• Last modified 582 days ago (Oct. 19, 2022)


More than flagging interest in sports for 1st, 2nd graders

Staff writer

Ashley Vogel can tell that her 6-year-old twin boys, Justin and Landon, are learning more about flag football every week.

They play in Hillsboro Recreation Commission’s league. Games started Sept. 2. There are six first-and second-grade teams, recreation superintendent Doug Sisk said. Each team has 10 to 11 players.

Vogel has seen progress as the first-graders try to master plays.

“It’s fun,” she said Saturday, when her sons’ team, Marion Warriors No. 1, took the field against the Hillsboro Trojans No. 1 team. “Their coaches are doing a great job.”

Justin’s favorite part of the game is “pulling flags.” Landon likes to snap the ball. They answered questions during a brief break in play.

Mostly, the first graders run around. They sort of listen to their coaches. They sort of pay attention to the rules. They definitely like snacktime after games.

Micah Hernandez, 7, plays on the Hillsboro Trojans No. 2 team.

This is his first year in the league, but it’s his second year playing flag football. His family moved to Marion County from Garden City.

Before the Trojan No. 2 team’s 9:30 a.m. game against the Peabody-Burns Warriors, players for both teams trash-talked with zingers such as “We’re going to crush you,” and “We’ve got to win.”

Brittanie Hernandez, Micah’s mother, clapped throughout the game, calling out “Good job, Micah!” and “Go, Micah! Go Micah!”

“He loves everything sports,” Hernandez said of her second grader. “It seems like a lot of them have the same recess at school, so they’ll play at recess.”

A few chairs down, Jacob Bruntz gave his daughter, Penelope, words of encouragement.

“There you go. Show them your mean face,” he said in a slow drawl, smiling the whole time.

Later, he told her, “You’re tough. We can hear your war cry.”

Penelope lost her second upper front tooth Friday. All red hair, freckles and toothless-on-top grin, she didn’t look too mean.

“She doesn’t have to worry about a mouth guard, because she doesn’t have her front teeth,” her dad joked.

Penelope wasn’t sure she wanted to play flag football at first.

“But then she found out all her little friends were playing, so she wanted to play,” Bruntz said.

Penelope plays basketball, T-ball, and soccer and is in gymnastics. Two other girls are on her team.

“I get to push, and I get to pull people’s flags,” she said in the sweetest voice you ever did hear. “I have friends I get to play with.”

Last modified Oct. 19, 2022