Powelson, a Carroll Sports Hall of Famer, dies at 77

Powelson, a Carroll Sports Hall of Famer, dies at 77
In this file photo, Ed Powelson shares a laugh while visiting with the over 200 people that attended the dedication of Powelson Field at North Carroll High School September 11, 2009. (KEN KOONS/TIMES FILE PHOTO)

North Carroll High School honored Ed Powelson six years ago by naming its stadium field after the man who devoted almost all of his adult life to high school sports in Hampstead, and several county sports figures attended the ceremony.

One of them was George Wunder, a 1992 North Carroll grad and longtime basketball coach at Century High. He wanted the people in attendance to know how much Powelson impacted his life, and many others, as a coach, athletic director, and role model.


"No one ever cared about North Carroll more," Wunder said that day, "than Mr. Powelson."

Powelson, one of Carroll County's more recognizable sports figures, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

Powelson coached boys soccer at North Carroll for more than 30 years and finished his coaching career with 274 wins — the most in state history for a public school coach when he retired in 1995 — to go with 46 combined county, conference and regional championships.

He was inducted into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, and later this week North Carroll will begin its seventh fall sports season with games played on Powelson Field.

Troy Warehime, North Carroll's athletic director, spoke during a ceremony in 2006 when Powelson became the first member of NC's sports hall of fame. Three years later, he spoke again at the Powelson Field dedication ceremony.

Warehime is planning to say some words about Powelson later this week at one of Powelson's memorial services.

"This time won't be so easy," Warehime said. "He was my hero."

Powelson hailed from Ridgeley, West Virginia, graduated from Fairmont State College in 1959, and came to Carroll County in 1961, when he took a job teaching physical education at Hampstead elementary and middle schools. He declined an offer to become a PE teacher at North Carroll High the following year. When it was offered again the next year, he accepted.

"I figured they wouldn't ask three times," Powelson said in a 1997 Times article.

Powelson coached track and field, basketball, and soccer to start, then added gymnastics to his resume. He also inherited athletic director duties, even though such a position didn't really exist back then.

"I was the only coach," Powelson said in the 1997 article. "And you did all the scheduling, you did everything, even though we weren't called athletic directors and we didn't get paid a cent for any of it, which was fine.

"That wasn't a problem because that wasn't why you get in teaching or coaching. You were in it for the love of it."

Powelson's boys soccer teams won 20 county titles between 1961 and 1988 and enjoyed a 46-game winning streak. He stepped away from coaching in 1995, and left his post as athletic director in 1997, wrapping up a teaching and coaching career that spanned four decades.

"He taught kids, he taught their parents, and he might have taught a few of their grandparents," Warehime said.


Powelson helped introduce the athletic trainer program to Carroll in the 1980s; he helped form the Monocacy Valley Athletic League in 1972 and the Central Maryland Conference in the '80s; and he was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Director Hall of Fame in 1998.

"They sort of broke the mold with Ed," said Jim Rodriguez, Carroll's supervisor of athletics, at the 2009 field-naming ceremony. "It's about how many people he touched and the life lessons he gave them beyond the field."

When North Carroll's football team had the first home playoff contest in its history last fall, Powelson was on hand to take part in the pre-game coin flip.

He was already into his fight against prostate cancer at the time, but Powelson rarely missed a sporting event at either North Carroll or Manchester Valley.

His daughter, Denean Koontz, is North Carroll's field hockey coach. His son-in-law, Bernie Koontz, coaches basketball at Manchester Valley.

Denean Koontz said it served her father well during a difficult time being able to watch the Panthers' field hockey team win the last two Class 1A state championships, with his granddaughter Jensyn Koontz as a standout.

"He doesn't know any other way," Denean Koontz said. "He kept fighting until the day he passed away. The most important thing to my father ... was his family. For him to be able to spend the past [few] years with them, and to see all of those things, was very, very special."


Funeral arrangements

Visitation for Ed Powelson is scheduled for 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Eline Funeral Home, 934 S. Main St., Hampstead.

The funeral is 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church, 2930 Hanover Pike, Manchester.