Ontario Prospect Challenge follow-up profile: Mark Stephens

Ontario Prospect Challenge follow-up profile: Mark Stephens


2014-15 information coming soon


GAME BROADCAST: Live on Canadafootballchat.com & ROGERS TV

Position: DE
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 220 lbs
Teams: Metro Toronto Wildcats VR.
Commitment: N/A Official Visits: N/A
Consideration: N/A Class: 2015

The Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) meant something different to each player participating.

For some, the OPC meant a chance to get their toes wet playing among the best football players of their age group. For others, it was more than that, a chance to make a statement. For some, it was a learning experience, part of a process.

For defensive end Mark Stephens, the OPC was a chance to find out where he stands among the best in the “Varsity” class, made up of high school seniors.

Stephens is up front about how much he was able to learn in such a short period of time.

The best part, he maintains, “Was being able to play with and be around other high level athletes and learn from them,” he said, hoping that it allowed him to improve his overall game.

For Stephens, the OPC wasn’t about the individual, but rather playing and learning from new, highly skilled teammates, something he insists, “Enriched the experience.”

What the young defensive end took away most from the experience was the need to elevate his level to match the best in the province.

For the dominant athletes who partook in the OPC, excelling among the best was an entirely different challenge than impressing with their individual clubs.

“I learned that in order to be a standout amongst a group of standouts you have to push yourself every rep you get in order to show coaches and other teammates your commitment to the game and to your team,” he said.

Playing with these elite players, he concludes, helped him to embrace the competition and not back down or be afraid of it.

Through it all, while Stephens is thankful for the opportunity he had to learn from his peers, his focus is steadfast on becoming his own player.

Rather than modeling his game after someone else, Stephens says he likes to model his game after a better version of his self, allowing him to keep his goals realistic and improve incrementally.

“I feel as if trying to model your game after someone changes the frame in mind of which you play,” he says, asserting that trying to play like someone else brings with it too much pressure.

This summer, Stephens just wants to dedicate himself to staying fit and active off the field, while representing the Metro Toronto Wildcats on it.

Stephens hopes this preparation will enable him to help lead his high school football team to a championship, something he admits they aren’t known for or overly enthusiastic about.

He hopes to help get people excited about school football and increase school spirit in the process before returning to the OPC next year to continue to learn and “become an even better player.”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply