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Powell set records, but entertained, too

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Mikey Powell continued the tradition of success his older brothers, Casey and Ryan, forged on the lacrosse fields of Carthage High School and Syracuse University.


But it was the manner in which he did so that set him apart from the rest of his family.


It was nothing out of the ordinary to see Mikey whip a behind-the-back shot for a goal, or feed his teammates with repetitive no-look passes. He even unveiled a front-flip, playing for SU in 2004, before lacing a shot during a game against Massachusetts.


Powell always seemed to be having fun on the field.


"I think sports is getting away from being entertainment. ... I'd rather watch an 8-0 game where some guy scores between his legs. That's what sports are. It's supposed be entertaining, guys out there having a blast," he said in a Times story in 2004, his senior year with Syracuse.


That type of approach made Powell, a 2000 Carthage central graduate, one of the most productive, and likely most popular athlete to play the sport.


He netted 150 goals and 157 assists for 307 points and a pair of national championships during his SU career. He still holds the Orange's career record for points, ahead of Casey and Ryan, who each tallied 287.


In the championship seasons of 2002 and 2004, Powell won the Tewaarton Trophy, given to college lacrosse's top player, to become the first two-time winner of the award. He was a four-time All-American, and was also selected the top attacker in Division I four times.


His high school career was equally as successful. He buried 197 goals and assisted on 301 others to finish with 498 points, second behind Casey, who finished with 553 (292-261). The two are also first and second in the state record book, according to the NYSPHSAA.


Powell closed out his time with the Comets by leading them to the Class B state championship game in 2000, and finished with two goals and four assists in the 18-15 loss to undefeated Garden City. Powell graduated owning state records for points in a season (194 in 2000), points in a game (15 in 2000), and most assists in a season (120 in 1999) — all of which still stand. He is second in career assists with 299.


Major League Lacrosse called in 2005, and Powell continued to produce championships. He had 44 points (27-17) during that rookie year, helping the Baltimore Bayhawks to the MLL title. He was traded to Boston prior to the 2007 season, and he played for the Cannons for two years, bringing his MLL totals to 125 points (72-53).


But Powell's passion for the sport he helped popularize eventually dwindled, and a 2007 editorial at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com questioned his commitment to the league. While he competed in all-star festivities in 2008, it was his final year on the field.


But he is still in the business of entertaining. These days, Powell is more likely to be seen slinging a guitar over his shoulder than waving a lacrosse stick. This summer he kicked off a 40-city, 21/2 month music tour, and his most recent CD, "Replevin" was released in May. More information on Powell's music and tour is available at www.politerebel.com and www.mikeypowell.com.


Powell's self-written bio on his Twitter page hints that his lacrosse days may be over. "I used to be a professional lacrosse player, until I decided to pursue my real passion ... songwriting," he wrote. "I am now a traveling musician and happier than ever."


To read about previous selections to the Times' list of The North Country's Greatest Athletes of All Time, log on to www.watertowndailytimes.com

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