Everyone at some point in their lives reaches an intersection. Whether or not they take a left or a right impacts the road they will travel down for the rest of their life. In high school Bedford native Tyvis Powell was deciding whether or not to continue to play sports.
“I was going to stop playing because there wasn’t nobody getting no scholarships for any sport,” Powell recalled. “So I said I am just wasting my time. I should just go ahead and get a job and get the new shoes to keep up with the fashion.”
There was a new football in coach at Bedford High School at the time, Sean Williams. He wanted to steer Powell in another direction.
“I just matter of factly told him, ‘Hey man you got the physical body to do it, if you are willing to do the work, I will put in the work with you and I promise you, you can get it,’” Williams recalled.
Powell followed Williams. Together they worked.
“Oh my God he tried to kill me,” Powell said jokingly. "He just pushed me really hard to see how tough I was mentally. He just wanted to see if I really wanted what I said I wanted. Apparently I did”
Powell received a scholarship to Ohio State. He went on to play for the Seattle Seahawks. And just recently he was signed by the Cleveland Browns. His high school coach, who saw the journey before Powell, knew where he was headed is proud of not only the places Powell has traveled but the fact that he’s never forgotten to come back home.
“It is a feeling that probably can’t be described because you see a kid work so hard and at the same time see a whole community change behind him,” Williams said. “Now everybody has a dream. Now everybody wants to do it. Everybody wants to achieve.”
Powell’s life could have been very different. His coach served as a compass. And now the young man, who once did not know which way to turn, knows exactly how to lead the way.
“Hard work, more hard work and more hard work, Powell explained. “I have got this quote that ‘You can’t be anything you want to be but you can be anything you work to be.’ and I just want to show that to kids -that no matter what people might tell you… If you really want it there is absolutely a way to get it done.”