Since Josh Howatson stepped onto the court at TWU's David E. Enarson Gymnasium in the fall of 2002 the name ‘Howatson' has been synonymous with volleyball excellence, athletic ability, and devoted leadership at TWU. When Josh graduated in the spring of 2007 his younger brother Marc donned Josh's number four jersey the following September, ready to continue the family legacy. He may look, walk and talk like Josh but don't let it fool you, for Spartan leftside Marc Howatson is entirely unique and is determined to put his own stamp on his family's legacy at TWU.
Marc began playing volleyball in elementary school as he watched Josh, five years his senior, beginning to play and love high school volleyball. "Josh was in grade 7 and I was only in grade 2 but I remember being interested in it even at such a young age," recalls Marc. "As I grew up I played basketball and volleyball competitively but when I was in grade 10 I realized that volleyball was my sport."
Over the next summer Marc was recruited to play for the U-16 Provincial Team and caught the eye of national team coaches who placed him on the Youth National Team a year later. His experience with the National Team propelled him to lead his high school team to a AAA Provincial Championship in his grade 12 year.
Marc arrived at TWU a highly touted recruit with his older brother's big shoes to fill and was apprehensive about his role on the team. "I didn't know what to expect when I arrived here," says Marc. "But I quickly learned to adapt to life at the CIS level."
For most rookies, life during their first year in the CIS is about practicing, learning, and biding their time on the bench - but Marc is not like most rookies. Immediately thrust into a starting position Marc began his assault on the Spartan record books early, finishing out the season with 1.31 digs per game (8th), 1.98 kills per game (9th), and 2.43 points per game (10th). Following one particularly good match against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Marc amassed 22.5 points and heralded praise from Spartans' head coach Ben Josephson who cited him as being the best player that day.
"Marc has come to TWU with a lot of pressure," says Josephson. "In his first year he started every game and had to play through the ups and downs that go with a freshman starter. His hard work has paid off as he is starting to perform at a really high level."
"It was unexpected to come in so strong last year - I just had to learn to embrace it," says Marc of the pressure Josephson refers to. "So much of last year was about me proving to not only myself but to others that while I am Josh's brother, I am my own person and player."
The influence Marc's older brother has had on him is undeniable for as Marc says, "Josh has been a major part of my volleyball career. He got me into the sport and then carried the name through all the different programs we have both been a part of. I'm following in his footsteps. The way I see it, I'm not stepping directly in his but that I'm making my own right behind him."
As Marc charts his own path through the Spartans' program, the CIS, and the National Team Program (he played for it this past summer, competed in the NORCECA tournament in El Salvador, and helped the team qualify for the 2009 World Championships in India) those closest to him appreciate his distinctive character and athletic talent.
"After experiencing great success as a part of the Men's Volleyball Team at TWU, I am very proud to see Marc come in and continue that tradition within the program," says Marc's older brother Josh via an email from Spain where he now plays professionally. "Having talked with Coach Josephson over the past year I know that Marc is not only continuing to build on the foundation of the program with his tireless work ethic and dedication to growth as a player, but he is also putting his own stamp on the culture of the team. He is an excellent student and, even in only his second year, already a focused leader. Though we both put on the Spartan #4, I am already positive that when Marc is done at TWU, it will be his skill, passion and accomplishments that people remember when they think of ‘Howatson'."
While Marc is still far from being relegated to the annals of Spartan Athletics history, when that time does come it is clear that the Howatson brothers will not simply be remembered for the one who came first, but also for the one who came next and blazed a trail uniquely his own.
Last Updated: 2008-11-15