Salem middle schoolers wanted for free flag football tournament

When Elias Orso was growing up in Salem, football helped shape his middle and high school years.

“Football to me means more than the game itself. It taught me how to work well with others, it taught me how to be a leader, it taught me what being a leader meant,” Orso said.

He wants to share those lessons with local middle schoolers later this month.

Orso, a summer intern for the Salem Leadership Foundation, is organizing a 7-on-7 flag football tournament for middle schoolers to take place Aug. 25 at Calvary Chapel, 1550 Hoffman Rd. S.E.

The leadership foundation works to bring Salem’s churches and civic leaders together to create programs that build community in Salem. Calvary Chapel is an existing partner in that effort, Orso said.

Orso, who’s attending Grand Canyon University in Arizona, is home for the summer and organizing the tournament as his “legacy project” – something required of all foundation interns.

“The sport to me holds a very dear spot and i want to share that with other kids,” the Salem Academy graduate said.

The event has space for six middle school teams, which can have seven to 14 players each. There’s no cost for teams to participate, but they must register by Aug. 16. Play is open to students regardless of gender. All participants will get t-shirts, a free meal and prizes.

To register or find out more, contact Orso at [email protected] or 503-400-8785.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.