How General Neyland helped start Powell’s football program

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POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) – Nine decades ago was the start of the Powell football program.

Before the days of turf fields, electronic scoreboards or halftime shows, a group of kids in Powell had the dream of playing football.

In the early 1920’s, Powell did not have a team until 1929, when three teenagers knocked on Robert Neyland’s door looking for help. Neyland was a retired army major at the time who was coming off back-to-back undefeated seasons as the head coach at Tennessee.

Ron Evans, son of one of Powell’s first football players saying, “They went to his office and presented their concerns that they wanted to play football, but didn’t have any equipment and wanted to see what the coach could do to help out. They loaded up used uniforms, helmets, cleats, the whole bit into their car and brought them back to Powell and that was the uniforms they started out with in ’29 and ’30.”

Powell only played three games in its first season, losing each before winning three in 1930. Now 90 years down the road, football is engraved in the Powell community.

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