Rebel teammates react to Power's tragic death
Jul 06, 2012 (Midland Reporter-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Luke Stice and Jacob Power crossed paths when they went to different junior highs in the Lee High School feeder system.
But when the two went to Lee freshman, a strong friendship was forged both on and off the field, which is why when Lee coach James Morton heard the news about Power dying after a car wreck on Tuesday, Stice was one of the first players he called.
Stice, his Lee teammates and the Lee High School community still are trying to work through the shock of Power not being a part of their lives, and on Wednesday and Thursday were thinking about their memories of Power.
"I was absolutely devastated," Stice said. "I had been down in Houston the whole summer and I got back in town and was just getting to see my family. I'd been in town for a few hours and got a phone call from Coach Morton. I could tell he was in shock about something and I knew something was wrong immediately."
Power, who was killed in a two-vehicle wreck in Glasscock County on Tuesday with his cousin Bryan McBride, was a linebacker and fullback for the Rebels during the past two years. This past year he made the switch to defense after spending much of his junior year playing fullback.
Power, with 70 tackles, was second on the team to Stice; he also had seven tackles for loss in 2011. But what Stice and Morton will remember most about Power on the field was his ability to play bigger than his size.
Power was listed at 5-foot-9, 184 pounds, but when he played on defense he played much bigger and was a key part of the Rebels this past season. His performance also was recognized when he was chosen to participate in the ASCO West Texas Football Classic in early June, and he received honorable mention all-district honors after the 2011 season.
"He was never the biggest, the fastest or the strongest, but I guess the quote says it best about Jacob is 'You can measure a man's height, you can measure his weight, but you can't measure a man's heart.' He had those intangibles of a great football player," Stice said. "But he was also a great man."
Stice said after he initially heard the news on Tuesday, he made some phone calls and several members of the team went to Power's house and stayed until around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Talor Nunez, who will be a senior on this year's Lee team, said when he arrived he had to park a "whole street away."
"I've known him since I was an incoming freshman and he was a great guy, and I loved working out with him," Nunez said. "His work ethic was great, and he never cut a rep and never had a bad attitude. He was always smiling, laughing and joking around. It was hard (Tuesday) but (Wednesday) it's getting better and we are starting to realize that God had that plan for him that he was supposed to leave us (Tuesday)."
Morton said he always admired Power's ability on the football field, but what he also remembered about Power was his ability to relate to anyone no matter who they were or where they were from at Lee.
"It didn't matter their status in society, they could still be a friend to Jacob and he was a friend to them," Morton said. "To me that's a pretty unique thing in today's world. There is a definite hole in all of today."
Power's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Stonegate Fellowship. McBride's funeral is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Ann's Catholic Church.
Len Hayward can be reached at email@example.com
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