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Timbers star plays key role in Lakeridge High prom invitation

Portland's Nat Borchers gets the ball rolling for two Pacer soccer players


REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers signs a jersey for  Lakeridge senior Erin Elliott while also asking her to prom for senior Nick Rooney.REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lakeridge senior Nick Rooney smiles at Erin Elliott, who agreed to go to prom with him after Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers relayed Rooneys prom date request.Erin Elliott stood on the Lakeridge High School track Tuesday morning holding a limited-edition Portland Timbers jersey, while 6-foot-2-inch defender Nat Borchers stooped down, ostensibly just to sign it.

But instead of simply scrawling his name, soccer star Borchers also wrote, “Erin will you go to the prom with Nick?”

Lakeridge senior Nick Rooney, captain of the Pacers' boys varsity soccer team, stepped down from a crowd of students sitting on metal risers nearby. Elliott, also a Lakeridge senior, embraced him.

“So, is that a ‘yes?’” Borchers asked Elliott, captain of the girls varsity soccer team.

“Of course!” she replied.

REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Erin Elliott is the captain of the girls varsity soccer team and Nick Rooney is the captain of the boys varsity soccer team. Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers beams while the teams production manager, Che Lowenstein, catches the whole thing on camera.The unusual invitation to the May 2 prom came about because of an act of charity on the part of Nick Rooney’s mother and Borchers.

“My mom went to a fundraiser for kids who can’t afford to play sports after school,” Nick Rooney explained.

During a recent fundraising raffle for Active Children Portland (ACP), Lynne Rooney won a visit from Borchers that he generously donated. ACP is a nonprofit organization that supports kids who can’t afford to participate in athletic activities.

Lakeridge leadership class teacher Derek Abbott kept the surprise quiet, only telling students they were getting a visit from Borchers, who delivered an inspiring speech about envisioning the future and striving to achieve your dreams. Meanwhile, a P.E. class was playing soccer in the background.

The professional soccer player asked Elliott to come up to the front as a volunteer for an athletic demonstration. He juggled the ball 20 times and challenged her to juggle it as long as possible, and she managed an impressive 11 repeats.

REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Erin Elliott now is in possession of a signed limited-edition Portland Timbers jersey.Then, he pulled out a white-and-green jersey and a pen.

“It’s something that his date is going to remember forever,” said Borchers, a Lake Oswego resident.

Elliott started smiling as soon as Borchers had written “Erin, will you.” She said she figured she would be going to prom with Rooney, a friend she’s known since middle school.

“I was surprised but pleased that Nick related it to something we both loved, which is soccer,” she said.

Contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com.REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lakeridge seniors Erin Elliott and Nick Rooney pose with Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers while a P.E. class plays soccer in the background.

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