South Milwaukee High School's Spaltholz Field has been selected as the best football field design and construction provided and installed by Midwest Sport & Turf Systems for 2023 after a statewide vote on WisSports.net.
Borg Stadium emerged from a group of 51 nominees to receive the recognition, garnering 17,705 votes in the finals of the contest, out-pacing the 16,931 votes for Green Bay Preble. There were a total of 40,811 votes cast in the finals of the Home Field Pride Contest by the eight nominated schools.
South Milwaukee will receive a $1,000 donation from Midwest Sport and Turf Systems for winning the Home Field Pride Contest.
A presentation of the traveling trophy was recently conducted at Spaltholz Field featuring (L to R): Ryan Anderson, Midwest Sport & Turf System; Ante Udovicic, South Milwaukee Athletic Director; Deidre Roemer, South Milwaukee Superintendent; Liz Rudolph, WSN Account Executive.
South Milwaukee's Spaltholz Field received a makeover this fall, with a brand new look that features a unique and eye-catching black synthetic playing surface installed by Midwest Sports & Turf Systems.
The upgrades were made possible by a generous $1 million donation by the Bucyrus Foundation. Half of the remaining cost was covered by the School District of South Milwaukee, and the rest from a Launching a Legacy campaign that included a $250,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers plus $100,000 by the football boosters, plus many other groups, businesses, and individuals.
"We have barely begun using it, but it already has made an impact because we were able to play games that otherwise wouldn't have been played due to inclement weather," said South Milwaukee athletic director Ante Udovicic. "Our marching band used it more in two months than they did in the previous 15 years combined. Additionally, several groups that never would have been able to use the football field like Youth Flag Football, Middle School Cross Country."
The use of the field goes beyond just the athletic teams that are able to practice and play games at the stadium.
"Well over 1,000 SM students have used it and that doesn't include the opponents that our teams played against in the over 30 individual games were played on it," added Udovicic. "We have had phy-ed classes from summer school, the high school and the middle school use it along with high school boys and girls soccer, flag football, youth football, high school football, middle and high school cross country, dance, cheer, and our marching band. We also held an alumni spikeball tournament on it in August as well!"
The school estimates that the field will be used in some capacity for more than 250 days per year.
The district worked with Midwest Sports and Turf Systems to install the synthetic playing surface, which is utilized by 17 different South Milwaukee teams plus more than two dozen groups overall.
"Midwest Sport and Turf was simply spectacular to work with," said Udovicic. "They were easy to communicate with, always responsive, and to a person, they worked extremely hard to get our project completed. Before they were selected as our turf vendor I expected that Midwest was the right company to partner with for our project and that absolutely proved to be the case! This really was such a unique project and are very proud of how it turned out and can't thank Midwest Sport and Turf Systems enough!"
The school and community rallied around the voting for the Home Field Pride Contest, with the highest point total in the first group of voting with 2,882 before winning the record-setting Finals vote.
"It was a wonderful experience," Udovicic said. "I honestly put it as one of my 10 best memories of my 21 years on the job as AD. The way the entire community banded together to win what was a truly historic contest with unprecedented voting was truly remarkable. The emails, direct messages and texts I got from people at city hall, high school staff, middle school staff, elementary teachers, parents and alumni were really heartwarming. I want to commend Green Bay Preble on how hard they fought to win the contest as well. The vote totals we reached don't happen if it's one-sided and it most certainly was not! It took every ounce of effort as a community for us to win it. It really was a lot of fun to be a part of it. The way social media was utilized to win this was also incredible to be a part of as well."
A huge thank you to all the schools, students, administrators, and supporters who voted in the Home Field Pride Contest over the last four weeks. More than 75,000 votes were cast in total, which is an absolutely incredible number.
"In the future, I highly recommend to any AD that has a field nominated to really get behind the contest," added Udovicic. "The $1,000 prize will be greatly appreciated, but make no mistake it was the contest experience of bringing the school district, the city and the alumni together that made this something we will always remember."
A fast-growing Midwest-based company specializing in sports construction and synthetic turf related projects, Midwest Sport & Turf Systems has installed and serviced many of the turf fields that have become increasingly popular at schools around the state. To highlight these communities and their investments in their young people and student-athletes, WSN and MWSTS will select 51 recent MWSTS football fields to be featured as part of the Home Field Pride campaign.
These 51 incredible athletic fields installed by MWSTS will be split into four groups, and each week on WisSports.net, fans can vote on which field design and construction they think is the best. After the five preliminary rounds, the top vote-getter in each round plus the next three highest vote-getters overall will move on to the finals, where the winner will receive a $1,000 cash donation from Midwest Sport & Turf Systems.
Last year's winner of the Home Field Pride Contest, Delavan-Darien's Borg Stadium, joins Amherst's Heartland Farms Field as past winners, and is moved to emeritus status and a new 2023 winner will be crowned.
So follow along beginning Saturday, September 16th and vote for your favorite in each of the weekly preliminary rounds and the finals, which will be conducted from Saturday, October 14th to Thursday, October 19th. If your school is selected, be sure to share with your school and community, and encourage your supporters to vote once per day per device!