For the past four years, GreenSportsBlog has featured the teams, athletes and events that are taking the Green-Sports lead. What we haven’t focused on much is how said teams and players have done on the court or field. Well, that changes today as we unveil a new occasional feature, the GSB Eco-Scoreboard: Catching Up with Green-Sports Leaders on the Field, in which we highlight the recent on-field/court results of the greenest teams and athletes. Why? Because if they do well, their green messages will gain a wider audience. Also, it’s fun. And if there’s one thing the climate change/environmental world can use more of — including the Green-Sports niche — is fun.
Dartford Football Club in Kent, located 18 miles southeast of London has always resided in the lower rungs of the English football (soccer) pyramid and is currently in the sixth tier.
Yet this classic “small club” has gone big when it comes to sustainability. Its 11 year-old Princes Park was built with sustainable construction materials, boasts on-site solar panels, an advanced rainwater reclamation system and a green roof.
Princes Park, home of Dartford F.C., and its green roof (Photo credit: Dartford F.C.)
On the pitch, Dartford F.C. has one major goal this season: Earn promotion to the fifth tier National League by finishing first in the National League South. After its high octane 4-2 home win on Tuesday over Eastbourne Borough, Dartford moved into a 4-way tie for first place. There’s a long way to go — Dartford just played the 11th game of its 42-game season — but the early signs are strong.
Next up for “The Darts” is a Saturday visit to 17th place Weston-super-Mare A.F.C. (I love these British team names).
Forest Green Rovers
Sticking with the minor leagues of English football, we turn to Forest Green Rovers.
Its owner, Dale Vince, OBE, who also owns solar and wind company Ecotricity, has set out to turn the West Midlands club into the Greenest Team in Sports. From solar panels on the roof to an organic pitch that is mowed by a solar powered mow-bot to exclusively-vegan concession stands, Vince and FGR has succeeded in setting the Green-Sports pace.
Vince realizes that the FGR Green Story will get more attention and followers the better the team does on the pitch.
On that score, the team made a significant leap when it earned promotion in May from the fifth tier National League to fourth tier League Two for the first time in its 125 year history.
Now the trick is to stay in League Two this season — to do so, FGR cannot finish in the bottom two places or it will be relegated back down from whence they came. And it won’t be easy as stepping up a league means a significant step up in competition.
FGR has had a scratchy start to the 2017-2018 season, earning but one win and one tie from their first seven contests. Thus Saturday’s match at Port Vale was key as a loss would mean FGR would be in the dreaded “relegation zone,” a place you don’t want to be, even this early in the season (eight matches have been played in the 46-game schedule).
And things looked dicey when Port Vale took the lead in the 20th minute. But, in the 66th minute, Omar Bugiel entered the game for FGR as a substitute and two minutes later, the the Lebanese National Team member leveled things with a glancing header. From then on, FGR applied constant pressure but could not net the game winner. Still, a tie on the road was a solid result and keeps FGR out of the relegation zone for now.
Lebanese international Omar Bugiel scored the equalizer for Forest Green Rovers in their 1-1 draw at Port Vale on Saturday (Photo credit: Forest Green Rovers)
Friday night, Forest Green Rovers’ fight to stay above danger continues when 10th place Swindon Town F.C. comes to The New Lawn.
Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals
GreenSportsBlog has closely followed the 25 year old Redbirds outfielder after interviewing him in January. Why did we talk to Piscotty? Two reasons:
- Coming off of a stellar first full season in the big leagues, with 25 homers and 85 RBIs, Piscotty was primed for a breakout 2017 campaign.
- A 2015 Stanford graduate, with a degree in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering, Piscotty is the rare athlete to express serious knowledge of and interest in clean tech—specifically solar and smart grid.
Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder (Photo credit: Taka Yanagimoto/St. Louis Cardinals)
Unfortunately, Piscotty has had a very rough second season: Two stints on the disabled list with hamstring and groin injuries combined with a sophomore slump at the plate led to a demotion to Triple-A Memphis in early August.
But these struggles pale in comparison to the news Piscotty received over Memorial Day that his mother, Gretchen, had been diagnosed with ALS^ or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
As the July 31st trade deadline approached, rumors surfaced that the Cardinals were trying to deal Piscotty to the Oakland A’s to allow him to be nearer to his mom and family in the Bay Area. That trade did not come to pass.
In fact, Piscotty was sent back up to St. Louis from Memphis after only a couple weeks. Shortly thereafter, he launched a game-winning homer against the Padres on September 6 in San Diego, with his mom in the stands. This gave a much-needed boost to the Cardinals in their long shot bid to make the playoffs — as of this writing, the Redbirds are 4.5 games out of a wild card berth with 13 games to go.
^ If you are interested in donating to support ALS research, please click here for a link to the ALS Association