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New Student Powers Bucs’ Football Team

Brandon+Powell++looks+to+stiff+arm+a+defender+during+the+Bucs%27+28-14+win+over+Westminster+Academy+on+October+4.
Brandon Powell  looks to stiff arm a defender during the Bucs' 28-14 win over Westminster Academy on October 4.

Brandon Powell looks to stiff arm a defender during the Bucs' 28-14 win over Westminster Academy on October 4.

Mr. Crisafi

Mr. Crisafi

Brandon Powell looks to stiff arm a defender during the Bucs' 28-14 win over Westminster Academy on October 4.

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Last year, Benjamin’s seventh/eighth-grade football team was 1-5. This year, the team is 5-1. Usually, dramatic turnarounds can be attributed to a new crop of players, which seems to be the case this year. One player, in particular, has had a profound impact on the Bucs’ football team: eighth grader Brandon Powell.  Powell, a running back and outside linebacker who transferred from Watson B. Duncan Middle School over the summer, had three consecutive games in which he scored four touchdowns this year. Overall, he had 16 touchdowns and more than 800 yards over the team’s five games this season (one game was a forfeit by Calvary Christian).

His production has translated to wins on the field, and his teammates have definitely taken notice. “He’s so big and fast. He’s also just stronger than everybody. It’s almost unfair,” said eighth grader Matthew Roundtree.

“Brandon’s definitely the best player on the team,” said fellow eighth Sai Chigurupati.

Some of Powell’s other teammates believe it’s his hard work that sets him apart.

“He hustles and he always puts [forth] extra effort,” said seventh grader Connor Keenan. “He doesn’t complain, [and] he shows true emotion.”

It can often be difficult for new students to fit in at new schools, but, fortunately that hasn’t been the case for Powell.

“It was pretty easy to make friends since I became close with the football team quickly,” he said. “After that, they introduced me to their friends, so now I have a lot of friends.”

Mr. Crisafi
Powell makes his presence felt on defense, too. Here, he stuffs a Lions runner during the team’s win over Westminster Academy.

When he’s not socializing with other TBS students, Powell, who is  5’8.5″ and 160lb. can be found working on his game. “Usually, I will first go to the beach to do footwork drills on the ladder,” said Powell, referring to an apparatus comprised of a series of squares that lies on the ground, allowing players to improve their foot speed and agility. “I also strength train by benching 150 pounds,” he said. “When I train specifically for football, I do angle-for-tackling drills with my older brother.”

While Powell knows that strength, speed, and form training are important, he also sees cross training as an integral factor. “During the off-season, I do track to stay in shape, and in past years I’ve played basketball,” said Powell. “I’m also considering playing lacrosse this year.” Powell draws inspiration from his favorite player – two-time Super Bowl winner and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who played his entire career as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. “[Ray Lewis] would just outtrain the other players,” said Powell. “He was also just fun to watch.”

However, most of Powell’s motivation stems from the loss of his mother. “When I was eight, my mom passed and it was really hard on me,” he said, “but football helped me get through that time, so now when I don’t feel great, I just go out and train.”

Powell’s love for the game and drive to be the best he can be has had a profound impact on the team’s success this year. Roundtree, one of the four returning players from last year, noticed the considerable difference. “Last year I never really went into a game thinking we would win. This year, I don’t know how we even lost one.”

The coaches also know what a special player Powell is. “Brandon provides eighth-grade confidence we just haven’t had in past years,” said Head Coach Mr. Gregory Keller. “He’s hard-nosed, blue-collared, and very competitive. He really changed the team’s dynamic and all around feel.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “New Student Powers Bucs’ Football Team”

  1. Vonnie Stephens on October 13th, 2017 3:21 pm

    My grandson Brandon. Well always be #my blessing is on his life to always be a winner .

    [Reply]

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New Student Powers Bucs’ Football Team