The village of Rockton is booming with new growth, but while new stores and developments take over empty fields, it's leaving little space for ball fields and the kids.
We don't turn any of them away, yet we have been struggling immensely to find places to practice, and play our games," Bill Coogan said.
Unlike Rockford's spacious Pony baseball facilities, Rockton's youth are limited to just a couple of fields around Hononegah high school. That's why parents are pleading for the community to batter up and take one for the kids.
"We are going into open fields, maybe trying to find a church or something. We can utilize that space, but in Rockton, area is limited," Coogan said.
"But there is some joy in Mudville, or Rockton at least. In the next couple of years, officials will complete this 60 acre sports complex. It will include several ball fields, so kids can lace 'em up, and play the national pastime.
The multi-million complex is still $60,000 short in design costs. However, Rockton's village president says in the meantime, the space is still an option for baseball and softball.
"We certainly are not opposed to the youth association using it for practice fields or something down there. We did grate and seed it, so it's kind of a nice open flat area," Dale Adams said.
For now, the village's youth association will look to partner with any businesses that have open green space, so more area's kids will have more safe places to play ball.