September 2013

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 37 of 48

F.O.Y. F i e l d o f t h e Ye a r Panther Stadium, Oregon School District (WI) Level of Submission: Schools/Parks CHALLENGES As the only groundskeeper for the Oregon School District, my biggest challenge has been that I do not have a degree in Turf Management. Despite this, I have a relentless passion, dedication and drive and I believe that has helped me to be the best turf manager I can be. I grew up on a farm and I've had experience working on a golf course but the majority of what I've learned came "on the job." I take notes of everything I do; I take before and after pictures and most importantly, I never settle for "good enough," I am always striving for improvement. At the end of every season, I go over my notes to find out what worked and what didn't work. I am in a unique situation because all of the improvements to the field and around the stadium have come because of my hard work and dedication. My first goal for improvement was to relieve compaction and limit unnecessary activity on the field. To relieve compaction, a drill-n-fill using Turface was performed in 2004 and again in 2009. I also aerate the field 8-10 times a year on average, recently switching the plugs from 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch which helps the holes repair faster and makes them less noticeable during the athletic season. If rain is expected before a football game, I spread Turface across the field. This helps to absorb moisture and stabilize the field for a safer playing surface. I also Category of Submission: Football Head Sports Turf Manager: Ron Novin- ska Title: Groundskeeper Education: High school plus turf continuing education Experience: I have learned everything on the job. I completed two UW Madison Turf Management Short courses. I also completed the University of Georgia's Turf Management online course. I belong to the STMA and WSTMA. I'm currently the VicePresident for the Wisconsin STMA chapter and was previously the treasurer. Full-time staff: Ron Novinska Other crew to recognize: Dan Prahl, Josh Graber, and Mike Piper Original construction: 1966 Turfgrass variety: Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass Overseed: I overseed from May to October. I broadcast seed before an event so the players "cleat" in the seed. I pre-germinate the seed as much as I can. I slit seed in June after aerating, then drag plugs to break them up and cover the seed. I create a divot mix that consists of pre-germinated seed, topsoil and Turface. I then walk the field, loosen any bare spots, add divot mix and cover with Pam 12. What I find most enjoyable about my job is EVERYTHING! There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from working all year to get the stadium field in the best shape possible. 38 SportsTurf | September 2013

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