Borough should name SoHi’s new track after coach

Last month, one of the Peninsula’s most successful coaches, Mark Devenney, passed away while battling cancer. Coach Devenney led the SoHi Stars to six team state championships, four team state championship runner-up trophies, and numerous team Region 3 and Borough championships in track and field and cross country running. During his 14-year tenure, SoHi Stars also won 66 individual state championship medals in 44 events, and three of those state champions still hold Alaska state records.

We believe SoHi’s new track and field facility should be named in memory of Coach Devenney, and we are writing in hopes of starting a dialogue in the Peninsula community. We are former Stars, and we know firsthand that the reach of Coach Devenney’s influence extends far beyond the track. Coach Devenney used track and field and cross country running as a tool to teach young people enduring lessons like the importance of self-confidence, making sacrifices in the service of others, and approaching adversity and hard work with courage. He taught these lessons by example, devoting innumerable hours to the development of young people in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

By naming the new track and field facility in his honor, the Borough would show its support for individuals who devote themselves to the good of the community the way Coach Devenney did. It would also stand as a constant reminder of our small community’s ability to compete and succeed. For these reasons, we believe the Borough should honor Coach Devenney and the ideals he stood for by naming the new facility in his memory. We invite those interested in joining our efforts to email for more information on how to help.


Rachel Jones, Milica McDowell, Lani McLane, Joel Mahaffey (Alaska state record holder), Joel Knight (Alaska state record holder), Owen Ala, Sarah Histand, Ari Goldstein, Rachel Goldstein, Annie (Dougherty) Friesema, Adrienne (Dougherty) Coleman, Drew Coleman