The scene at Flanigan Park in Williamsport on Wednesday afternoon was quite different than the one on Monday night. Instead, the chaos and confusion on Monday night was no where to be found.
Just two days after a fatal shooting left one man dead and two fugitives wanted for the homicide, parents and their kids swarmed the football field across the street from the crime scene for the Williamsport Youth Football Club registration.
And without prior knowledge to the events on Monday, you wouldn't have been able to tell by the demeanor of the parents and children, who were, for the most part, upbeat.
"I think it's gonna be great," Gary Brown, the current running backs coach for the Cleveland Browns and former Williamsport football player and coach, said of the club. "I think the kids can go off and blow off some of that steam or some of that energy that can be used to cause trouble. If we get more kids involved into positive things then it will be great for the community."
As we all know, sports and competition of any kind can quickly become a breeding ground for conflict-and in extreme cases, like the one on Monday, violence. The shooting, which occurred after a basketball game, comes at an unfortunate time when parents and coaches are trying to teach kids the right values through football.
"It's a sad, sad thing," Brown said of the shooting. "Anytime you have that type of thing it's sad. But you have to rally together as a community and I think we need to stay with it and keep the course and teach the youth there are better ways of settling disputes."
Before the strong showing on Wednesday, it was hard to tell how many people would show up and participate with Monday's tragedy occurring so close to the field. And we still don't know how long the black eye that the shooting has left on the community will stick around.
"It's a shame because there are so many great people in our community and it distracts from what we are as a city," Williamsport football coach Kevin Choate said. "I think it's a shame. I think the only way we as a community can grow it to learn to communicate with each other and do the things we need to do. We need to prevent these things from happening and we have to have everyone on board to do that."
And hopefully the Youth Club will be exactly what the community needs. The club can be just one more thing for the community to rally around and help get the youth in the area on the right track.
"Williamsport has always loved their athletics. We have a very rich tradition," Choate said. "They love to support kids sports and they do what it takes. You can see that with all the volunteers that we have here today. They are not paid coaches. They are giving their time because they love the game of football and they want to pass it on to their kids."
Along with being a boost for a community that is on edge now, the club can pay off in the future when it comes time for the members to play football at high school.
"I think this program means a lot," Brown said. "You run the same plays and you need that in order for the high school program to do well. We need to do something to pull this community together. We have had a rough time the last few days and I think something like this will help the whole city."