This month Texas Multi-Chem honors Kenny Hooten, Head of Maintenance and Grounds at Lockney ISD, for his dedication in maintaining some of the best high school baseball and softball fields in West Texas. Recognizing excellence in turfgrass management, Kenny has received the prestigious TMC Sports Turf "MVP" Award.
Kenny Hooten, a Lockney native, is head of maintenance and grounds for Lockney ISD. In charge of managing the football stadium, the baseball and softball fields as well as the other school district grounds, you can say Kenny Hooten is more or less a 'one man band' when it comes to the sports field maintenance at Lockney ISD. Being responsible for the fertilizing, overseeding, mowing, watering, dragging and weed control on the athletic fields keeps Kenny's plate full all the time.
Never settling for 'good enough', one look at Lockney's baseball or softball fields on game day will give you an idea of the exceptional daily effort that Kenny pours into the school district's sports fields.
Kenny's secret to success on his athletic fields is simply hard work and attention to detail, helping dispel the myth that great sports fields requires a large team of turf managers and extremely deep pockets.
Kenny Hooten certainly takes immense pride in his work and takes it personally if the Lockney ISD sports fields are not up to his lofty standards.
The appreciation for Lockney's sports fields doesn't stop at the city limit. It is a testament to his hard work in creating high quality sports fields that Lockney hosts high school playoff games for other area schools year after year. The fact that other teams like to play on Lockney's fields is a significant compliment for the school and its well-maintained athletic facilities.
“Kenny Hooten is the best sports field manager I have ever seen. He not only works hard to get his fields in shape for games, Kenny takes it personally if each playing surface is not perfect. If weather or conditions cause growing problems, he finds a way to overcome it. Mike Skeen and Texas Multi-Chem have given him a reliable source for products and information to make his fields the best they can possibly be. Kenny deserves this award because he is dedicated to perfection. I am very proud of him and what he has done for our school district.” - Phil Cotham, Lockney ISD Superintendent
Great Sports Field Checklist
Regarding the Spring season baseball and softball field maintenance, Kenny's MVP regimen involves the following turf management steps:
- Mow baseball infield on a daily basis during the season at 1 inch and the outfield at 1 and a quarter inch. Mow the outfield 3 times per week.
- Drag infield on a daily basis and rake as needed, sweeping the edges with a broom or fan rake, prevent lips from building up. Have TMC power rake lips as needed.
- Keep diamond edges neat and straight.
- Water 3 times per week 20 to 30 mins @ each station.
- Follow the yearly fertilizer program schedule designed by TMC.
- Have fields super raked by TMC each year to get rid of thatch and to help the germination of new rye seed.
- Reseed each year.
- TMC weed control is done in spring and fall, along with application of grub control products as needed.
Kenny Hooten, Sports Turf "MVP" Says...
In his own words, Kenny Hooten talks about his turf management philosophy with TMC salesman Mike Skeen:
"The No.1 thing I believe is just having pride in what you do. Keeping a safe and nice field to play on is my goal each day. It is a challenge each and every year. I enjoy what I do and having support from your school and community helps. Having a business such as Texas Multi-Chem to help you is also a huge help! The [TMC] staff is always very helpful and does great work when they are called upon! Thank you Mike for all your help!"
TMC is honored to work with Lockney ISD and salutes Kenny Hooten for the superb job he does each and every day to create great sports fields! Congratulations Kenny! Keep up the great work!
To see more images of the Lockney High School baseball and softball fields, click here.