Wake Forest Installs Soccer Video Board
Aug. 15, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--Wake Forest Athletics installed a state-of-the-art video board at Spry Stadium this month, featuring stats, instant replay and more.

An impressive $800,000 was raised for the video board, which will be named for the late Jack W. Owen II ('85).

Jack not only loved Wake Forest, but he was truly a Demon Deacon in every sense. During his time at Wake Forest, he was a passionate member of the University community; a physics major, member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a faithful attendee of Wake Forest sporting events.

Wake Forest cemented Jack's destiny when he met the love of his life, Amy Sanborn Owen ('83), and settled down after graduation to raise future Demon Deacons. Jack, along with his sister, Linda Owen Hanson ('81), helped create a family legacy at Wake Forest.

The Owen Family
The Owen Family
Two of Jack's children, Jack ('11) and Courtney ('14) both attended Wake Forest, while his other two children, Lindsay and Mark, remained Demon Deacons at heart, even while attending other universities. In addition, all three of Jack's nieces, Laura ('12), Beth ('15) and Kate ('20), also joined the Wake Forest community.

While Jack always bled Old Gold and Black, his love of Wake Forest Athletics grew even deeper when his daughter, Courtney, committed to playing soccer for the Deacs. Jack and his family thoroughly studied each season's schedule in an effort to maximize the number of games they could attend. Some of the most memorable moments for the family were watching the Wake Forest women's soccer team win an ACC Championship, as well as watching Courtney score the game-winning goal at an NCAA tournament game at Spry Stadium.

In the fall of 2014, Jack was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After valiantly fighting the battle for over two years, he joined many past Deacon faithful in April 2016.

After Jack's passing, the family contemplated different ways of honoring him. Based on Jack's love of Wake Forest and the deep connection between the family and the University, it became clear that they wanted to represent his dedication to the Deacs, knowing that's what he would have wanted.

Unsure of exactly what project they wanted to be involved with, the family reached out to the Deacon Club to determine what items were on the "wish list" and which would be the best fit. Throughout this process, and with a little help from Courtney who was working with the women's team at the time, the Owen family learned that the soccer teams had a video board on their wish list.

Once that option was discovered, the entire family agreed that a soccer video board would be the best way to honor Jack. "It seems like fate that we were able to find a project to help support the soccer teams after Jack spent many of his last years at Spry stadium watching Courtney play," Amy said.

Courtney recalls how Jack got to witness her first career goal, which was also the game winning shot, at an NCAA Tournament game at Spry Stadium. "He said this was one of the happiest moments of his life and I know he would want other parents to experience that same joy with their own kids," she remarked, "The video board seems like a great way to help promote that joy for so many."

The entire extended family, including Amy's brothers, Linda's sister, and mom, Charlotte, have worked together to raise the necessary funds to make the video board a reality. Between letters, emails and phone calls, countless people have stepped up to show their support for Jack and the Owen family. Linda reflects on the process, stating, "It is amazing and moving to see how much support we have gotten from family, friends and the entire Wake Forest community."

Additionally, an anonymous donor initiated a match to assist in the soccer video board effort. The Owen family is extremely grateful for that added support, which has helped make the project possible.

The Owen family found the perfect project to honor Jack, and Amy wants to help spread an important message to others looking to honor their loved ones. "I encourage you to seek out your options, as there are numerous projects available and different teams have wish lists that you can help get involved with."

The soccer video board will be installed for the upcoming 2017 season and everyone who donated in honor of Jack will have their name listed on a plaque that will be displayed at Spry Stadium. With the addition of the video board, Wake Forest will become the only NCAA school to have a 10-millimeter display for a soccer venue.

As the assistant coach of the Wake Forest women's soccer team, Courtney looks forward to experiencing the video board and plaque on a daily basis. "For me in particular, I feel like I'm the luckiest one in the family," she said. "I'll get to see the video board every day and it will be a daily reminder that he's still here and is looking out for us."
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