ELIDA – Elida Local Schools groundskeepers have been recognized by Pioneer Athletics, a national sports turf maintenance company, for their work on the athletic fields at Elida Local Schools. From a pool of over 250 applicants nationwide, Pioneer selected 84 athletic fields as the best. From the top 84, only 12 are chosen to be featured in the annual calendar, and the Elida Varsity Football Field is featured in the 2016 Pioneer Athletics calendar which is distributed across the country.
“Faced with tightened budgets and being asked to do more with less, the field crews of these schools and organizations exemplified team work and dedication in 2015.”
Groundskeeper Jody Long, Chris Sanders and a summer crew of 5 others work diligently to keep the fields in great condition all year long.
Long has worked for Elida schools for 17 years, and Sanders for 7 years.
In 2013 & 2014 Elida Schools were awarded for the Varsity Football Field at Kraft Stadium. In 2015, Elida schools were awarded the Field of Excellence for the Ed Sandy Varsity Baseball Field. Long says that “Pioneer understands the amount of work it takes to get a nice field. They recognize the best fields in the nation and it makes you feel good that you made the cut and that our work stands out among the best.”
Long attends The Ohio Turf conferences held in Columbus to learn modern methods, and he says the most important key is timing of water and fertilizer and routine mowing. Sanders agreed, adding that it’s all about “seeing the finished product on game day and all the people in the stands.” In addition to the sports fields, the grounds crews are responsible for maintaining all the public areas including the stands, playgrounds and parking lots.
For more information, contact Mark Miller at Elida Local Schools at 419-331-4155.