TWHS Sophomore, Owen Markel is the Total Package

By: Doug Sarant
| Published 05/04/2021

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THE WOODLANDS, TX - Welcome to this week's version of the Woodlands Online CISD Student Athlete of the Week.

The one constant in all of these profiles is when you finish reading it, you'll always think...'This student is in high school?' I'm right with you on that and I'm starting to believe someone is putting a foreign substance (a legal one) in the reservoir here in Montgomery County. That substance has these kids wise beyond their years. Why wasn't this available in the 70's? Well. we had several. Unfortunately, they were all illegal.

Please meet The Woodlands High School Lacrosse player, Owen Markel...

1) How long have you been playing lacrosse?

I’ve tried lots of sports. I’ve played soccer, basketball, swimming, football and lacrosse. I have been playing lacrosse for seven years. I started in 4th grade at Young Highlanders practices that were simply just learning how to play the game. The only knowledge I had of the game was what the stick looked like because my brother happened to find one at a park and decided to bring it home. Even before Young Highlanders I went to a program called North Star Lacrosse. It was at Bear Branch Park on a beat-up plastic outdoor roller hockey rink with a few other kids who also had no clue in the world as to what they were doing. We would only use tennis balls there and I remember the most frustrating part about lacrosse then was running and cradling with the ball. Not to mention half the session due to the flat smooth surface, consisted of running back and forth for the ball every other pass. My dad decided to buy me some dirt-cheap pads and got me to put them on. I really didn’t put them on as my dad had to do most of it himself. My helmet was shifted facing up making it nearly impossible to see. Putting on all of these pads felt extremely foreign to me as the only sports I had played were soccer and basketball. Eventually, I started to forget about the pads on my body once I began playing more. When I got into middle school I got into football just like many other kids my age did. I ended up having success in football as I made the top team every year I played. Once I was more involved with both football and lacrosse I had to try to balance my time between the two along with school which became difficult. Soon enough it got to the point that I realized football was much more of a social aspect of my life than a true sport I felt I wanted to keep investing time in. I chose to focus on lacrosse and find other things to fill the time I had freed from football. I joined the student council with Matthew Nunes and felt I was gaining so much more from it than I was football. I also got to focus much more on lacrosse and better myself in the sport.

2) Describe the 2021 TWHS D-1 team and why you enjoy playing for the Highlanders?

My dad started taking me to watch varsity lacrosse games when I was in 4th grade. I remember my first ever varsity game I watched was at SCFL fields for Mudslinger. When I saw the high-school players all I could think was, “wow they are so fast and big.” Now I am one of those “fast and big” kids! This was my first year on the D1 team and it has been one of the most memorable years of my lacrosse career. Our sophomore class has been welcomed by the upperclassmen and they’ve of course had their fun with us. We have so much talent on the team and everyone wants to see each other succeed. This is a rare team in that every single guy is so likeable. I know I’ve made some lifelong friends on the team this year. In order to make a team whole you of course need solid coaches. Coach T and Coach JT are exactly that. Coach T is an amazing coach who loves the sport of lacrosse and knows it like the back of his hand. His knowledge of the sport is one of the largest factors for The Woodlands lacrosse club’s success. I have learned more about the sport in one season of lacrosse than I have in all the seven years before mainly due to coach T. He may be hard on his players, but once you understand what he is saying and why, everything comes together. Coach JT on the other hand is our “hype man”. He loves bringing energy and enthusiasm to the field each and every practice and game. He always encourages us and pumps us up.

3) Do you like TWHS and why?

I am a fan of TWHS as it’s sort of the only high school I’ve ever really known. All three of my older siblings went through elementary, middle school, and high school here in The Woodlands and have all graduated. Now that I am a student here at TWHS it is cool to see TWHS from my own point of view. I really do like the school. I love its competitiveness, size, and the number of options we have based on our interests. At TWHS I have made some of the greatest friends ever, and had some amazing experiences already. I’m only a sophomore so I am excited for what the future years have to hold.

4) What colleges are you looking into attending? Do you know what your field of study will be?

As of right now my dream college is the Naval Academy. Although, I am open to going to many colleges and I am still very unsure whether or not I want to be a collegiate athlete with lacrosse. The reason I want to go to the Naval Academy is due to the vast number of opportunities available after graduation. I'm pretty good at math and science so I will probably choose a career that uses those. I’m still researching both colleges and majors to find the right fit.

5) What do you hope to be doing after you graduate from college?

If I were to be in the Navy, my dream would be to be an aircraft pilot. Ever since I was little the military and planes have always fascinated me. Now that I am older not much has changed. Whenever I go to the beach in Destin, Florida I get to see F-35’s fly over almost every single day. The thought of being in one of those cockpits is just the coolest thing to me. After I end up serving, my dream is to become a commercial airline pilot. One of my favorite things to do is to travel and meet new people. As a commercial pilot this could literally be my job and I would be paid for doing what I love.

6) What do you enjoy doing away from school and lacrosse?

It’s very hard to say much else other than lacrosse and school as those two things take up almost all of my day. If I’m not playing lacrosse or doing school work then I’m either napping or hanging out with friends. During the summer when school isn’t a constant part of my life I like to work out and travel. I am really lucky to have a close group of friends and we all have different activities so our sports or clubs don’t even matter. We just like to hang out and have fun!

7) Who is your role model for lacrosse?

Matthew Nunes! He’s so smart about the game of lacrosse. Sometimes he even has to give the refs advice. He has an awareness of everything happening on the field. He talks to his teammates all the time during our games and is an amazing leader. He is my mentor on the lacrosse field and in life. This year with Matthew has been amazing for my growth in school and lacrosse as Matthew has personally taken me under his wing and guided me through the year. The amazing thing about him is that he doesn’t even know he’s helping people sometimes as it’s literally his personality and the way he lives.

8) Describe how supportive your family is in everything you do in your life.

I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to stand by me in my life other than my family...my parents especially. I will never in my life be able to describe the amount of support my mom and dad have given me not just through lacrosse, but life as well. My mom does so much for me day in and day out. As the youngest of four kids, it was never dull in our house growing up and there was always someone to ask for advice. I get teased and loved in equal measure.

9) If you were given a million dollars and had to give it to one charity, which one would you choose and why?

I would donate to the Alzheimer's Association. My grandfather developed the disease when I was still very young. It was very difficult to understand at that age what was really occurring. Although when I became a bit older and his condition became worse, I started to see how impactful the disease is on not just the person with it, but everyone who is involved in the person’s life. In particular my father was the reason I really understood the seriousness of the disease. When we would see my grandfather and he wouldn’t even know his own son’s name (my dad) it made me put in perspective what if that was my father. That's why I would give the million dollars to the Alzheimer's Association.

10) Three things people don't know about you.

I won a hula dancing competition in Hawaii as a second grader by doing the Gangnam Style dance.

I am a huge University of Oregon fan which started because I loved seeing the first letter of my name as a preschooler.

I recently got to drive a 2021 Lamborghini.

11) When is the last time you danced? Where? You any good?

The last time I recall dancing was on the bus with my teammates after a win against Jesuit. It’s a tradition for the team to have all first-year players dance in front of everyone. After watching a few guys go and seeing how bad and awkward it was I was a bit afraid. Although, I knew I had some talent when it came to dancing. I had Bop by DaBaby turned on and went crazy. After my performance I think you could say I’m the best dancer on the team.

12) What is your favorite song in your phone now? Do you have a favorite group?

One of my favorite things to do is listen to music. I couldn’t say there is one song that is my favorite especially because I have many different preferences for songs depending on the mood. My go to hype song before a game is “God Bless the Ratchets” by Saint Jhn (yes, that spelling is correct). Possibly my favorite song of all time would be “Can I Call You Tonight?” by Dayglow. My favorite groups would be Jack Johnson and Cage the Elephant.

13) Your favorite movie of all time?

It’s hard to put any movie as my favorite as I love all of the Marvel movies with my favorite character being Iron Man. Although if I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life it would be The Martian with Matt Damon.

14) If you were sentenced to death but you were allowed to go on one last date, who would the lucky girl be? Why?

It would have to be Tik Tok famous Livvy Dunne, gymnast at LSU. She is my dream girl.

There you have it. Girls of Montgomery County...You want the total package for a boyfriend? I give you true Renaissance Man, Owen Markel. Perhaps he'll take you to Inspiration Point in a 2021 Lambo!

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