The Heppner teams received a gift to be used as one final tribute to Coach Mark Dowdy. They were given basketball ball patches to be sewn onto their uniforms. Each patch has the initials “MD” on them. The boys wear them on their home uniforms, and the girls have them on both their home and away uniforms.
Each year at the termination of the District Tournament, the season awards are presented. The Honorable Mention, Second Team, and First Team All League Players and the Player and Coach of the Year are announced. The first adn second place teams receive a trophy, and the champions also receive a banner. There are two sportsmanship awards handed out – one for boys and one for girls – given out. To me, they are just as important as the other trophys because they signify a team’s behavior, poise, and sportsmanship.
The girls’ award has been renamed the “Mark Dowdy Memorial Sportsmanship Award” after the Heppner Girls’ Coach. This years winners – The Heppner Mustang girls team. They could have fallen apart, they could have crumbled, and they could have used his death as an excuse for giving up. They didn’t. They fought, they persevered, they struggled, and they overcame.