The athletics facilities at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, SC, were built in the 1950’s and are Bermuda, overseeded with perennial rye. The fields had never been verticut so a deep thatch layer had built up. With the level of play there was also considerable compaction.
David Brooks, Grounds Manager at Hillcrest had seen both the SISIS Veemo hydraulic de-thatcher and the SISIS Maxislit deep slicer on video and had been impressed, but on visiting facilities where both SISIS machines were used, he could see the difference between their fields and his own. He purchased both machines.
The first three passes with the Veemo removed almost two tractor-trailer loads of thatch, and it was also a big help in removing paint build-up on the football field. Once the two machines were incorporated into his regular maintenance schedule he began to see tremendous results.
David found the Maxislit particularly valuable on the baseball field when there was a threat of rain, running over the infield in two directions. There is no longer any need for a tarp, and the improvements have been noticed by fans and coaches alike. David says that SISIS is an integral part of the team and should receive credit for the baseball field earning the Sportsturf Managers’ Association “National High School Baseball Field of the Year” in 2005.
He says that the Maxislit makes so little disruption of the surface that they can slice and play right away, and there is no mess to clear up. The blades are easy to change.
His favourite feature on the Veemo is the three independently floating units which follow the ground contours without missing spots. He also likes the hydraulic heads and ease of depth adjustment.
David has also found that the ease of set-up, adjustment and operation of both machines means that they are used more – with the result that the fields just get better and better.
Asked what improvements he would like to see, David paused then said, “With the results I have seen, I wouldn’t change a thing! In fact I have recommended both SISIS products to many Grounds Managers and know of several who have built them into their budgets for next year.”