One person that Powe influenced during his life was Kevin Muzzi. Muzzi, a former North Sunflower Academy and St. Joe High School, football baseball and basketball standout, has started the Sank Powe Memorial Scholarship.
Muzzi, currently a red-shirt freshman on the basketball team at Dartmouth, got in touch with Reed Abraham, who is the Associate Vice President at Mississippi Delta Community College, on how to get the scholarship going and it will be administered through the MDCC Foundation.
The scholarship will be essay based and open to student-athletes in Bolivar, Sunflower and Washington Counties. The high school senior can use the scholarship to go to any college of his or her choosing. The first scholarship will be awarded to a member of the class of 2013.
When he found out about Powe died on Jan. 20, Muzzi started thinking about what he could do to honor Powe.
“I heard about his death after practice from my mom,” Muzzi said. “I mulled over it that night and the next day. I thought about how much he’s influenced everybody’s life, and I wanted to keep that influence going. So, we talked with his daughters and said we wanted to start a scholarship in his name. They O.K.’d it, and we started it up to keep so we could keep Coach Powe’s influence in the Delta going in a positive light.”
Muzzi said Powe made an immediate impact on him when he first him.
“I remember meeting him as a little kid and just talking to him and speaking to him,” Muzzi said. “He just changed my outlook on things. No matter what happened, he always had a positive mindset and would talk to you. Afterwards, you would thank him for it all. He encouraged me to want to change the Delta and help the Delta the best I can.”
Muzzi, at one point during his childhood, had gotten to where he wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue to play baseball. Powe convinced him to play baseball on the Eastside League at the Cleveland Park Commission, and Muzzi played in the league for three years from ages 9-11. Muzzi ended up playing baseball all through his high school years.
“He came and talked to me multiple times and said ‘You should play baseball at Eastside,’” Muzzi recalled. “I did and I loved it, and it was a great time. I’m still friends with a lot of people there, and he came and watched the games to check how everything was going. He definitely was the reason I played over there, and I’m better for it and I’m glad I did it.”
Abraham, who is also the Executive Director of the MDCC Foundation, said he is honored to get the scholarship going.
“We’re glad that we can help through the MDCC foundation to allow people to contribute which would allow their gift to be tax deductible,” Abraham said. “It was Kevin’s idea to get that started, and we’re happy to partner with him, and we want to invite anyone that is interested in contributing.”
Abraham said he will always think the world of Coach Powe.
“I think it goes without saying that everybody loved Coach Powe,” Abraham said. “Although I never had an opportunity to play for him, he still knew who I was and kept up with things that were going on and always spoke when I saw him anywhere in Cleveland. I consider him to be one of our hometown heroes.”
The ultimate goal for the annual scholarship is to raise enough money for it to be an endowed scholarship, which requires a minimum of $10,000.
Muzzi said he is excited about what the scholarship can do for people in the Delta.
“This money could change rather or not they go to college, and that’s huge,” Muzzi said. “In 10 years, if this helps five people change the Delta for the better, then it’s worked in every sense.”
Donations to the scholarship should be mailed to MDCC Foundation, Inc. Attn: Sank Powe Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 710, Moorhead, Ms. 38761.
For more information, call Abraham at (662)-246-6273 or Muzzi at (662)-402-1541.