Baseline Sports Construction, LLC began surfacing tennis courts in 1982 as Empire Recreational Surfaces, and grew into a full service recreational contracting company providing a wide-range of services such as tennis court construction, running track construction, indoor sports facility construction, and synthetic turf construction.

Baseline serves the southeastern region and is a licensed contractor in the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Our services have grown to include consulting on recreational facility construction outside our geographic area as well as full service construction work throughout the Southeast.



John W. Ferguson (Will)

Will developed the Recreational Division of Empire Corporation beginning in 1982 and then bought that portion of the business in 2000 changing the name to Baseline Sports Construction, LLC. As President, his responsibilities include oversight of accounting, information technology, human resources, contract management, and all other areas of operations as well as involvement with sales and production of projects. Will graduated with a BA degree in political science from The University of the South in 1980.


David Clapp

Vice President / Sales & Production Manager, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee with a Degree in Engineering Physics. After working in the aerospace engineering field for 3 years, David has now worked with Empire Recreational Surfaces / Baseline Sports Construction for 30 years. David has been designated by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) as a Certified Tennis Court Builder and a Certified Track Builder, and he also edits the ASBA’s “Tennis Court Construction Manual”. David is a licensed general contractor in several states, and holds a commercial driver’s license. David and his wife Kelly have 2 daughters and a son.


Steve Clift

Vice President/ Sales & Production Manager, graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1995 with a BS degree in Business Management. Steve has been associated with Competition Athletic Construction, LLC as its managing partner since 2003 where his duties included management of day to day operations, project / facility design consultation, sales, estimation and project management. He recently joined the Baseline team through Baseline’s acquisition / merger of the 2 firms. Steve lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife Heather and 4 children, Jarrett, Corey, Brady and Amelia Drew. His territory covers SC, GA, AL and MS.


Kent Harrison

Office Manager, has been with Baseline since 2003. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Maryville College with a degree in Economics, with later graduate work at Emmanuel School of Religion and Southern Baptist Seminary. Kent has experience in both the corporate (including construction, administration, and consulting) and non-profit (including parachurch and church ministry) areas. Kent and his wife Sandra Elizabeth have 3 daughters and a son.


Daniel Benner

Project Manager, is a Knoxville native who began working with Baseline in 2013. Daniel was the owner/operator of a residential painting company prior to coming to Baseline. He loves being a part of the transformation of a project from old to new or ground up to completion. Daniel puts his energy into sales, estimating and job production with a focus on relationships and integrity. Daniel has degrees in Business Management and Human Resource Management from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Daniel and his wife Laura have a son named Dylan.

Matt Warlick

Project Manager


Gayla Lemons

Gayla joined Baseline in 2017. She offers sales and accounting support to the team.  She has over two decades of experience working with international and local nonprofits including the Billy Graham Crusades, Luis Palau Association, United Way Campaign and Feeding God’s Children. Her roles have been as varied as executive assistant, volunteer coordinator, church relations director, children’s event planning, and post-event follow-up. Fundraising, development, and relationship building are also a part of her success. Gayla lives in Lenoir City, TN where she is actively involved in her church in the areas of group leadership, prayer, and ladies’ ministry.