Shaun Eberhart has been the Grounds Director for Northeast School District for three years and most recently made the spotlight in Goose Lake by winning Iowa Sports Turf Manager of the Year. Find out more about him in this week’s edition of Meet Your Neighbor.
What does it mean to you to be Iowa Sports Turf Manager of the Year?
It’s a huge honor. It’s something I have always worked towards and something that I’ve had my goals set on ever since I got in this industry. To accomplish this is a great honor but it just means hopefully we can raise the bar higher next year and see if we can improve.
Where have you worked to get experience in turf/grounds-keeping?
I started in high school, my senior year I worked for the Clinton LumberKings and from there I went to Kirkwood for schooling. While I was there I worked for the the city of Iowa City, the Boston Red Sox, and then I went to Upper Iowa to get a Bachelor’s in turf and I worked for the Minnesota Twins, the grounds department in Upper Iowa, and the Reno Aces. One of my biggest strengths when I came here is I’ve seen the lowest budgets to the highest budgets so you see different ways of doing things and you try to combine all of those things to be as efficient and get a good product out of it.
What do you like most about working for high school athletics?
There’s kind of a personal relationship, so you understand this facility and what this school means to the district. To be able to work for the taxpayers and hopefully be able to give them a product that they can take pride in, there’s a lot of gratitude to be taken from that.
What do you do in the winter months?
From Nov. 1 to roughly March 15 they put me on second shift just doing maintenance and custodial staff cleaning up for basketball games and all that. I’d much rather be outside but it’s work that I enjoy and it’s a great way to decompress and hopefully get ready for next year.
Did you play sports as a student at Northeast?
I played basketball, football, baseball and track. That’s actually how I got into turf. I knew I wasn’t good enough to go into college and play any sports and I’d always loving mowing and taking care of the fields when I played here. I figured I’d go the athletic turf grass route.
If you know someone you would like to see featured in Meet Your Neighbor, contact Clinton Herald Photographer Rachael Keating at email@example.com.