Delby Powless carries on family’s lacrosse legacy

When the tradition starts, who is going to step up to carry it on?
Delby Powless has always been one to step up and carry on traditions, whether they are family or athletic based, the Powless name has a knack for making things happen in the game of lacrosse. Powless was the winner of the Tom Longboat award as the top Aboriginal athlete of the year for 2003.
“That was cool. I thought that meant more to my family than anything,” the 5’6″ attack player said. “My uncle Ross [Powless] and Gaylord [Powless] had both won that award and they had both recently passed away, it was a big deal for my family. [It was] a tribute to them and to carry on the legacy for the Powless name, which was kind of nice to hear.”
After high school, Powless travelled south of the border to Herkimer College, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III team that won the regional title for 17 straight years. Powless helped the Herkimer Generals win two more regional titles while being scouted by Division One teams including his eventual home, Rutgers University.
Rutgers was ranked 32nd in the country for their lacrosse program prior to Powless’ arrival. In the two seasons, Powless led the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 32 goals and four helpers for 36 points in his freshman season. The team finished 10-5, ranked eighth in 2003, their first winning record since 1999.
In his first year with Rutgers, Powless caught the attention of Sports Illustrated editors when he scored seven goals in one game against Navy in a 13-8 win on March 15, 2003. Powless duplicated the seven goal feat against Quinnipiac in a 17-4 romp the following year on March 17, 2004 to earn him offensive player of the week. The Scarlet Knights ended the season seventh in the NCAA for 2004. Powless finished his second season with a team-high 31 goals and seven assists for 38 points to earn him All-American honours.
A rule stating that an NCAA player can only participate in four years of a sport, prompted the 24 year-old to move closer to home. The move benefited both Powless and the Brock Badgers’ men’s lacrosse squad.
“Honestly, I was just trying to finish my education closer to home,” Powless said. “My cousin, Ken [Montour], told me that this was a nice place. He said if you want to play a little lacrosse, Brock was a nice place to do it. It was close to home so I figured I’d come here to finish up my education.”
Powless now joins a program that has a tradition of winning the Baggataway Cup, emblematic of the Ontario University Field Lacrosse Association (OUFLA) champions. The Badgers have won two consecutive Cups and are undefeated in 29 straight games. Most games are not even close, which presents a challenge to head coach Dan Pilon.
“Adding Delby to the mix, what can I say, what a player, what a talent,” said Pilon. “He gives us more depth to our roster.”
“Here [at Brock] it is just a little bit more laid back,” Powless said. “The talent level here is pretty good though. So far at Brock, I haven’t even been involved in a close game yet.”
Powless has always dreamed about playing in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and this year he expects to be drafted near the top of the first round. The draft will be held via conference call on Oct. 26.
“I’m not really picky on where I go. I’ve always wanted to play in that league since I was a little kid. Wherever I get picked, that is where I will go.”
The 11-city NLL and Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association came to a three year agreement a few weeks ago that will ensure the league will be playing this year during the National Hockey League (NHL) lockout.
“If there ever was an opportunity for the NLL to get big, it is this year. Hopefully it will get big. Some day it would be nice to actually make a living off of lacrosse. But it is probably going to take a little while.”
Powless looks to have his head on straight as he plans to go on to teacher’s college once he graduates from Brock University. Powless has a long-term goal to work with kids. He enjoys teaching kids the game of lacrosse. Powless ran a lacrosse camp this past summer at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, which happens to be in his father, Delby Powless Sr.’s, backyard.
“I ran a lacrosse camp this summer,” Powless said. “I love working with the little kids on the reserves. It would be nice if all of the Native American kids learn about the game at least.”
Whether it is in a classroom or on the lacrosse field, Powless is there to carry on the tradition while leaving a legacy for others to follow.

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>