SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Midwest League announced today that Lansing Lugnuts Head Groundskeeper Zach Severns has been named the 2018 Midwest League Sports Turf Manager of the Year, and Severns, Assistant Groundskeeper Jose Cervantes and the Lugnuts' grounds crew have been selected as the 2018 Midwest League Grounds Crew of the Year, as presented by Major League and Minor League Baseball.
"I couldn't think of a more deserving person than Zach Severns or a more deserving group than Zach, Jose and the grounds crew," said Lugnuts General Manager Tyler Parsons. "They have worked tirelessly throughout the year to keep our field in impeccable condition. From plowing snow in April to hosting the Midwest League All-Star Game to the final stretch here in September, our field has looked incredible and all the credit goes to Zach and the grounds crew. We are incredibly excited and proud to see them receive their just due."
"I've been chasing after this award for five years, so this means a lot to me," said Severns. "I couldn't have done it without Jose and my crew, the Lugnuts coaching staff, owner Tom Dickson, team president Nick Grueser, general manager Tyler Parsons, and the whole Lugnuts front office. This is a team effort of an award, I'm just the one behind the scenes making the wheels turn."
The honor is determined by vote among the Midwest League's field managers, evaluating each field's playing surface; infield and outfield turf; the preparation of the field; the quality of pitching mounds, home plate, bullpens and warning track; and overall crew professionalism.
This is Severns's second season with the Lugnuts, joining the Nuts in February of 2017 after working from 2014-2016 with the South Atlantic League's Augusta GreenJackets. He graduated in 2012 from Washington State University with a degree in Integrated Plant Science and an emphasis in Turf Management. Over the course of his career in baseball, he worked the Japan MLB All-Star Tour in 2014 and the Fort Bragg Game, and built the mound for the 2016 exhibition in Havana between the Cuban national baseball team and the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I am in my fourth year as President of the Midwest League," said Midwest League President Dick Nussbaum. "I am privileged to be able to visit all of our stadiums and one of the first things I observe is the quality of the playing fields. We owe it to our players and fans to have the best fields possible so young men as they pursue their profession, and our fans who watch them do so, have every opportunity to show and see their extraordinary abilities. This year we provided and received surveys during the course of the season from managers and they confirmed what my eyes told me. We have great playing surfaces and grounds crews throughout our League.
"It is extremely hard to pick a winner because there are so many who are deserving, but the playing surface and grounds crew in Lansing got consistently high marks from the first game in April until the last one in September. I am proud to declare Zach and the Lugnuts our 2018 Sports Turf Manager/Grounds Crew of the Year."
For more information, call (517) 485-4500 or visit lansinglugnuts.com.
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