Seven of Scappoose's best ready for Oregon All State Games
The best young football players from across the state of Oregon are ready to get after it.
And eight young players from Scappoose — not to mention four coaches — will be there to help lead their teams, learn and grow.
The first Oregon All State Football Games are scheduled for Saturday at Eugene's Sheldon 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 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.
"The group we have going into the game are kids we view as leaders," said Scappoose coach Branden Bailey, who will lead the eighth-grade Red team. "They get after it every game and they make the other kids get after it as well.
"They're just plain and simple great football players and great students, and that's the best part of it — they're great kids and great football players."
Among those Scappoose players slated to compete are four on the eighth-grade Red team, linebacker Colin Stoddard (5-foot-7, 125 pounds), quarterback Luke McNabb (6-0, 185), offensive lineman Colby Bailey (6-3, 180) and center Austin Verbout (5-7, 175).
Another three will play on the seventh-grade Red team, defensive back Skyler Schmidt (5-10, 135), linebacker Trey Dieringer (5-8, 130) and linebacker Ben Rintoul (5-7, 135). And defensive lineman Maxwell Arnis (5-7, 170) will play for the sixth-grade Red team.
Also part of the event are three other Scappoose coaches Robbie Buxton, Gabe Almack and Branden Grogg.
Players were nominated by their own coaches or other coaches from their league, and after that, coaches submitted game film for every player to the organizers of the Oregon All State Football Games to select players and assign them to teams.
The games are free for fans, though organizers encourage fans to bring backpacks filled with toiletries or school supplies that organizers will then donate to foster children.
Regarding the game's greater mission — bringing awareness to the challenges of the state's foster care system — the Oregon All State Games website writes:
"This game is to bring awareness to the nearly 450,000 kids in foster care. Did you know when kids are placed with foster parents they typically show up with a trash bag with their belongings? We want to change that. Part of the proceeds go to buying backpacks for kids."
In addition to the games themselves, players get to listen to dynamic guest speakers and participate in team-building activities at night.
Also from the All State Games website, further describes 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.
"Lastly, because of the shortage of foster parents in Oregon, some of these kids are sleeping in office buildings. While that should make any parent uncomfortable, it also means these kids can't play organized sports at their school. We are betting there is at least one athlete, probably more, that are just as talented as these 6th, 7th and 8th graders playing in this event, they just don't get the opportunity."