ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) For Hononegah senior Payton Mather, his backyard has turned into a play of solace, as high school sports continue to be on hiatus. He and his friends are making the most of the unprecedented circumstances in the second season of 4-on-4 Barn Yard Wiffle Ball.
"We were just going to play Wiffle Ball and we looked at the cornfield and we saw an opportunity to do something really cool."
Mather's family owns a lot of land, but it took some convincing to turn his backyard dreams into a reality. Mather said he and two of his friends did all the heavy lifting when it came to laying the groundwork.
"We made it pretty much all from hand," said Mather. "We laid all the sod, did all the measurements from first to second, all the bases, all the mound work, put up the fences by ourselves, the flagpole. Just really cool that something that we did by hand, turned out to look this nice."
Barn Yard Wiffle Ball is in its second season on the Mather's property. Five teams are currently in the league.
"It's when it's kids you know very well, it can get pretty competitive. It's really fun. It's close games and extra innings, we have like eight inning games sometimes, they're pretty fun."
Hononegah won the NIC-10 last spring and Mather said they would have had a shot to win another conference championship. However, with no telling when the high school sports world will return to normal, Mather is doing what he can to stay ready.
"A lot of us were looking forward to the baseball season, competing out there. But this give us that kind of competition, in a sense. It's just a get away from everything that is going on right now, especially us seniors are losing out on right now."