LAWRENCE, Kan. - The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) for 2,700 men and women professionals overseeing sports fields worldwide and critical to athlete safety has named Kelly Rensel, head groundskeeper at the Great Lakes Loons, its fifth annual "Mowing Patterns Contest" winner.
Rensel was selected via a Facebook voting contest from Oct. 23 to Nov. 20 for his intricate design at Dow Diamond, home to the Great Lakes Loons (Single-A, Los Angeles Dodgers), during the 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game (above).
"Kelly continues to elevate awareness of the sports turf industry through his impeccable field art," says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. "Finding the perfect balance of safety and visual appeal is not easy, but we applaud him for accomplishing this impressive feat."
Formerly head groundskeeper for the Greeneville Astros (Rookie, Houston Astros), Rensel held the same position at the Huntsville Stars (Double-A, Milwaukee Brewers) prior. In 2014, he received the Appalachian League Sports Turf Manager of the Year award. Rensel graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in Sport Administration.
Last year's winner was Britt Barry, Sports Turf Manager at the Dayton Dragons. Formerly Head Groundskeeper at the Lexington Legends (Single-A, Royals), Barry won with the elaborate design he produced at Fifth Third Field.
Additionally, Rensel 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 2018 STMA Conference & Exhibition (January 16-19) in Fort Worth, Texas.
STMA is the non-profit, professional association for men and women who manage sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, it has provided education, information and practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. More than 2,700 members across 34 local chapters oversee facilities at schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums. Sports include football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, softball, rugby and horse racing.
The Great Lakes Loons are the 2016 Midwest League Champions and have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2007. Dow Diamond, home of the Loons, also houses ESPN 100.9-FM and the Michigan Baseball Foundation. For tickets and more information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.