LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional organization for 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide – announced the third annual “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner is Blake Anderson, Assistant Director of Sports Turf Operations at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Ark.).
Anderson was selected via a Facebook voting contest from October 21 to November 20 for his intricate design at Baum Stadium, home to the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. Tyler Carr, his student assistant, helped craft the mowing pattern.
“Blake is our first winner at the collegiate level, and he has set a high bar for future winners,” says Kim Heck, CEO of STMA. “His work at Baum Stadium is not only stunning for viewers, but the student-athletes who use the field benefit from its well-maintained and safe playing surface.”
Formerly the Assistant Grounds Manager at The Westminster Schools (Atlanta, Ga.), Anderson’s impressive resume includes experience with the Atlanta Braves and Lexington Legends, the Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Last year’s winner was Ben Young, former Altoona Curve Head Groundskeeper who is currently the Memphis Redbirds Head Groundskeeper. Young won with his intricate “four patterns” design he produced at Peoples Natural Grass Field. After winning this award, Young was also featured in Ballpark Digest, PanStadia & Arena Management, Sports Illustrated and Stadia, among others. He was invited to speak at the 2015 “Nationaal Sportvelden Congres,” the Netherlands’ leading sports turf management conference.
The inaugural winner was Joey Stevenson, Head Groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians. He is no stranger to receiving awards for Victory Field. In 2013, the Purdue graduate received the “Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award” for the third year in a row from STMA and Minor League Baseball in the Triple-A division.
Anderson will be included in a future issue of SportsTurf, STMA’s official monthly publication. His design will also have a custom poster featured at the 2016 STMA Conference & Exhibition (January 19-22) in San Diego, Calif.