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'The way that I am leaving it' Bowman County star athlete talks leadership and legacy

The Bulldogs' record books has a new name at the top in Ellie Powell who clinched 1,135 kills on the volleyball court. In an exclusive interview with The Dickinson Press, Powell highlights her priorities and goals as she faces her final season of high school athletics before transitioning to Valley City State University.

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Ellie Powell posing with a volleyball in a senior photo.
Contributed / Ellie Powell
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DICKINSON — Competing at the varsity level since her freshman year, Bowman County’s senior and three-sport standout athlete Ellie Powell ends her volleyball career in the record books.

Standing at an imposing 5’11”, Powell was the Bulldogs’ first line of defense as the team’s wise middle hitter. Her presence at the nets all season was not only revered by competitors but praised. Her year after year performances amassed to her breaking Bowman County’s career record for kills and season record for blocks with 1,135 and 123 respectively.

If her accolades weren't enough, Powell's passionate and caring demeanor has without question left a lasting impact on her teammates, coaches and school.

“I wanted to be the role model that I would look up to when I was younger. I just want to help the younger kids know that sports can’t be their number one priority,” Powell said. “Being a good person is the number one goal… If you are a good person inside and have that motivation inside of you, that will carry over in everything you do in life.”

Powell is the definition of an all-around athlete. Her success spreads across other sports, including holding the long jump record at 17 feet and 9 1/2 inches. She is also less than 200 points away from breaking 1,000 points in her basketball career.

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Ellie Powell posing for a senior photo.
Contributed / Ellie Powell

After her time at Bowman County comes to an end, Powell’s athletic career will continue to garner the bulk of her personal ambitions at the next level. Powell has already signed to compete at the collegiate level at Valley City State University in both women’s basketball and the track and field program.

“I think seniors lead your athletic team, no matter what it is and I think they have the most experience on the team, whether they play or not,” Powell said. “I have been helping them as much as I can and giving them my time and the tips that I have, in order to keep the program going that we have down here.”

Though her volleyball career has come to an end, she said she leaving it with a high note — along with her records, she is one of only two Bowman County players to make the 2022 All-Region 7 volleyball team.

The gargantuan amount of time and dedication that she has put into volleyball has not gone unnoticed, she said. Neither has the support that she acknowledged she has received from family, friends, coaches, teachers and fellow teammates.

“I am definitely glad the way that I am leaving it,” Powell said. “The life lesson that volleyball has taught me is patience, when it comes to the sport and in life. Volleyball is such a momentum game that if you give up right away, you will never be able to come back… You just have to have a positive mindset and patience.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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