Congratulations to these Sports Field Managers!

Eleven sports field managers have taken top honors as 2019 Field of the Year winners. The annual program recognizes those in Schools/Parks, Colleges/Universities and Professional stadiums who have excelled at their field management practices. The awards are given in five sports: baseball, softball, soccer, football and sporting grounds (non-traditional sports playing surfaces). Awards may not be given in every category or sport.

The winners are:

Facilities Used by Professional Athletes
Baseball: Tom Nielsen, former Head Groundskeeper for Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville Bats, Louisville, Ky.
Soccer: Dan Farnes, Director of Fields and Grounds, Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake/Utah Royals FC, Sandy, Utah

College & University
Baseball: Chris May, Director of Athletic Grounds, Russ Chandler Stadium, Georgia Tech Athletic Association, Atlanta, Ga.
Football: Brandon Hardin, Superintendent-Sports Turf, Scott Field, Davis Wade Stadium, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
Soccer:  Chris Webb, Associate Director of Grounds, Captains Field, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Softball: Steve Barnard, Field Technician, Patricia Wilson Field, Stetson University, DeLand, Fla.
Sporting Grounds: Scott Thompson, CSFM, Superintendent of Sports Fields and Grounds, Koskinen Stadium, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Baseball: Eric Jones, Head Groundskeeper, Park Hill South Baseball Field, Park Hill School District, Riverside, Mo.
Football: Daniel Prince, Sports Complex Facility Manager, Walsh Field, Pace Academy Riverview Sports Complex, Mableton, Ga.
Softball: Lee Van Meeteren, Parks Director/Head Grounds Superintendent, Open Space Park, City of Sioux Center, Sioux Center, Iowa
Sporting Grounds: Brian Dossett, CSFM, Head Turf Manager, Linda Reeves Field, Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, S.C.

The winners and their field management practices will be featured in an upcoming issue of SportsTurf magazine. They will be recognized in front of their peers during the awards banquet, Jan. 16, at the annual conference, which is Jan. 13-16 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The SFMA Awards Committee members independently score the entries on field quality, usage, budget, staffing, and innovation as well as four other criteria. The chairman of the committee, George Trivett, CSFM notes, “Each year our committee is impressed with the dedication of all our applicants to producing safe and playable natural grass field surfaces. This program is highly competitive and being named a winner is definitely a hard-earned honor.” Committee members also include Ryan Bjorn, Vince Cassata, Michael Flowers, CSFM, Vince Jagodzinski, Jeff Langner, Steve Lord, CSFM, Carter Metclaf, Jackie Mroz, Anthony Smerk, Rob Walls and Ryan Woodley.