WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Hopkins Leaving Louisa on a High Note


For the last thirty years Michael Hopkins has called teaching his profession, and for the last five, The Jungle at Louisa County High School has been his office.

"He's taught me everything I know on the field, and everything we've learned, we've learned from him," said senior Quinn Parsons, one of Hopkins' students.

Hopkins is the turf manager at Louisa, and he teaches the advanced turf sciences class. There are only five schools in the state with similar programs.

The class meets daily, for about ninety minutes each time, and the students help maintain all of the fields on Louisa's campus.

"Typical day, you get your job assigned, say it's painting one of the logos on the field," says senior Bryan Stinnett. "You come down here, get the paint mixed up, make sure you've got gas in the paint sprayer. Get it all ready, get suited up, and just go to work."

"The kids and myself take a lot of pride in it when you know that 3-to-4,000 people are going to be looking at it on a Friday night," Hopkins says of the award-winning field.

In 2011, The Jungle was honored by the Sports Turf Managers Association as the best high school football field in America. This year, they earned similar honors for their soccer field.

"It's a pretty special feeling to know you are one of the outstanding fields across the nation," Hopkins said of the latest honor.

This time, it's even more special, because Hopkins is retiring Tuesday. At times, he spent seven days a week helping to maintain the field. Now, he's going out on a high note.

"He's part of the reason you come back, because you love learning from Mr. Hopkins and then you come back year after year," said Parsons.

"He is the heart and soul of Louisa turf, that's what it is, that's all I can say," added Stinnett. "Seeing him go is just heartbreaking."

Hopkins won't be completely walking away from Louisa. He will still do some part time work in the turf-management business. He also says he'll come back to The Jungle for sporting events, and trusts the new management will keep the field in fine form. But he says what he will miss most in his retirement is his students.

"I've really enjoyed working with the students. It's been a fantastic thirty years. Especially the last five years working with the turf students, where we could really see our accomplishments right here on the field. It's going to be hard to leave it."


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 233535371