UT grounds crew keeps steady amid pandemic

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The smell of fresh cut grass is one of the hallmarks of summer.

But the ones taking it in these days at the University of Tennessee is the grounds crew.

Darren Seybold told WVLT Sports Director Rick Russo, ”We trying to do our due diligence, we try to learn just like everybody in this new world," Seybold is the Director of Sports Surfaces at Tennessee.

One of the areas they take care of is Haslam Field, where the Vols prepare for football Saturdays.

Seybold says, "These fields are big investments for the University, you can’t let them sit idle. This time of year is the roughest because they’re going from winter grass transitioning to our summer grass so there’s a lot of work getting the rye grass sprayed out, top dress laid out, aerated and if you don’t let that stuff go, when it comes to sports, our fields are not as strong and they need to be.”

It’s more than just Haslam Field that Darren and his crew are attending to, some 30 acres of fields, such as the one at the UT Track and Field Complex, the Soccer complex and the Softball stadium, are being maintained during this time of separation

"Whatever field we have, we’re not just concentrating on football," he told Russo. "I always laugh, everybody loves Neyland, but if you coach another sport, you want to watch a game, but your team’s gotta get ready too.”

Seyfold says he realizes the impact his crew has and hopes to make it special when students and staff come back.

Like all of us, Seybold's hoping memories will soon turn into reality with business as usual resuming here in Big Orange Country!

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