Fields Of Excellence: 'Sting Squad' brings Hornet football to li - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fields Of Excellence: 'Sting Squad' brings Hornet football to life


MT. STERLING Ill. (WGEM) -- Winning the Pioneer Fields of Excellence Award once is impressive.

Winning the national award four times is beyond impressive.

Brown County High School has not only set a precedent with its football team, but also with its football field.

This is thanks to the school's 'Sting Squad', a group of 130 volunteers that meet every Friday during football season to make sure the field is ready for battle under the lights.

"It's just great to have an opportunity to play on a field like this," Brown County head coach Tom Little told WGEM Sports.

"Where you know, coaches who see film of us, the first thing they want to talk about is the field."

The town of Mount Sterling is not the only group to take notice.

Brown County High has been the recipient of the past four Pioneer Field of Excellence awards, which is given out to college, high school, and recreational fields nationwide who display a commitment to the upkeep of their facilities.

"It actually shocked us, ourselves," Sting Squad member Eric Ebbing expressed.

"We just get together, and we've been doing this for almost 15 years now."

"The community just gets a bang out of it. They have a respect for us, and we respect the tenants we have coming out at game time. It's incredible for a small community."

Ebbing is a co-founder of the Sting Squad, which was created in 2004.

"Our situation we wanted to get into was to be able to provide the extra things that the school district and the football program could probably not always afford to do."

The squad is entirely made up of volunteers, and many of them take vacation hours and days just to help out.

"It makes you feel good when you have other people coming from other areas saying 'Wow, that field looks awesome, well-painted," said Sting Squad member John Hohenbery.

"Stuff like that. It just makes you feel good."

"It shows the small town values that everyone works together to make something like this come to life," added Sting Squad member Rick Kunkel.

"And it's all about that."

Not many appreciate the hard work of the group more than coach Little.

"It's things that the sting squad has done, you know, just to create the excitement."

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