Kara Hoffman/special to the Foothill Forum
Joel Powell III is more than just another football player – he’s a friend, brother, leader and possible future Div. I college football player.
Powell, a junior at Foothill High who has professional football aspirations, leads not only his teammates in perseverance, but takes the time and dedication to adapt his mind to the same attributes.
Despite the uncertainties of COVID-19 on sports, Powell still remains an inspiration and motivation for his fellow Foothill teammates.
“In all honesty, I don’t think I can name a better teammate than Jojo,” said Jaden Montano, a co-captain of the football team who plays middle linebacker and fullback. “He comes out to practice every day giving his 100% which ultimately pushes the whole team to go 100% because of the inspiration he is.”
Wide receiver and free safety Gregory Buchanan Jr, a senior, agrees.
“He’s the best teammate you could ask for,” Buchanan said, “He will push you to be better and make your time fun, you can’t even describe in words and say who he is because he is one of a kind.”
Though he inspires others, Powell receives his inspiration from the name that is his last. Being the third Joel Powell in a line of men that strive to push harder and better gives Powell the strength and ambition to desire more.
“The Powell legacy means to persevere through any obstacle that comes your way,” Powell said, “It’s a certain grit, grind and hustle behind the Powell name.”
Coming from generations of men and women who have come from terrible and run-down neighborhoods, but who have still managed to be very successful in their profession, pushes him to do more, to truly be the best that he can be. And football is where he found his dream profession.
“My dad and my cousin Joseph push me to play,” Powell said. “After my cousin died, I lost the passion for football for a little while. But I know he would want me to make it.”
And that’s just what Powell plans to do in achieving his goals to get through high school. Being the co-captain of the football team is already a great start for the young man as he adds more and more to his resume.
“My main goal right now is to graduate with at least a 3.7 (grade-point average) and go to a Div. I college. I also want to buy everyone in my family their dream car,” Powell added.
Montano, the senior co-captain with Powell, sees the dreams of his teammate becoming a reality.
“I see him accomplishing so much in life, not because of the athlete he is, but because of the person he is,” Montano said. “He’s someone who eats and sleeps school and football in order to reach his goals of becoming an NFL star. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my brother. And I know, six years from now I’ll be watching him ball out in the big leagues.”
Coach and science teacher, John Davis IV agrees.
“I can’t put a limit on what Joel can or can’t accomplish…” Davis said, “ I know he will be amazing at whatever it is he is destined to do, a young man with his talents and character will definitely succeed in life. As his coach, I am excited for what the future holds for him.”
Despite Covid-19 playing a large role in the cancellation of sports, this football season means the most to Powell for reasons beyond being noticed by scouts.
“I remember in eighth grade watching the high school games and could not wait to be a part of it, “ Powell said, “That time has come fairly quick so my guys and I have to show out.”
However, Powell is more than just a star athlete at Foothill. He’s a young man who takes the time to think beyond that of his own needs and stretches that concern to the people around him and in the classroom.
“He plays a big role on campus,” said Buchanan, the senior wide receiver and free safety. “He makes sure people are good before he makes his moves.”
Defensive back and wide receiver, Francisco Jimenez Lobato, a junior, agrees.
“I feel like I have somebody there for (me) that’s going to have my back at all times, somebody I can call my brother because he’s going to be there for me regardless…” Lobato said.
Powell plans to take his care for his peers on campus to the people of his community in his hometown of Sacramento.
“I want to open up more community centers for the youth, and I want to open up a school,” Powell said. “… My inspiration is to give back to Sacramento.”