Mark Ovenden – KSFY/KDLT

Mark is a Boston native (Curt Gowdy was his first next door neighbor) who recently attended his 50th class reunion at Dover Sherborn HS. He attended The University of Richmond (VA) where he was Sports Editor of the Collegian. But it was his gift of gab that led to a career in broadcasting. He started his TV career as WTVR’s first weekend sports anchor his senior year in college.

WIFR in Rockford, IL was his first stop as Sports Director and he eventually made it to Sioux Falls where his first broadcast was September 11, 1978. While at KSFY the station gained rights to televise the boys and girls state basketball tournaments. Mark was also radio voice of the Augustana Vikings upon his arrival in Sioux Falls and eventually did USD football where the Coyotes made it to the DII title game in Florence, AL his final season in 1986.

In 1987 he started an advertising agency (Ovenden-Wheeler) in addition to continuing his TV career at KELO where calling State HS Football and Basketball games was a highlight.

Mark moved to KDLT in 1996 as Sports Director and remained in that capacity for 24 years before the creation of Dakota News Now when KDLT and KSFY merged. He has covered numerous NCAA tournaments and National Championships for local colleges in a variety of sports and even ventured west to Oregon back in 1999 with the Roosevelt girls basketball when they beat the best teams in the country to win a prestigious holiday tournament out of season.

On May 3, 2010 Mark and Mike Henriksen launched Calling All Sports, a daily radio show in 3 states that features local, regional and national guests, not limited to just sports. “George McGovern might be our all-time favorite guest on CAS.”

With 45 years in the state, Ovenden has become the most recognizable face of sports in South Dakota. He has hosted more TV sportscasts in the state than anyone in history. Also, Mark’s love of golf is well-known so reporting from the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine was among his favorite sporting events to cover!

Mark has won numerous awards for sportscasts over the years at all 3 stations and was recently inducted into the SD Sports Hall of Fame. He was also recipient of the Tom Brokaw Award for excellence in broadcasting. However Mark is most proud of his involvement with non profits like Make-A-Wish and Junior Achievement and several others during his 45 years in South Dakota.

The best part of his labor of love has been all the friends he’s made over the years while covering sporting events and creating so many great memories. And being there for all 3 of his sons games (mostly shooting for highlights) throughout their athletic careers was pretty cool as well!

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