March 10, 2014
CLEVELAND -- The Boilermaker Soccer Complex has been selected as a winner of a 2013 Fields of Excellence award by Pioneer Athletics.
The Field of Excellence Award Program honors outstanding athletic fields and the hardworking field crews who diligently maintain them. The Fields of Excellence award program was established in 1997 and has honored over 688 athletic fields from around the country since its creation.
Nick Lievense and Steve Vonderheide are the primary sports turf managers responsible for the playing surface at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex. Lievense said that the help from the part-time turf science student employees and the coaching staff are also critical to their success.
The Boilermaker Soccer Complex features a northern bermudagrass field as one of the most northern-most facilities in the country with that style of playing surface. Bermudagrass is not native to west central Indiana and therefore presents an additional challenge to maintain it throughout the year.
The sports turf staff utilizes aggressive turf management techniques to keep the goal mouths in pristine condition all season. This includes extensive aerifying, topdressing and seeding. The goal is to not re-sod the goal mouths in season, which was accomplished during the 2013 school year.
Lievense said the professional maintenance at a mowing height lower than many fields provides an extremely fast, smooth and dense surface. This allows for predictable ball roll and bounce for the players. He added that the staff maintains the field at a professional level without the benefit of a pro sports level budget.
Pioneer is the nation's leading manufacturer of athletic field marking paint and equipment. Pioneer's line-up of field paints, striping machines, stencils and athletic accessories are used by over 22,000 high schools, colleges and professional athletic organizations throughout North America.