PREP FOOTBALL

Munster's versatile Nick Powell a 'Pied Piper' to younger teammates

2013-11-07T17:30:00Z 2013-11-08T23:06:07Z Munster's versatile Nick Powell a 'Pied Piper' to younger teammatesAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
November 07, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

MUNSTER | Nick Powell doesn't know what all the fuss is regarding his Eagle Scout approach to life.

As the selfish "Me Generation" shows no signs of fizzing out, Munster's senior tight end/outside linebacker continues putting the needs of others first.

"I feel the more you give, the more you get back," Powell said.

There's that gentleman in Lansing, in his late 40s, who has cancer. Powell cuts his lawn.

There's the work he and teammates do with seventh-graders, helping them become familiar with the high school program.

And Powell loves to introduce youngsters to the outdoors, taking them fishing whenever possible.

"I'll go all over Northwest Indiana," he said. "I've taught my cousins, my girlfriend's little brother. If a kid at school wants to go fishing, I like to introduce people to stuff like that.

"I find a lot of peace there."

And he plays some darn good football, too. What a combination.

"Very community-minded, a great kid with a great blue-collar work ethic," said coach Leroy Marsh. "You'd like to have your daughter date Nicky Powell.

"The kids who work hard and are leaders bring those kids of questionable talent up a level. And all of a sudden, they're following 'em like the Pied Piper."

Munster (7-3) plays host to the Mishawaka Cavemen (8-3) in tonight's Class 5A Sectional 9 championship.

The Mustangs' last sectional title was in 1996; Mishawaka in 2012.

Win or lose, Powell's game plan for life won't change.

"If someone needs help, I'm the kinda person who'll go and help them rather than sit around and watch," he said. "Even if guys on the team need it, I'll intervene and say: 'Hey, you wanna talk?'"

Powell calls this team "the best group of guys I've ever been around" and says they never grow tired of each other, considering how much time they spend together.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound (that's a push) Powell is tied for second in total tackles (54), has four sacks and a 26-yard interception return.

His toughness extends off the field and into the weight room, where he benches 275 pounds, power cleans 240 and squats 400.

"We have such a bond on this team. I play for the guy next to me and he plays for me," said Powell. "I really like that."

Marsh also is no fan of the "Men Generation," saying when you have that, it's not a team, but a club, a group.

"They've all got to buy in together and hang in together," he said. "That's the only way you can be successful.

"Nicky's got everything going for him. He's a good student, a good kid, a good football player who seldom leaves the field.

"He's hard-nosed, always in the right place, never makes a mistake. No matter what we ask him to do, we can count on him," Marsh said.

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