For most of us sports are where we turn to escape the stress of daily living. Our emotions rise and fall not just with each win or loss but with each play. Along the way we get glimpses of the young men and women representing Arkansas State and almost always we love what we see. Young men and women who usually do more than what is asked of them. They balance school and life to get a chance to play a sport they love.
Seeing these young men and women develop is a joy for us as fans or alumni. Markel Owens story has ended and it has ended much sooner than it should have.
He was a part of three magical teams at Arkansas State. He would have been one of the few to walk away talking about being under the leadership of five different coaches, really seven coaches. He was on the scout team for Steve Roberts, he played in four games under Hugh Freeze and then played in the GoDaddy Bowl under David Gunn. Played under Malzahn, Harsin, and Thompson as well.
His last three teams will be popular in the future for AState. They will be invited back often to get another round of applause and appreciation from a fan base that they helped make stronger, but there will always be a sad undertone for his teammates because his chance to complete his story at AState as a senior was taken away from him.
Our prayers, sympathy, and best wishes go to his mother Chermaine Owens and to the rest of his family and teammates.
Below is the official statement from Arkansas State.
Arkansas State University student Markel Owens died last night in his hometown of Jackson, Tenn., where civil authorities have confirmed his passing. A business management major, Markel was a three-year letterman on the Arkansas State football team who had just completed his redshirt junior season in 2013.
The Arkansas State Athletics Department is still in the process of gathering details surrounding Markel's passing.
"Our worst fears were realized as an athletics department after being notified early this morning about the unfortunate news about Markel," said Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. "We're deeply sadden and our utmost sympathies go out to his family, teammates and classmates. Please join me in prayer for so many people who are being impacted by the loss of Markel."
"Markel was a part of our Red Wolves family, and it is obvious he was a well-liked and respected member of our team who will be missed," said head football coach Blake Anderson. "We are doing everything possible to comfort his teammates, and we extend our compassion to his family during this difficult time."
For those grieving, Arkansas State students are reminded that counseling is available through the Arkansas State Counseling Center located in the second floor of the Reng Student Union; phone 870-972-2318.
The Passing of Markel Owens
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