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Behind the Scenes: From Grounds to Stadiums, this Crew Keeps Busy


Men pose for photo.

Phones, wallets, cash, designer sunglasses – if you’ve lost a valuable item at a home football game, chances are it was found and returned, thanks to the Wylie ISD Grounds Crew.

Supervised by Juan Gamez, several members of the Grounds Crew team also serve as custodians at Wylie Stadium. After a long day of maintaining the lawns on school campuses, they go on to help maintain the stadium on Friday nights.

One of their responsibilities is to walk every single row in the stands, picking up trash. 

“If it doesn’t get disposed of, we’d have a bird infestation,” Athletics Marketing Specialist Kathryn Sewell said. 

While clearing each row, the custodians often find lost items–sometimes even wallets full of cash–and return them to the Athletics Office. The custodians have found credit cards and one time, a social security card. 

“Our team is so hardworking and trustworthy,” Athletics Administrative Assistant Beth Smith said. 

The Athletics Department does its best to return those valuable lost items to owners, including seeking the assistance of the Wylie Police Department to deliver certain personal effects.

Men pose in front of bleachers.

The Wylie ISD Grounds Crew has a long work day on Friday nights. They also work as custodians during home football games. From left to right are Noemi Lopez, Javier Guerrero, Welser Lima, Reyes Lopez, Juan Gamez, Carlos Merino, Tomas Gomez and John Williams.

“We hang on to everything, waiting for the owners to contact us,” Smith said. “Our custodians always find cell phones, two or three of them were never claimed and I’ve had them for years.”

While the fans and teams are on their way home, the custodial crew stays behind working diligently to get the stadium back to shipshape.

“On Friday nights, we leave here around 10:30 and they are still here cleaning up, sometimes until 1 a.m.,” Sewell said, “and they started their day at 5 a.m.”