Wheeling High School Grounds Crew receives state and national honors


Wheeling High School’s Grounds Crew recently received accolades at the state and national level for their work and maintenance of the school’s fields.

In February, the two-person crew received the 2016 Pioneer Fields of Excellence Award for the maintenance and care of the school’s varsity softball field. This nationwide program recognizes hardworking individuals, schools and communities for their dedication and effort in keeping fields and sports facilities looking their best.

The Wheeling varsity softball field is one of only five fields selected in the state of Illinois for this honor. This is the second Pioneer award for Wheeling in the last two years. The varsity baseball field won the 2015 Pioneer Fields of Excellence award.

“We take great pride in all of our District 214 schools, and the work of Wheeling’s Grounds Crew members, Kurt Reynolds and Scott Kaage, really exemplifies this dedication to excellence that the District prides itself in,” said Ted Birren, the District’s director of operations. “This is a major achievement by them to be recognized. I speak for the entire District when saying we are extremely proud of their dedication and service.”

At the state level, Reynolds and Kaage earned a high honor from the Illinois Sports Turf Managers Association (ILSTMA) for their hard work and dedication to the school’s varsity baseball field. For the second consecutive year, the field achieved runner-up status in the ILSTMA’s esteemed Field of the Year program, which was created to recognize outstanding turf professionals and the fields they maintain.

“Scott and I have made great strides in the last several years to improve the aesthetics, safety, and overall playability of all of our sports fields,” said Reynolds, the school’s lead groundskeeper. “We have made it our mission to meet and exceed the expectations placed on us by our students and community. It is an honor to be rewarded for our efforts by a group of like-minded turf professionals.”

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