from West Linn are preparing for the second annual Oregon All State Football Games, set for Saturday at South Albany High School, with the sixth-grade game set for 9 a.m., the seventh-grade due at noon and the eighth-grade contest scheduled for 3 p.m.
In addition to showcasing some of the best young football players from across the state, the all-star games also serve as a vehicle to address problems in Oregon's foster care system. Organizers of the event have partnered with the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Program, Every Child and Oregon Foster Youth Connection to help bring awareness to foster children across the state.
See below for the list of local players scheduled to compete on Saturday.
Sixth-grade Blue: Hudson Hardy, 5-6, 125, RB, West Linn.
Seventh-grade Blue: Wiley Donnerberg, 6-0, 140, QB, West Linn; Gus Donnerberg, 5-11, 140, DE, West Linn; Brady Manselle, 5-5, 110, DB, West Linn; Jack Benninger, 5-7, 140, OL, West Linn.
The games are free for fans, though organizers encourage fans to bring backpacks filled with toiletries and/or school supplies that organizers will then donate to foster children. The 2018 All State Games collected more 1,000 backpacks with more than $1,000 of school supplies and new clothing which were donated directly to Oregon foster children.
While the competition itself is great, the event's greater mission is bringing awareness to the challenges of Oregon's foster care system, and the challenge nationwide of helping nearly 450,000 kids in foster care.
In the days leading up to the games, players get to listen to dynamic guest speakers and participate in team-building activities at night.
The All State Games website goes on to further describe the immensity of the challenges the foster care system faces.
"Sadly, over 11,000 children spent at least one day in some type of foster care in 2016. We have a major problem here in the state and we need more parents involved."
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