West Oktibbeha's Powell sets state mark for catches
West Oktibbeha's Drake Powell goes up to make one of his record-breaking catches against Weir. (Photo by Lee Adams, SDN)
West Oktibbeha football coach Adam Lowrey knew that wide receiver Drake Powell was doing something special.
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During the course of last Friday's 38-8 victory over Weir, Powell was making catch after catch after catch.
Powell ended up with 17 catches for 212 yards and caused Lowrey to do some research.
Lowrey contacted the Jackson Clarion-Ledger which keeps records on high school football and came to learn that Powell's 17 receptions was a state record.
"When I saw that every other pass was going to him, I thought good Lord, it has to be a record and then I called them and they said it was 17," Lowrey said. "I never really pay attention to the stats, but I noticed it later and it hit me all of a sudden that this might be a record because I counted them as I was watching the film."
Lowrey called Powell on Sunday after church and told his receiver about the possibility the 17 catches was a record.
"He believed I had broken it, but didn't want to get my hopes up," Powell said. "I kept it calm for a minute, then when I got to school, he told me that I really did break it. Our film coach had counted 17."
It was a break-out game for Powell in West Oktibbeha's offensive system. He only had 10 catches for 59 yards in the four previous games combined.
Now that Powell has shown what he can do on the field, he is pumped about the possibilities for the rest of the season.
"It's got me ready to play," Powell said.
Lowrey said Powell's success can be attributed solely on preparation.
In the three weeks leading up to the Weir game, Lowrey has observed Powell's commitment to work.
"He's practiced with nagging situations where he's had pain," Lowrey said. "When I first got to West, it wasn't like that. Any little thing would keep a kid from practicing, but when you have a kid like Drake who says it's more important for me to be here than to be at home or to be sitting on the sideline in my street clothes; and it's more important for me to be at practice, doing the drills than it is doing my own thing, then you've got a great ball player and it compliments his ability."
Lowrey said Powell is the fourth fastest receiver for the Timberwolves, but makes up for the lack of speed by perfecting other parts of his game.
Along with his work in the weight room, Powell makes sure he's in the right place at the right time on the field.
Lowrey brags on Powell's ability to run efficient routes.
"He's a great route-runner," Lowrey said. "A lot of times, he'll open himself up by just running routes alone."
Lowrey said Powell has developed into a great person and leader. His hands and feet have enabled him to become a good receiver.
"It's phenomenal how he can pick (his feet) up and put them down," Lowrey said. "In the drills we do, he's got some of the best feet."
West Oktibbeha takes records of 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Class A, Region 3, District 4 into the next game at Sebastopol on Friday.
Powell likes the way the Timberwolves are playing on both sides of the football and hopes the momentum from the Weir win can continue.
"If it wasn't for the defense and offense, we wouldn't be where we are," Powell said. "They really stepped up."