Wayne Hanna beams from ear to ear when he talks about Tifton turfgrass. Some might say he’s a proud papa, and rightly so.“We develop them, and to see them succeed, it’s just like a parent whose child succeeds … it’s the same experience to see grasses you’ve developed and tested over time,” said Hanna, a retired turfgrass breeder with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.One of those grasses, Tifway 419, is a bermudagrass variety developed in the 1960s by former USDA turfgrass breeder Glenn Burton. It’s most often used on golf course and athletic fields and currently covers the field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, home of the Georgia Bulldogs football team.“The turf is off the chain,” said Georgia football coach Mark Richt, who was in Tifton on Wednesday to speak at the UGA Day event held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. “When we line up against South Carolina (in next year’s home opener), it’s going to be looking great.”Hanna said Tifway’s ability to withstand extreme pressure from collegiate athletes is why it has succeeded as UGA’s playing field and other fields throughout the country.“It’s dense, real wear-tolerant and it recovers fast from damage from athletes,” Hanna said. “Tifway is pretty disease resistant. It just doesn’t have a whole lot of problems.”UGA turfgrass breeder Brian Schwartz agrees. “It’s a fine textured, dark green grass that’s been used successfully for about 50 years. The football field there in Athens is probably the best looking one in the SEC, in my opinion,” he said.Tifway’s name comes from a combination of Tifton and fairway, meaning it is highly suited for golf courses. It is also highly recommended for lawns, making Tifway a versatile variety.“It doesn’t take any type of special care. It does well under a broad range of managements,” Hanna noted.Tifway 419 is used in other football stadiumsaround the country, including at Texas A&M and at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. But none compare to Georgia’s field, though, according to Schwartz.“(Richt’s) got a beautiful field,” Schwartz said. “Many stadiums are torn up later in the season and his is just looking great. They do a good job there.” For more on UGA-bred turfgrass varieties, see the website at www.georgiaturf.com.
Ghana began on a strong foot at the 2nd edition of the Africa Cricket Association NorthWest Africa women’s tournament on Friday.Ghana is hosting three other West African countries; Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gambia at the Achimota Cricket Oval for the three-day tournament. The host nation opened up the tournament against the Gambia and did not hesitate to sound a strong note of caution. The Gambia batted first and scored 110 runs, a third of which came from wide and no balls, losing 5 wickets in 20 overs.Ghana, therefore, required a run rate of 5.5 per over but incredibly pushed the notch higher to do 9.25 runs per over, scoring an incredible 111 runs in a little over twelve overs, losing only three wickets. Ghana thus won the game by seven wickets. In the day’s other game which was played simultaneously at the second oval in Achimota, Nigeria and Sierra Leone both tried to out-play each other defensively. They prevented each other from scoring many runs.The Nigerians bated first and scored 65 runs, losing 5 wickets in 20 overs. Sierra Leone needed only 14.1 overs to win by scoring 68 runs for 7 wickets.