by Howard Tsunamura, The Province Dec 21, 2011
Each year, in the process of documenting the many amazing athletes who make high school and university sports so special in our province, we happen upon a few individuals and teams who by the conviction of their actions, help make the world a better place. Today, in keeping with the theme of the holiday season, we offer four vignettes of young people who make the big picture a whole lot clearer.
W.J. MOUAT SECONDARY
ABBBOTSFORD — If you’re a student in your first year at a certain high school in Abbotsford, you may have met the guy who helps head up its student-led orientation committee.
If you’re an administrator at the school, you likely know the young man who has taken an active role in formalizing plans for the newly-formed Character Committe which strives to improve the day-to-day life of its student body.
Or maybe you’re one of the teachers who happened to stop by the school cafeteria last week and saw a holiday hamper fundraiser taking place in which the same Grade 12 student, along with a number of his classmates, were getting their hair shorn to help local families in need over the holidays.
It’s hard to believe that anyone at W.J. Mouat Secondary School doesn’t know who senior Daniel Markin is, but in case you don’t, he’s the same guy who quarterbacked the Hawks’ football team to the Subway Bowl B.C. Triple A championship final game earlier this month at B.C. Place Stadium.
“When anyone in this school needs to get something done, they know who they have to go and see,” Mouat head football coach Denis Kelly says of Markin, one of the most involved students you’re apt to meet on a B.C. high school campus. “He is a leader at this school and he has made an impact.”
To Markin, it’s all an extension of who he tries to be each day as a person.
“I try to be the same on the field as I am at school,” he explains. “I try to be respectful, be caring and to have integrity. Our school has a charcater motto that I try and implement in my own life.”
The most ambitious project?
Markin got together with a number of fellow classmates, including Jake Heathcote, Josh Tournemille, James Rahe and Sebastian Gibson, on a fund-raising idea which saw them sell tickets to students and staff for the right to shave off the mullets they had started growing when classes began back in September. Then last Wednesday, an after-school barbering session took place with all of the proceeds going directly to the school’s Adopt-A-Family holiday hamper program.
“It really took off,” laughs Markin. “(Growing mullets) became something that so many other people started doing, not just the football players. An intramural team called the Mouat Mullets formed, and we even sold Mouat Mullet wristbands for charity.”
This season, Markin passed for 1,732 yards and 21 touchdowns, both categories the second-highest in B.C. Triple A football, and he hopes to play the game next season at the small college level in the U.S.
Yet whatever happens, there is no doubt that Daniel Markin has left his mark.