The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional organization for 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide – has announced that the winner of the third annual Mowing Patterns Contest is Blake Anderson, assistant director of sports turf operations at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA.
Anderson was selected via a Facebook voting contest, which took place from October 21 to November 20, for his intricate design at Baum Stadium, home to the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. Tyler Carr, his student assistant, helped craft the mowing pattern.
“Blake is our first winner at the collegiate level, and he has set a high bar for future winners,” said Kim Heck, CEO of STMA. “His work at Baum Stadium is not only stunning for viewers, but the student-athletes who use the field benefit from its well-maintained and safe playing surface.”
Formerly the assistant grounds manager at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, Anderson’s impressive résumé includes experience with the Atlanta Braves and Lexington Legends, the Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Last year’s winner was Ben Young, the former head groundskeeper at Altoona Curve in Pennsylvania, who is currently the Memphis Redbirds head groundskeeper in Tennessee. Young won with his intricate ‘four patterns’ design he produced at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona, Pennsylvania. After winning this award, Young was featured in an array of publications – including Stadia. He was also invited to speak at the 2015 Nationaal Sportvelden Congres – the Netherlands’ leading sports turf management conference.
The inaugural winner was Joey Stevenson, head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians in Indiana, who is no stranger to receiving awards for Victory Field. In 2013, the Purdue graduate received the Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award for the third year in a row from STMA and Minor League Baseball in the Triple-A division.
Anderson will be included in a future issue of SportsTurf, STMA’s official monthly publication. His design will also have a custom poster featured at the 2016 STMA Conference & Exhibition (January 19-22) in San Diego, California.
December 4, 2015