By MO CRANKER on September 16, 2020.
The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education is making sure no one forgets the name Rick Boksteyn.
The board voted recently to change the name of Monsignor McCoy Football Field to Rick Boksteyn Field – carrying on the coach’s legacy forever.
“Rick was one of the first people I met when I started coaching,” said Colts head coach Darrell Grass. “He has been a solid figure and a huge part of this team for well over 30 years.
“I was able to get Rick out of retirement last year because I knew his character and I knew I wanted him around the team.”
Boksteyn was born and raised in the Hat. He attended St. Louis School, McCoy and Medicine Hat College. After retiring from sports, Boksteyn became a coach with the Colts for 36 years. He passed away earlier this year.
“He was a strong character,” said Grass. “He would never hold punches. He always said what needed to be said. He had a great relationship with the kids – he was always giving.
“He’s been around the team forever and he left his mark with everyone who came through the Colts program.”
Grass says there is no better name for the field.
“Rick spent so much of his life on this field,” he said. “He gave so much back to the kids.
“This is the perfect place to honour his legacy.”
Boksteyn was employed as a firefighter for 35 years and had recently retired. Rick was married to his wife Linda for 36 years. They had two sons and a daughter.
Jeney Gordon is a parent of two players who competed for the Colts last season. She says Boksteyn was an amazing man.
“Knowing the impact he had on kids, I just felt there should be commemoration for someone who gave back to the community,” she said. “As a coach, firefighter and person – Rick was so giving.
“When I think of Rick, I think of him at the field. I think his name is perfect for this.”
Gordon’s two boys played for the Colts last year under Boksteyn and learned a lot from him.
“If it wasn’t for Rick, my oldest son would have hung up his cleats last year,” she said. “Rick taught my boys that it wasn’t about the record, it was about integrity. It’s about who you are.”
A sign is in the works for the field to commemorate Boksteyn’s legacy but there is no timeline for a ceremony.
“We don’t want to rush anything,” he said. “We’re going to take our time and make sure everything is done well.”