Turfgrass Leaders Earn Industry’s Highest Honor
(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional association for 2,700 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide who are critical to the safety of athletes and coaches – awards its 2017 “Field of the Year” winners.
Since 1992, STMA presents the industry’s highest honors to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools (K-12), and parks and recreation level. The 2017 winners are listed below:
Baseball – Parkview Field at Ft. Wayne Tincaps (Fort Wayne, Ind.): Keith Winter, Head Groundskeeper
Soccer – Moneygram Soccer Park Field 8 at FC Dallas (Frisco, Texas): Troy Crawford, Director of Grounds
College and University
Baseball – Cleveland S. Harley Baseball Park at University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, S.C.): Travis Dill, Sports Turf Technician
Football – Historic Grant Field at Georgia Tech University (Atlanta, Ga.): Chris May, Director of Athletic Grounds
Soccer – Osborne Stadium at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.): Brian Hinkley, CSFM, Athletic Field Manager
Softball – Patricia Wilson Field at Stetson University (DeLand, Fla.): Steve Barnard, Field Maintenance Technician
Sporting Grounds – 5/3 Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State (Kennesaw, Ga.): Shane Hohlbein, CSFM, Sports Turf Manager
Schools and Parks
Baseball – McLean County PONY Baseball (Bloomington, Ill.): Andy Ommen, Head Groundskeeper
Football – Cowboys Field at Jim Warren Park (Franklin, Tenn.): John Wagnon, Athletic Crew Chief
Soccer – Longfellow Park at Park District of Oak Park (Oak Park, Ill.): Travis Stephen, Sports Field Manager
Softball – Blue Eagle Softball Complex at Clover School District (Clover, S.C.): Will Rogers, CSFM, Sports Turf Manager
Sporting Grounds – Pleasantview Championship Field at City of Boulder (Boulder, Colo.): John Cogdill, Manager
“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,” says 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.”
Rogers has now received this prestigious honor four times (2014, 2015, 2016), each in a different sporting category. Three-time winners include Hohlbein (2015, 2016) and Cogdill (2014, 2015). “Field of the Year” award winners for the second time include Barnard (2011) and May (2014).
A panel of 13 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program. Judges may not award a field in each category. Winning fields will be featured in a 2018 issue of SportsTurf Magazine, the official monthly publication of STMA.
Awards will be presented at the 29th annual STMA Conference & Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas Jan. 16-19, 2018. More than 1,200 leaders in the sports turf industry will meet at the Fort Worth Convention Center for four days of cutting-edge educational seminars, exhibitor demonstrations and networking opportunities.