The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has announced its 2017 ‘Field of the Year’ winners. Active since 1992, the STMA awards the industry’s highest honors to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools and recreation level.
“Each year our Awards Committee independently selects the safest and most playable natural grass playing surfaces exemplifying the sports turf manager’s hard work and dedication,” said Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA.
“With an increase in applicants year over year, we are ecstatic to see the growing number of outstanding sports turf managers continually raise the bar with the fields they prepare and maintain.”
In the professional baseball category, Keith Winter (above), head groundskeeper at Wayne Tincaps’ Parkview Field, claimed the top award, while Troy Crawford won the professional soccer category for the quality of FC Dallas’s Soccer Park Field 8 (below).
The college and university awards were taken by Travis Dill for University of South Carolina’s Cleveland S Harley Baseball Park (below); Chris May for the Historic Grant football field at Georgia Tech; Brian Hinkley for Liberty University’s Osborne Soccer Stadium; and Steve Barnard for the Patricia Wilson Softball Field at Stetson University.
Will Rogers reaffirmed his talent, claiming his fourth honor in four years for the management of the Blue Eagle Softball Complex at Clover School District. Other victories in the schools and parks category include Andy Ommen (below) and the McLean County PONY Baseball; John Wagnon and the Cowboys Football Field (bottom) at Jim Warren Park; and Travis Stephen in the soccer category for Longfellow Park in Oak Park.
Decided by a panel of 13 independent judges, entries were scored on playability, surface appearance, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and the implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program.
Winners will officially receive the awards at the 29th annual STMA Conference & Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, to be held in January 2018.
November 16, 2017
Written by Sam Petters