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Chase Harris throws a block up front for the Tri-City Seahawks Saturday against Bunn as Ahmad Jeffers takes the handoff in the backfield for a run.

Those of us that occasionally take sports too seriously ought to be required to experience, or revisit, athletic events like the Tri-City Seahawks’ Homecoming Saturday at Vance County Middle School.

Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks has four versions of “Seahawks” and each age division played on Saturday, beginning in the morning with the flag football team for ages 4-6.

I had it on good authority beforehand that the undefeated Seahawks’ flag football squad is a force to be reckoned with, with a quarterback that can actually sling the ball around a little bit. The rumor checked out. How often do you see forward passes at this age level?

The Seahawks, who were tied once earlier this season by Knightdale but haven’t lost a game, were virtually an unstoppable force in their matchup against Bunn. Tri-City scored at will and didn’t allow more than one or two touchdowns.

But the smiles on the Seahawks’ faces is surely worth the price of admission to their games. The grins were also accompanied on Saturday by some scowls meant to intimidate the opposition, and some frowns. At this age level, the line between breaking into the offensive backfield like a mini Lawrence Taylor and needing your mommy could not be finer.

If you’ve spent a good deal of time around Henderson, you know all about the negatives the city has a reputation for, whether deserved or not. Seahawks youth football is undoubtedly one of the positives for this area.

The players are too young to be yelled at — really yelled at — by their coaches. If someone makes a mistake, it only adds to the theater.

The referees can’t be accosted, because there are none, since regulations are kept at a minimum.

The sun is shining. The parents are cheering their hearts out. And the Seahawks are keeping the person sounding the touchdown siren busy.

Out here, it really is about having fun, and just a game.

Extra pointTri-City Seahawks head coach Brian McKnight provided me with a Hall-of-Fame-worthy comment when I asked him what the most challenging part is about coaching this age group. First, he said, it’s getting the kids to listen, and second, it’s the parents. I’ve heard coaches say this a thousand times, but McKnight actually figures it into his coaching strategy.

“The main thing is the parents,” McKnight said. “You’ve got to keep them disciplined.”

Full context: The conversation was lighthearted.

But we all know it’s true.