Wasatch High groundskeeper wins national award

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The head groundskeeper for the Wasatch County School District recently won a national award for turf management. If you've ever been to Heber to see a Wasatch High School game, you probably know why.

When the snow starts to melt, the water starts to flow and David Reiss starts looking at the grass. He won the national award for his work during the Sports Turf Manager Association's Convention. He was among some 3,000 people there.

Wasatch High School
Wasatch High School

"Here I am from little Wasatch County School District, and I have gentlemen asking me questions about what I do about the high clay content in our soils or what I do about the water. I start looking around, and there were two Super Bowl rings, the head grounds keeper gets a Super Bowl ring when their team wins, and there were two World Series rings there, and they were asking me questions?" Reiss said.

Snow is hiding Reiss's work now, but his boss remembers what the fields looked like and isn't surprised about the award.

"I know that a lot of the coaches that come from other schools definitely comment on the condition of our field," said Francis Harrison, Wasatch County Schools' maintenance supervisor.

Wasatch High groundskeeper wins national award

Since Reiss is a turf expert, we decided to ask him: Now that the snow is melting, is it too soon to start thinking about our home lawns?

"Once the snow is off and the ground has dried out sufficiently, of course, rake that and get blades to stand up and get some of the dead off of it. And then in the middle of the spring, they ought to fertilize," Reiss suggested. That's what he'll be doing soon.

Reiss says the award is nice, but the real pat-on-the-back is the look on people's faces when they come here.

"My biggest reward is when I'm standing right here, and people are filing in for the football game, and they file in and look out and say, "Wow! Look at this field!" Reiss said.

So, after all this, it's a safe bet his own yard at home is immaculate, right? Maybe not. Reiss says he's so busy with the school's fields, sometimes his own yard doesn't get proper attention.

After this award, though, he says his wife will probably constantly remind him: no more excuses.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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