Peace High Principal Inducted to Alberta Football Senior Men’s League Hall of Fame (Courtesy PRSD)

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Peace River School Division is pleased to celebrate Mark Owens, Peace River High School principal for receiving the recent honour of being inducted to the Alberta Football League (AFL) Hall of Fame.

Mark was chosen for the Class of 2015 AFL Hall of Fame based on his outstanding contributions while playing on the Grande Prairie Drillers Senior Men’s Football Team where three of the five years Mark served on the team, he was named “All-Star”.

“This is such a great honour” says Mark. “It seems like a long time ago that I played, and it was such a surprise when I heard.  It was a great way to end off a 16-year football playing career”.

Mark continues to share his expertise, passion and love of football with area youth in his role as the Peace River Pioneers Offensive/Defensive Line Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator.

Zac Major-Piercy, Grade twelve student and Peace River Pioneers player says that Mark is a motivating coach and seeing him be inducted to the Hall of Fame provides inspiration for himself and the team.

“He is really dedicated, motivating and pushes us to the best of our abilities” says Zac. “He wants us to work as hard as we can so we can succeed, and for us to see that he has obviously worked so hard -to be inducted to the Hall of Fame,  gives us the extra push to succeed.”

Mark has also been integral in seeing a high school ladies football team come to the community from 2011-2013. Mark also serves as a member of the board and helps alongside his wife Crystal with the Panthers Peewee Football program.

Mark noted that football allowed him to obtain scholarships and help pay for his education at the University of Alberta and was integral part of him obtaining a teaching position at Sexsmith High School as he also served as the head coach for the football team.

“I know what team sports can do for a person, and I would love to see as many youth as possible have these experiences” says Mark. “The opportunities, memories and friends that I have made through over 25 years of football are extremely valuable to me and helped shape the life that I have had in such a positive way.”

AFL President Matt Squires noted that Mark’s nomination was evaluated by six judges and his name came up in the top ten for his service to the AFL.

“Mark’s nomination was in the top ten based on being an outstanding player, a builder and a founder of the league and for his participation in charity work” says Matt.

Mark was one of thirty inductees celebrated during a special ceremony during half-time at the Ft McMurray Monarchs vs. Calgary Gators game in Calgary on September 12, 2015. The AFL Hall of Fame was created this year which places Mark among the first class of inductees.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, congratulations on this great honour and thank you for your service and dedication to youth in the region through your various roles on and off the field” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “You are a role-model, leader, inspiration and an important member of the community and the PRSD family.”

 

Vanessa Burns

Communications Coordinator
Peace River School Division