With the number of individual achievement awards and championship rings Johnny Powless has accumulated, as well as high profile award nominations, it’s hard to believe he is still only 21-years-old with a long career still ahead of him.
His most recent acquisition is the Frank Thomlin Memorial Award as Brantford’s Sportsperson of the Year, which he received last Wednesday night at the Brantford Golf and Country Club.
The polite and mild-mannered young man was his usual humble self upon receiving the award. It’s an honour he now shares with marathon runner Krista DiChene, last year’s winner; New Jersey Devils’ Adam Henrique; “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky; rugby star Aaron Carpenter; Olympic swimmer Julie Howard; Olympic badminton player Mike Beres; Olympic runner Kevin Sullivan; NFL Football player Nick Kuczur; pro golfers David Hearn and Jennifer Kirby; and motorcycle racer Jordan Szoke, among others. Powless is the first Six Nations resident to win the honour.
Last year alone, Powless helped secure national championships with the Minto Cup-winning Six Nations Arrows Express, Jr. A lacrosse club, the Mann Cup Champion-winning Six Nations Chiefs Sr. A franchise, and the National Lacrosse League’s Champions Cup with the Rochester Knighthawks, although he had to sit out that Championship game with the broken hand.
This year he was also nominated for the Lou Marsh Trophy, which is awarded annually to Canada’s top athlete as chosen by a selected panel of national journalists.
Powless was traded by the NLL Knighthawks to the Vancouver Stealth during off season, where he is making an immediate impression with 5 goals and 14 assists in five games.
In 2013, he won the NLL Champions Cup and the Sr. Men’s Mann Cup, but missed out of the Minto.
Powless showed great promise at an early age but still had to work hard to develop his natural talent. It’s hared to believe it now, but as a 16-year-old, JP was cut from the Six Nations Jr. B Rebels.
That is when he learned that raw talent alone will only take you so far, and began taking lacrosse more seriously.
Looking back, he says he believes that slap in the face was exactly what he needed to set him on his present course as one of the finest young players in the game today.
Powless is conscious of the role model he is to younger players coming up behind him, including his three younger siblings, Sidney, Marshall and Kalen, also lacrosse players.
It was especially rewarding that Johnny’s cousin Kyleigh Farmer won the Adrian Scherders Memorial Award for Sportsmanship and Dedication.