Collier County District All-Stars
Each month Collier County Public Schools select district high school All-Stars to recognize for either being leaders on and off the field of play or for being up-and-rising stars. The Naples Daily News will sit down with some of these student-athletes so you can meet the county’s honorees.
Sam Powell is a sophomore dual-sport standout for Golden Gate, starring in football and basketball. On the gridiron, Powell appeared in 12 games at quarterback, where he passed for 1,238 yards and 17 touchdowns with just four interceptions. For the Titans’ hoops squad, Powell is a scoring threat averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game, with 5.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. The Naples Daily News sat down with Powell to learn more about the rising recruit.
Question: What are some of your goals that you’re using sports to help you achieve?
Powell: My No. 1 goal for sports is to make it to college and play Division I football or basketball. That’s my No. 1 goal right now. And that’s about it. I don’t want to play both at the same time, whichever one just gives me a better opportunity. I probably want to study business, but that’s the only thing I’ve looked at so far.
Q: What’s been your favorite memory as a Titan?
Powell: My favorite memory was this football season when we beat Naples. It’s just the fact that we made history as the first time that Golden Gate has been beaten Naples, I believe. And it was the first time in like 20 years that they’ve lost their home to a Collier County team.
Q: What’s something you’ve learned as a dual-sport athlete?
Powell: It’s really hard, it’s really time-consuming. If don’t give it your all, there’s no point in doing both because it’s a lot of time and money. You have to make sure that you’re 100% committed to both sports or else there’s really no point in playing both.
Q: Do you have any advice for incoming varsity athletes?
Powell: Probably just, No. 1 being on top of schoolwork. And just trying to just somehow set yourself apart from the other kids. Just trying to work hard and work harder than everybody, that’s what sets you apart from everyone else.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you’ve overcome while at Golden Gate?
Powell: I’d say probably going into the season, no one really had high expectations for Golden Gate. Because it was just a chip on our shoulder to play with. And it was just a very challenging season with everything that happened and we just had to push through it. And we ended up winning the CCAC, I think that was very challenging.
Q: Do you have a favorite pro sports team or athlete?
Powell: I would say the Patriots. I just like the legacy they have. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady had a great run, Tom Brady’s one of my favorite players of all time. And then my favorite player, currently, I’d say Josh Allen. He’s just a big guy. He can run it. He has a huge arm. And he was kind of he’s kind of doubted too, he’s got a chip on his shoulder because he didn’t have any offers going into college. And Wyoming ended up calling him giving him a chance and then he exceeded expectations and now he’s playing in a playoff game at home.
Q: Do you have a favorite class or subject?
Thomas: My favorite class is math because it’s very challenging. But when you know how to do it it’s really fun.
Q: What’s your go-to pregame music?
Powell: My teammates like to listen to NBA Youngboy, but personally I like the Migos. In particular, one of their songs called ‘Stir Fry’.
Q: What does a normal pregame meal look like for you?
Powell: If it’s basketball pretty much junk food like McDonald’s. For football, the offensive coordinator’s mother has a diner. So she brings in like pasta, garlic bread, stuff like that. And it’s a really good meal.