Eagle baseball teammates, opponents remember fallen ballplayer and friend

  • Connor Powers was a popular Franklin Tech baseball teammate and student who tragically died in November from injuries suffered in a serious automobile accident. c0ntributed photo

Recorder Intern
Monday, April 16, 2018

Connor Powers loved baseball.

Last week, the game, and more importantly, two communities, poured out their hearts for the late Franklin County Technical School senior from Colrain.

Powers was set to wrap up his senior year and play his second varsity season this spring before being critically injured in a car crash on Nov. 6, succumbing to his injuries on Nov. 17.

Before the Eagles’ April 5 season opener against Mohawk Trail Regional School, Powers’ sending school, both teams gathered to honor the life of their fallen friend they described as a driven young man in school and work, and a great companion and teammate.

“He was the ultimate team guy, doing basically everything the team told him to,” Franklin Tech coach Brian Winslow said, describing Powers as a versatile player equally comfortable in the middle infield and center field.

His No. 3 was painted in shallow center field, where much of his on-the-field action took place, as well as behind the plate.

All Franklin Tech hats this season will memorialize Powers with an embroidered baseball wearing his No. 3. The number has also been taken out of circulation for the team, with Tech choosing not to order a No. 3 jersey for their new batch of uniforms

Two of the embroidered hats were given to his parents, Mark and Tammie, in addition to a framed photo collage put together for and gifted to them by Kevin Momaney.

“They were very humbled,” Winslow said. “They were very appreciative.”

Members of both teams told stories about Powers, from growing up together to playing sports to, for some of his Tech teammates, working together daily in the electrical-shop program.

To Winslow, Mohawk coach Bill Buck and his team were just as much a part of the tribute as his own team.

“Hearing the stories about him and how much he meant to the Mohawk team and coaches and community… The whole West County community has really come together for that family, and that’s really powerful to me,” Winslow said.

Joni Sessions, mother of Tech senior Hunter Sessions, knew Powers since he and her son were in preschool together. She described him as a great young man who was passionate about the things he loved, especially baseball and electrical work.

Powers wanted to be an electrical lineman for Eversource, according to his obituary. He had been doing a co-op at Steve Keyes Electric and also worked part-time jobs at Genden Auto Parts and Berkshire East in addition to going to school and playing baseball.

Winslow describes him also as very responsible and principled. He always wanted to do what was right, and expected the same of everyone he knew.

Both Winslow and Sessions said this season is particularly meaningful to Tech baseball; they feel they’re playing with added purpose.

They’re playing for Connor.

Each game, the team brings his gear bag with them and hangs it up in the dugout among the rest, with Powers’ No. 3 jersey draped over the large bag.

“The kids really want to do well for Connor,” Winslow said. “This is his senior class, he was their classmate in school every day. The kids really become a second family (among each other).”

“They want to do well for him and celebrate him, both on and off the field,” Powers added.

The adults of the still-grieving communities feel the impact, according to both Winslow and Sessions, especially among those who knew him and the Powers family personally.

“We’re all still healing,” Sessions said, noting the difficulty of such a loss at such a young age to a small community.

Although Powers is gone, his memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew him, and on the baseball diamonds of Franklin County, supported by his friends and Eagles teammates, in love of Powers and the game he loved.