RiverHawks hire new groundskeeper
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February 21, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Year-old RiverHawks Stadium has a new caretaker.

The Rockford RiverHawks announced today that they have hired Travis Stephen as their new head groundskeeper. Stephen, 30, left a similar position with the Clinton LumberKings of the Midwest League in order to join the RiverHawks.

“(Rockford is a) bigger market,” Stephen said. “A lot more to do in this area, a lot more of a challenge to keep the field up and it’s kind of nice to have a newer field to play around with and make it better.”

Stephen, a native of Bellesville, Ohio, attended Ohio University and The Ohio State University. He graduated from the latter institution in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in turf management and a minor in meteorology. While with the OSU staff in 2001-05, Stephen was responsible for maintenance at all athletic facilities, including football, baseball and soccer stadiums.

In 2000-01, Stephen was the groundskeeper at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, site of PGA Memorial Tournament and Jack Nicklaus’ home course.

“It’s important to find a groundskeeper that has the knowledge and experience to take care of a state-of-the-art facility like RiverHawks Stadium and we are extremely happy that we found a guy like that in Travis,” RiverHawks general manager Josh Olerud said. “This year, we’re going to be calling on that experience, because we’ve scheduled in excess of 90 games to be played on this field.”

At RiverHawks Stadium, in addition to 51 RiverHawks home games, Stephen will set up the field for numerous other events, including Rockford College’s home schedule and the Illinois High School Association playoffs.

“The more play, the more activities, increases the field stress, which in turn creates more management,” Stephen said.

The RiverHawks are the Western Division champions of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 15th season in 2007. Advertising, season-ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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