Backyard Football League is gaining attention from social media and the community.

GIBSONBURG, Ohio — If you drive to the gridiron that sits between the Gibsonburg Schools campus and the surrounding area, you might find a group of kids playing football.

But the 8th graders are not sponsored by the school or in any league organized by adults; it’s something the kids put together themselves.

“We were tired of being inside and not hanging out with each other, so we decided it would be a great idea to play our favorite sport, football,” said player Grant Smith.

Smith and a group of friends were members of the 8th grade team that won the league title. In October, after the season, the group started playing a pickup game that they liked so much that they decided to do it again.

The kids have formed an official league they call Backyard soccer league; Small teams that play at least once a month, with a regular season, playoffs and even a Super Bowl.

“You sit in class all day and think about your friends, then you have to have fun,” sophomore Derek Reed said. “You know, go outside, throw some balls around, and sometimes play.”

But it does not stop there. Kids make content from league with a A YouTube channel with over 250 subscribers. After a few months, their teachers began to notice.

“They’re just a really good group of guys,” said high school teacher Steve Barancla. “They are a joy to have in the classroom every day. They make learning fun.”

Later, the kids started printing and selling merchandise like t-shirts. Kids stay so busy that school-sponsored sports are sometimes put on the back burner.

“We’re missing track practice,” Smith admitted during the interview.

When asked if their track and field coach approved of the move:

“He said it was more important,” second baseman Rhys Walby chimed in.

As the weather began to warm, fans, consisting of friends, family and classmates, showed up at league games.

“They’re very passionate and they have, the whole group has chemistry, whether it’s football, basketball, on the field, off the field,” said Amy Fruit, mother of player Zach Fruit. “They work very well together.”

Even though they are only in high school, these kids are thinking years into the future, hoping to take their chemistry to the college level. Some players, like Fruit, aspire to play in a state championship. At this point, it’s about playing as much as possible.

When asked how long they expected the league to continue, Smith said:

“Probably until our football coach tells us not to.”

Previous article1 person dead after getting stuck in a car at a south Columbus store
Next articleZelensky met in Italy with Pope Francis and Giorgia Meloni