When I think of Cleveland, one of the main people I always think of is Coach Powe. With that big smile, big belly and the pipe he smoked, there was no mistaken who Powe was when he walked into the room.
Many friends I knew played softball and baseball under him at Cleveland High School. When I was going to school at Bayou Academy, I always heard of coach Powe. No matter where you were in the Delta, it was hard to have never heard of the name Sank Powe.
I got to know him well when I started working at The Bolivar Commercial in 1998 when he was working at the park commission. He had a love for the kids, the community and baseball that was pure. He was always interested in kids getting out and doing something productive. He held camps for kids and spent time with kids. No matter what side of town you were on, Powe had your best interest in heart.
A lot of times when I was on the road coming back from a ball game where our local team did well or won a championship, one of the first people I would call was Coach Powe. When I told him about how well the team did and he was always proud of those players no matter what town in the county they were from or if the school was public or private. Powe always wished the best for everyone.
His former players and students always greeted him and talked to him every time they saw him and he was never shy about talking to them. Even when his health was declining, he still liked being around people in the community.
Powe had a love affair with Cleveland and Bolivar County and the community in turn had a love for him that will run deep forever. I know right now God in heaven is having a lot of laughs with Powe talking it up with wonderful baseball and life stories.
You were one of the greats Coach. We love you and we miss you.
Andy Collier is the sports editor at The Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at (662)-843-4241 or by e-mail at email@example.com.