Casey Powell has come a long way from being a West Carthage, New York kid with big dreams of lacrosse greatness. With a legendary career cemented in the record books of Syracuse University and Major League Lacrosse, No. 22 has managed to climb the ranks of the lacrosse greats and leave behind a legacy that continues to develop well after his final game.
“I first started playing when I was 11, my goal was to aim high. I wanted to be the best lacrosse player of all time.”
After debuting in the first MLL game in history in 2001, Powell has played for several teams in the league and accumulated a laundry list of accolades from league MVP to two Offensive Player of the Year awards. Even after accomplishing all of that, it was still hard to let go.“I had a really long career. It was pretty emotional to be honest with you. I gave it my all for many years and played for as long as I could,” said Powell, recalling his last game with the Launch just last year. Though Powell is nearly a year removed from the league, Powell’s standings in the MLL’s record books remains untouched, with 42 points standing between Powell and third place on the all-time scoring list.
But, even though it’s been nearly a full season since Powell has stepped foot onto the MLL stage, the accolades continue to roll in. Following historic record-setting careers at Syracuse University, in the NLL, and in the MLL, Powell will have his name permanently placed amongst the game’s best in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a member of the 2017 inductee class.
Despite this long list of accolades next to his name, Powell’s most prized accomplishment is the time he spent playing for the Florida Launch. “You know, living in South Florida and playing for the home team is certainly a dream come true,” said Powell, “I’m very lucky to play for the first Major League Lacrosse franchise [in Florida]. It was a great experience. I had an unbelievable time.”
A natural-born leader on the field, Powell’s experience and encouraging spirit left an impact on teammate Connor Buczek, who grew up watching Powell and his siblings. “I was a little star struck when I came into the locker room for the first time and hung out with Casey,” said Buczek, “I had watched him in the pro leagues, and I’d watched his brothers in college. It was a humbling experience for me to be on the field with one of my idols.”Powell’s leadership during Buczek’s rookie season made the transition from the college game to the major league’s an easy one for the Cornell product, who finished fourth in points for the Launch in 2015.
“Casey as a teammate was an absolute stud,” said Buczek, “For me, making that move from the college to the pros, it was a full jump, so a lot of guys have a learning curve. But, he really helped instill that confidence [in me] from day one.”Though his skills exemplify a level of lacrosse player’s dream of achieving, Powell hopes his legacy extends beyond goal scoring capabilities and finesse on the field.
“I always want to be known as an ambassador, somebody that’s passionate about it, both playing the game and leading by example,” says Powell, “I hope to be remembered as somebody that was a good example of how the game should be played, both on and off the field.”
With a jersey retirement on the horizon and a Hall of Fame ceremony in September, there’s no doubt that Powell is amongst the best and brightest lacrosse talents to step on the field. His reputation as a player and his status in the record books only serves as proof of Powell’s mark on the game of lacrosse.
“I don’t know if I’m the greatest lacrosse player of all time,” says Powell, “but I know I’ve left a mark on the game, and I’m certainly proud of that.”
Casey Powell returns to FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida this Saturday, July 15 where the Launch will retire his famous No. 22 at halftime. Tickets for the game are on sale at floridalaunchlacrosse.com. Meet and greet packages are also available by calling 561-923-9067.