Brother Rice wrestler Shon Powell heads to individual state final
February 26, 2014
BIRMINGHAM — It was tough for Shon Powell to watch his teammates on the wrestling mat.
After suffering a separated shoulder in the football state playoffs as a running back for Birmingham Brother Rice, the senior was forced to sit out the first half of the wrestling season.
“It was tough, because I was sitting down thinking about how hard it would be to come back without being in wrestling shape,” Powell said. “It was different because I didn’t come straight from football. I was just thinking about the consequences for later, but I think I’m on the right track making up for the time I missed.”
Since returning in mid-January, Powell has made the most of his time. He’s 13-0 overall and heading to the Division 1 state final Feb. 27 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Powell is a four-time state qualifier, making him only the second wrestler at Rice to ever accomplish that feat.
As a sophomore, he finished third; as a junior he was seventh. This time around, he hopes to finish on the top step of the podium.
“This is my last go at it. In my eyes, I haven’t accomplished the goal that I wanted. I wanted to be a multi-state champion. It hasn’t happened, so I figure I might as well try to get at least one,” Powell said. “Last year, I said it, but … it was kind of like an empty dream. But this year, I said it, I believe it, and I’m confident. That’s always been the sight: not to just come back healthy, but to come back healthy and win.”
Though missing much of the season was hard and didn’t allow him to condition on the mat, it wasn’t all for loss, according to coach J. Scott Moseley.
“I think it’s given him a sense of what’s important — to be a student of the sport, to watch his teammates,” Moseley said. “Shon is one of those wrestlers where everyone is watching him, and he’s such a leader that, a lot of time, he’s instructing lesser-skilled wrestlers, like an assistant coach. With the injury, it kind of gave him a chance to watch, focus and watch film on the guys that he had an idea he might run into at the state meet.”
Powell has high expectations, but is also keeping perspective knowing that he’s leaving a legacy at Rice, with a state title or not. Currently, he’s third in the all-time wins category and can move into second with two wins at the tournament.
“If I didn’t win states, it wouldn’t be a big disappointment, because I know that at the end of the day, my dad is still going to love me,” Powell said with a smile. “There’s no real outside pressure or internal pressure, it’s just something that I want and want for myself.”
While this is Powell’s last high school tournament, he’s continuing his wrestling career at either the University of Michigan, Michigan State University or Northern Illinois University.
“The thing is now, the door is there, but once you go through that door, you can’t get back in; it’s one-way only. This is the last opportunity,” Moseley said, adding that two former state champions are also in the bracket. “Shon knows that to accomplish what he set out to, he’s going to have to have the tournament of his life.
“But when you talk about Shon, I don’t really put Shon and upset in the same sentence.”