RHS graduate featured in sports book

| June 1, 2014

COSHOCTON – We all have talents and sometimes we can use them in ways we never imagined.

Ridgewood High School graduate Anna Powell learned that during her senior year.

Powell was a soccer player for Ridgewood, but during her senior year (2012-2013) she ended up using her talents to help the football team out of a jam and her story is featured in Frank Agin’s book, “Chase Greatness – Life Lessons Revealed Through Sports.”

“This was really unexpected,” said Powell, who now attends The Ohio State University. “I know it’s unusual for a girl to be on a football team, but when it was occurring I didn’t think too much about it becoming a book.”

Ridgewood’s football team lost its starting kicker to an injury and no one on the team impressed coaches when they held a tryout. Athletic director, Alan Keesee, was watching the tryouts and decided to stop girls soccer coach Casey Claxon, who was getting ready for a home soccer game, and ask him if he had anyone who could kick.

“I told him, ‘Sure this one right here,'” said Claxon about Powell. “He told the (football) coaches he was sending them a kicker. It’s one thing to go out there and kick footballs, but she had to do it in front of all her teammates and the entire football team.”

Powell nailed her first attempt and didn’t miss until the coaches had backed her up to almost 40 yards.

“It was like everything stopped in time to see how it would unfold,” Claxon said. “I was proud of her and so were all of her teammates and the football team.”

After that tryout, she became the first female to play varsity football for Ridgewood.

“I dressed and went to five games and stepped on the field for three,” Powell said. “I did point afters and attempted one field goal for the last game.”

She got a few surprise looks at football games, but was always treated like part of her own team and made quite a few friends.

“It was a really great experience,” Powell said. “We never really had a large turnout for our soccer games so running under the bleachers and out on the field for football really got the adrenaline going. The best part though was just being able to be a part of and contribute something to the football team. That’s a big part of small towns and it was cool to be helpful.”

Agin found her story to be quite unique.

“In researching the book, I stumbled on lots of stories,” he said. “There are many two-sport athletes. While laudable, it is not unique. Anna’s story, however, was about a young woman crossing over into a traditional male sport and not just being the “token girl” but actually contributing.”

He learned about Powell’s story from Claxon, when the pair were at a meeting together.

“He asked me what I was up to and I shared with him that I was occupied writing an eighth book,” Agin said. “I then shared with him the gist of the book – a series of inspiring sports stories from obscure athletes and events. with that, he said, ‘You have got to let me tell you about one of my players – Anna Powell.'”

Her story is chapter 11 in the book and is called, “Awesome Kick – You have wonderful talents. Use them wherever you can add value.”

“To elaborate, we all have talents,” Agin said. “Accounting. Teaching. Fixing stuff. And we all use our talents. Some of us use them in our hobbies and others use them in our vocation. Whatever the case, we should not assume that our talents are only useful for one particular job or activity. We need to open our mind and share our talents with those around us. Use your accounting talent to help a small charitable organization. Teach in the school system, but share that talent with Sunday school or tutoring. It is that extra effort that people will recognize us for.”

Numerous other stories like Powell’s can be found in the 178 page book, which is available on Amazon.

“The list price is $12.95, but I believe Amazon has it discounted to $10.25,” Agin said. “For someone looking to get 10 or more copies, I can work through the publisher to get them for $7.50 per copy (which would include shipping).”

Powell hopes that those who read the book can learn something from her story.

“Just because something isn’t considered normal don’t be discouraged from doing it,” she said. “Also don’t let other people’s opinions influence you. Do what you think you should do because it should payoff in the long run.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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  1. Dale Wilson says:

    How would she take a shower after the game since both locker rooms would be filled