When two rural Cherryvale boys had a difficult time traveling to use airsoft fields hours away from their home, they decided to open their own fields.
The result is The Master’s Field LLC at the home of Jackson Williams, 13, and his 10-year-old brother, Jenson, the sons of Jason and Jennifer Williams. The two boys had their grand opening last weekend.
“It went actually pretty good. We had about 21 people come,” Jensen said.
Some of the players were their friends and fellow church members, but Jackson said one group came from Neodesha.
One member of the group plans to return soon to play on one or more of the four airsoft fields available at The Master’s Field, which was named after God because of the family’s strong faith.
“It was really tiring, but everybody had a lot of fun,” Jackson said.
The players used a field first that has a rather large, steep hill that Jackson said is like a desert because of the shale and some small cacti located there. After that, they took a break and relocated to one of the flat fields. Another field also has a hill, the boys said, and one has a lot of dips and brush where Drum Creek washes debris as it floods. One field is like a swamp. The fields cover 160 acres of varied terrain.
Airsoft is a sport that uses guns that shoot plastic spheres similar to BB’s propelled by compressed air. There are different competitions involved, including Capture the Fort, that simulate battle.
Jackson said he and his brother have been playing airsoft for a few years with their friends.
“We’ve been playing for almost three full years, but we recently started to get more serious about it,” he said.
“But there’s not another airsoft field for two hours. You have to go to Kansas City, Wichita or Tulsa,” Jensen said.
Jackson said when their mom had twins about 18 months ago, their parents were too busy to drive that far very often. They decided to open their own fields instead.
“We’ve been working on it since January,” Jackson said.
The family created their limited liability corporation in late January or February, Jackson said. Jennifer Williams said the boys were the primary developers of the airsoft courses. Jackson confirmed that, but he said his parents give them some help.
“We’ve done a lot of stuff on it, but usually they get the last say on it,” Jackson said.
The family has built a few ground-level forts, but Jackson said they hope to build some two-level forts in the future if the insurance cost isn’t too high. They might build some bunkers, too. Some of the forts and barricade structures are made of pallets, but others are made of garage door panels because the Williams family owns SEK Garage Doors. Jackson said most people like the sound of the plastic pellets hitting the metal door panels.
The boys also want to add a small, close-quarter battle area with obstacles such as hay bales that would simulate an indoor arena.
The company has a dealership license so that it can order about anything that people might want to buy or rent such as smoke grenades, masks, guns and pellets. There are a few different styles of guns for renters to choose. It costs $35 to rent gear and play in the fields or $15 to play for those who bring their own.
The Master’s Field will try to open every other weekend. There is a lot of work and upkeep to be done, Jackson said, and with the family being busy, that’s about how often they can open. He said they might offer more days in the summer.
The minimum age to use the airsoft fields is 8, but Jackson said the sport is good for people of all ages. There were people as old as “60ish” playing on the grand opening weekend, Jackson said.
Jennifer Williams said on an email that the sport develops skills that people would learn in the military like team work, a positive attitude, communication, hard work, strategy, executing a plan of action, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, listening, taking instruction, among other life skills.