The Family Business: Will Powers

Princeton football fans appreciate it Will Powers. They are rooted Will Powers. They just don’t want to see Will Powers play it all often.

Don’t worry, he got it.

Powers was a two-time All-Ivy League player for the undefeated and nationally ranked Princeton Tigers. That’s four plays per game this season, or about one play per several hours of practice each week. But what really sets him apart is what he does with those few opportunities.

He knows how valuable a strong player is to a football team. He knows how valuable a strong punter is to this football team.

It runs in the family.

• • •

When Powers takes on Dartmouth this Saturday, it will be at Powers Field. This is not a coincidence. His father, William (Bill) Powers ’79, was an All-Ivy League player who donated $10.5 million to Princeton to fund the FieldTurf field at Princeton Stadium.

Bill Powers played a role in getting his son to Princeton, but it might not be the role you’d expect. The youngest of five children, Will says his father never forced him to choose his alma mater. He gave Will whatever fatherly guidance and advice he sought throughout the process, but the decision was always his son’s.

The father’s more direct influence came years earlier, when his son realized that the power of his kicks as a quarterback could translate well onto the football field. .

“When I started shooting and kicking in elementary school, he took me outside and we worked for hours, trying to get better at it,” he said. “He set a lot of records, and it was a good relationship with the competition. He pushed me because of what he did as a football player. It was special that they gave me advice based on what he did. “

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Will earned Adidas All American honors as a soccer player at Choate Rosemary Hall, and he spent many weekends playing his own game and then traveling with his father to games. Saturday Princeton. Those trips formed his personal bond with the program and current players, and it was that connection that led him to choose Princeton.

The relationship with colleagues was critical of Powers. He spent a year in high school fully investing in tennis, even traveling to Barcelona to train and compete. In the second year, he returned to the field.

“The individuality of the sport has no appeal to me,” Powers said. “Your wins and losses are independent, and it’s very lonely. The team aspect of football has always stuck with me, and I think that’s what brought me back to it.”

And in the end, it brought him to the Princeton team that has its final goal in 2022.

• • •

Most of us have kicked a ball and thought nothing of it. The margin of success for gamblers, however, is slim and requires dedication and skill. There are three things that Powers focuses on to achieve success in his career.

“The biggest thing is to be quick,” he said. “There are guys coming at us as fast as they can, especially on the flanks, so you have at least 2.2 seconds to avoid it. Secondly, the dribbling is very important. If he misses by a millimeter it, then I can get away from it. Two to three millimeters, you’re playing with fire. That drop should be the same every time that curve line is there. The third is the putt. You don’t want that ball there. middle of the field.”

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2.2 seconds. 2-3 millimeters. Placement on a particular side of the field. Your emergency guardian. Limited opportunities to do your job, and if you make a mistake, the blame falls on you.

It’s not that simple, is it?

However, Powers has been brilliant since getting his first job as a freshman. He averaged 40.9 yards per punt during his career, which would be the second best career mark in Princeton history. Of his 93 career points, 28 punted teams inside the 20, and 28 were caught. Seventeen is more than 17 meters.

The numbers are impressive, but what matters most is his impact on the team.

“You get a few opportunities every game, so you have to lock in to be a specialist in every game,” Powers said. “I have 119 other guys around me. Even though it’s a very independent position, I support my team. I think of my position as trying to help my team, as opposed to trying to hit long balls. I think of myself as I’m part of the team. I try to get them back as much as possible to help the defense.”

The impact is felt and felt.

“Will plays a position that may be underappreciated, but his impact every week is huge,” the coach said. Bob Surace said. “Not only did he change positions regularly when we were supported, but he did an outstanding job of pinning the opposition deep into his own territory.”

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Powers knows Surace believes in him, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to let him go every quarter. It’s an interesting move for punters with a strong and efficient offense. For all the preparation you put into your role, you know that the better your team is, the more limited your opportunities to play will be.

For example, on 4th and 1, Powers will be ready … but he won’t be out on the field waiting to catch Surace.

“4th and 4 would be a good marker for the purple zone as to whether or not he’s going to run it,” Powers said. “Between Ryan Butler and our offensive line, I have a lot of confidence that we can get those yards. I want my team to do well, but I put so many hours into my job that I want to get out there and do what I want to do. I don’t expect my team to lose first.”

“But if there’s a really big lead, I don’t mind another shot,” he added with a smile.

Powers, a public and international affairs major who became interested in business after his football career ended, has experienced many important leadership roles. He also experienced a 7-0 record in each of his three seasons as a starter. The 8-0 feeling has eluded him, and he wants nothing more than to get that experience this weekend.

“We’re focused on taking this one game,” Powers said. “The most important thing is to stay humble, but believe in why we are here.”

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