Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tragic Death to Souderton Grad

Today, I'd like to take a moment out of my day to venture away from the Phillies for just a minute here and focus on something much, much more serious. Today, I was informed that former Souderton High School standout running back Ronnie Powell passed away on Monday.

Powell graduated in 2007 and played football at Tennessee State last year, before returning home. Powell's younger brother, Justin, is a senior running back for Souderton and, much like Ronnie, a very talented player. The death is a tragic blow to the Powell family and the Souderton community.

In another life, I was a sportswriter working at a small, local newspaper. I grew up in Philadelphia until I was 8 years old and then moved to Bucks County. Upon graduation from high school, I took a terrible job outside of sports and decided I needed to do something I truly loved. So I quit, and a few months later started covering high school sports.

Last year, I had the privilege of covering Souderton High School. Unfortunately for me, I did not get a chance to see Ronnie Powell play. He had already graduated and was at Tennessee State. But I did hear quite a bit about him, and I got to know his younger brother Justin, who was an integral part of Souderton's team last year.

This news completely stunned me, and I am saddened to hear it. During my time covering sports, I never dealt with a community as understanding, passionate and caring as Souderton. The parents, students, fans and coaches were all tremendous to deal with, and they all truly cared about what happened to the kids. No one exemplified this better than Souderton's head football coach, Ed Gallagher, and it shows in his compassion for his team, his players, his community and especially Justin Powell. From the Intelligencer:

“Ronnie was at Tennessee State and then decided to come home,” Souderton head football coach Ed Gallagher said. “He was a great kid and this has just been very tough.”

“I'm very concerned about Justin and his family,” Gallagher said. “He had a really good relationship with Ronnie, and this is all just very difficult.”

Gallagher talked with his team after school Monday and then cancelled practice.

“Some of the older guys played with Ronnie and some of the younger players had older brothers who did,” Gallagher said. “It's tough for everyone.”

It's tragic any time a young person dies. RIP Ronnie Powell.

1 comment:

  1. very nice passage im a former souderton football player and cousin of ronnie powell he his missed every day and will never be forgotten at souderton, he was by far the most electricfying and fastest runningback to ever play for souderton. truth #26