Clifton ISD has one of the best football fields in Texas. The turfgrass is one of the nicest sports field playing surfaces around even when compared to professional venues with unlimited budgets and overly expensive synthetic turf installations. Yes, the turfgrass is THAT NICE.
Texas Multi-Chem is proud to recognize Clifton ISD's Dan Fowler with the TMC Sports Turf "MVP" award.
Commitment and Execution
As Director of Transportation/Maintenance, Dan Fowler is responsible for many of the day to day operations at Clifton ISD. But there's one thing he has always put a high priority on: the football game field. Even though the field was built years ago without an ideal topsoil root zone (it has a much higher clay content than is desirable) and precision slopes and grading techniques, Dan has proven that simply committing to executing a handful of regular practices can yield unbelievable results.
Knowing that frequent, low mowing produces a dense, durable playing surface, Dan makes sure the football field is cut three times a week during the growing season (from around the end of April through October). The hybrid bermudagrass surface is mowed with a reel mower at 5/8 of an inch and the mowing direction is changed often to prevent any sort of "grain" or predisposed growing habit in the turfgrass from developing. If you think 5/8 of an inch is low, it is. It's typically the height at which professional and other high profile sports fields are maintained as well as many premium golf course fairways. The lower you cut hybrid bermudagrass (e.g. Tifway 419, TifSport, Texas Turf, etc), the better it performs. In addition to regular mowing, the irrigation system on the field has appropriate coverage with proper precipitation rates to put out the right amount of water each week through the year.
Factors For Success
In his own words, Dan Fowler talks about the various factors he's implemented for success in maintaining a superb football field:
"We have had a better than average field for the last few years, but two things have changed the last couple of seasons. The first is when Steve Caraway (founder/owner of TMC) helped us with a Turf Program by controlling the weeds and getting us more aggressive with our gypsum treatments. TMC's Turf Booster fertilizer is also amazing. I don't believe there is another product on the market like it. The second is the person who actually does the work on the field each week, Keith Blanton. The amount of pride Keith puts into maintaining the field is remarkable and is a true gift to the community! We've started aerating the field more than we have in the past and Keith even comes up after games at night and 'rolls' the field with the reel mower (w/o the blades in gear) to help repair the turfgrass after heavy usage. That seems to work as well."
Most football fields are severely worn out the final two weeks of a fall game schedule, but not in Clifton. Not even close. Exhibiting only a small bit of wear and tear as the season winds down, Clifton's football field is in amazing shape because Dan Fowler has made it a high priority, successfully budgeting and marshaling the resources necessary to yield the desired end result: a safe, durable and beautiful football field the school district and community can be proud of.
Congratulations and thank you Dan Fowler for your continued efforts to create a truly great sports field! Keep up the great work!
To view more images of Clifton's football field, go here.
Do You Want An Award Winning Field?
Feeling inspired by Dan's successful efforts? Would you like to have safe, durable, beautiful football, baseball, softball and practice fields? Contact TMC today at 1-800-292-1214. Whether it's a year-round Turf Program, regular service work or total field construction/renovation, we'd love to help.