By Sarah McCarthy
Al Markowski, co-coach of the Dryden Eagle Boys Hockey team was honored with a superior award during opening night at the OFSAA banquet in Fort Frances. Markowski was recognized in front of players and coaches from all across the province for the Leadership in School Sport Award. The Eagles cheered on their humbled, deserving coach loud and proud as he stood up to accept the award and deliver a short speech.
Being one of the present coaches of the Eagles hockey team and being involved for around 30 years with High School sports, Markowski has shown plenty of dedication to High School Athletics. On top of that, Markowksi has reinvented the Eagles Golf program from scratch and created the Norwassa Golf League across the area. Markowski is a coach that comes with personal experiences of being a leader within the sports he played during his high school career, including being Captain of the Fort Frances Muskies in Hockey and Golf, as well as his Junior Hockey team.
The teacher at Dryden High School has even guided several student athletes to success with earning scholarships for a bright future of post secondary education and continuing to play high-level sports. Markowski talked about how gratifying it is to teach in and outside of the classroom.
“I enjoy working with the student athletes. It makes a persons career in education more fulfilling because you’re getting to see students outside of school. It enhances their educational experience too.”
Markowski adds how appreciative he is for the award for all the experiences he has had at OFSAA and other championships being a coach and player.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers, fellow coaches and teachers. Yeah it was a surprise but it is nice to join some past recipients from Northwestern Ontario.”
Several past recipients of the Leadership in School Sport award including one of Markowski’s past mentors and coach, Terry Ogen. Markowski also joins Ward Cockriel and Jack McMaster. He also wishes to acknowledge Ken Christianson and Doug McCag who have all played a role in sports growing up and his own coaching to this day.
All and all for Markowski why he coaches is all about the student athletes, trying hard and having fun is all the reward he wants as a coach.
“Thank you to all the athletes that I’ve coached in the past thirty years in Hockey and Golf that have made my career rewarding.”