WASILLA — While Seattle Seahawks free safety Tedric Thompson was growing up, the third-year pro from Colorado University had the opportunity to attend an event at USC which featured former Trojans mentor and current Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.

“I remember myself, I went to an event at USC when Pete was the head coach. Now he’s my head coach. You never know,” Thompson said. “It’s good to see the smile we put on kids’ faces.”

Now Thompson, an NFL veteran, is the one not just attending the event, but appearing. Thursday, Thompson was part of the annual Play 60 Challenge, an event the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers have hosted in the Valley for the past 12 years. It’s based on the National Football League’s campaign to encourage children to become more physically active for at least 60 minutes per day.

Each year, the Sea Hawkers and volunteers have a variety of stations participants cycle through. The activities incorporate a wide range of skills sets, borrowing drills from more sports than just football. Thompson said it’s important to stress staying active, regardless of the activity.

“You’ve got to stay active,” Thompson said. “When I was young. I was always active. We would come in after school. We’d do our homework. My mom would check our work and we would go outside. We were outside until the street lights came on.”

Thompson, fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, was part of a handful of people from the Seahawks organization to make the trip to Alaska for a list of events that includes the Play 60 Challenge. Former Seattle linebacker Orlando Huff, Seahawks vice president of community outreach Mike Flood and the team mascot, Blitz, also traveled to the 49th state.

The Sea Hawkers, the local chapter of the Seattle Seahawks booster club, are united by their love for their favorite NFL franchise. But the club is also known for their support of youth sports and community interests.

The work during the Play 60 event was just part of the itinerary for the Seahawks during their trip to Alaska. The Seahawks made stops in the community, and were part of a dinner with the Seahawks that serves as a fundraiser for the long lists of causes the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers support. The Sea Hawkers donate thousands to local sports and community groups each year.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at sports@frontiersman.com.

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