CP Field Notes : Jamaica March '23
THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY CASEY POWELL IN HIS TRAVEL JOURNAL:
The Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation was founded in 2015 with the mission to Share, Support and Inspire lacrosse Worldwide. The goal was to create a platform of support amongst the lacrosse community for those in need. After visiting Jamaica in August for the first time to attend my sister’s wedding in Negril, then returned in November for training clinics at Wolmer’s School in Kinston, I was able to learn and understand that Jamaica Lacrosse could use help and support. I instantly fell in love with the authenticity and positive energy of the Jamaicans and I could feel that this was an area we wanted to focus in on.
So I reached out to the JLA(Jamaica Lacrosse Association) leadership consisting of Calbert Hutchinson, Dwight Clarke, Mark Wilson and Khadene Mitchell to let them know I’d like to come down again, as promised.They were very responsive and set us up with a 4 day 3 night itinerary. Our main goal was to get as much interaction with lacrosse players/coaches as possible. We wanted to fulfill the intentions of the CPWLF and Share, Support, Inspire all of those in our path.
Although The Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation bear’s my name, it's full of wonderful, unselfish individuals who understand the magic and power of the lacrosse community. The CPWLF board/advisors consists of family, friends, and uniquely gifted individuals who all add to the overall development of our mission.
My foundation is very much like my career as an attack man. Everyone else does all the work and I simply put the ball in the net and get most of the credit. I’m so grateful to have hardworking, caring and genuine people on my team.
I now had the plan with Jamaica lacrosse. It was time to build my travel squad.
My first talk was with my daughter Bella. I told her that we could go anywhere she wanted for spring break. I mentioned Europe, Park City, Caribbean and then presented the service opportunity in Jamaica. She listened to me and recognized my excitement to go make an impact in Jamaica. Bella has always been a supporter of the foundation and serves as a junior advisor the past 4 years. She wears many hats including video reach outs, social media content/interviews, clinics, apparel design, support moment creation, hospital visits and even served as an MC for the Legendary Heart benefit in Chicago. She truly cares about people and has learned first hand the importance of “sticking” together. Bella chose to spend her spring break serving Jamaica. LFG
TODD + MAE BURNHAM
Todd is a special human being from upstate, NY and a 2 time Hobart All-American. Until recently, I didn’t know Todd as he is a few years older but he made me aware that when I was a freshman and he a senior, I scored the game winning goal with 18 seconds left as SU beat Hobart 18-17 at Boswell Field and took home the Simmons-Kraus trophy.
Todd lives in Boulder, Colorado and is friends with my Syracuse buddy Andy Puccia. They both saw and participated in a CPWLF push up challenge which we launched end of 2022. He then sent me a signed book that he authored and released recently. I read his book called The Comeback, which talked about dealing with personal and business adversity. It really connected with me and helped me deal with some adversity I was going through. It focused on mindset, grit, toughness. The upstate mentality. I highly recommend reading his book.
At that point, I still hadn’t met Todd but started communicating with him often. Both his book and his mindset was helping. One day, he texted me and said his daughter was in Wellington, jumping horses. I told him I was in Delray and asked if they had time to stop over to see my training facility.
He came right over with sticks in hand and I spent time working Clara through my training process. He’s been a great friend ever since and we've aligned to make an impact together. That too is working.
I asked Todd if he wanted to go to Jamaica. “Yes."
Todd is one incredible dude, brother like and I know we will be friends for life.
Mae - In meeting Todd, I was able to meet and spend time with his daughter Mae. Mae is a confident, motivated hard charger like her old man. She has a passion for lacrosse and has really dedicated herself to personal development and the goal of becoming the best she can be. I was on the text chain with Mae and not one minute went by after her Dad asked her if she wanted to serve in Jamaica. "Yes." Was her immediate answer. The Burnham’s were all in.
MIKE + EMMY LEONARD
I was introduced to Mike through Todd as they both live the Boulder life and daughters play together. Mike is a former Lehigh LSM player with great energy, a positive smile and a caring attitude. Coincidentally, as only lacrosse can do, Mike's college teammate Mark Wilson, who I’m told they haven’t spoken to in 25 years, happens to be the head coach of the Jamaica Men's National Team. He was already interested in visiting Jamaica because of Mark Wilson’s involvement. I invited Mike and he asked “When we going”? I said, next week. Mike booked his tickets.
Emmy - A training mate of Mae’s and a girl who plays with heart, passion and creativity. She represents Colorado, her family and her sport with pride. She also keeps you on your toes with her quick wit and I knew her youthful energy would surely benefit our mission.
Mr. Everything, Dwight Clarke picked us up at the airport and we went directly to the semis at St. McHugh for a full day of mens and womens lacrosse high school action. Big games and historic rivalries. They alternated play between girls, boys, girls, boys, and so on. The games got more exciting as the day went on and we witnessed some amazing athletes, intense effort, and tremendous passion.
Hanging with Dwight (Left) & Elvis.
The fans consisted of Moms, Dads, Grandmas, kids and school mates in their school uniforms. They were all blowing horns, waving flags, and dancing after big goals. Everyone was in the moment, and we even got a visit from a beautiful rainbow to truly show how lucky we all were to be here together.
The final game of the day was the most intense Calabar vs. Kingston College. The last time they played Kingston College demolished Calabar 17-0. But we watched a focused Calabar team step off the bus and walk by us. It reminded me of the West Genny teams of the 90’s. They were focused, dialed and had only one thing on their minds. Winning. It was an incredible game. Back and forth, crowd going crazy, heavyweight fight and Calabar took down Kingston College with 9-7 upset win.
The most impressive player of the day was #22 DeAndre McKenzie of St. George’s. He was the leading scorer and I awarded him the Powell Player of the Game with a Powell Switchback Complete Stick. He was outstanding and no doubt will have a bright career as a member of JLA.
After the long day of travel and 5 hours of lacrosse games we checked into the St. Theresa school dormitory where we would reside over our stay.
We quickly showered and headed out to dinner with Dwight, Shakira, and Elvis to a restaurant called Peppa Thyme.
Best Jerk Chicken I ever had. We had a great convo about Jamaica lacrosse and reflected on the games we just watched. We all fell asleep when our head hit the pillow.
It was our day to Share, Support, and Inspire with the Jamaica National Team mens and women’s programs. The talent, passion and the want was showcased. Some of the best athletes I'd ever seen play lacrosse.
We put them through the Powell training process and they went all out. Everyone gave their all. The mens team trained with us in the morning. Intense, hardworking and dialed in to absorb all that they could handle. One thing is for sure, the future of Jamaica Lacrosse is bright. A traditional Jamaican favorite called Patty’s was delivered for lunch and hit the spot.
After lunch, Bella, Mae, and Emmy joined the women’s practice and were able to get in some great work with the JLA. We finished with a scrimmage full of amazing players and creativity. It was a joy working with this group, watching our daughters play. At one point, Bella marveled at the speed of the Jamaica team and both Mae and Emmy hung in there against the older players. It was a great experience for all and the lax Dad’s were standing tall in Jamaica.
Both teams truly appreciated us being there. Because of the appreciation, character, and love of the game, we all decided we will come back and continue helping our new friends.
Hot long 7 hours straight on the fields took a lot out of us. We headed back to St. Theresa, showered and headed to Usain Bolt's restaurant for food and more reflecting.
Devon House ice cream for the dub.
Local day trip- Today we were picked up and brought to the authentic fishing village called Portsmore. We had no idea what to expect but it turned out to be a seaside market of huts that all offered fresh seafood. We walked around the village and after a refreshing swim, headed to our lunch spot.
Our driver, Sean, made us a reservation at an Oceanside restaurant called Miss Prendy’s. Miss Prendy was the hostess with the mostess and a lovely woman. We picked out our fish and then she invited us back into the kitchen to prep and cook our meal. (Miss Prendy's brother is married to Bob Marley's daughter.)
We chose the fresh snapper. So fresh, so good, and our first time making/eating festival, which is like friend dough. We had a super awesome time and super amazing meal experience.
Then in the afternoon we rushed over to Wolmer School to work with the boys and girls. I knew a bunch of kids from my last visit.
We trained together for a couple hours. After the training, the boys came up to me and asked if we could go find another field and keep training. They have the want.
We headed back to St. Theresa for our final evening and reflected on our adventure. 1-2-3 World!
-The Powell/Burnham/Leonard team was a force. We came, we saw, we scored and achieved our goals!
-Jamaica Lacrosse needs equipment badly. Sticks, balls, tape, goals, SPEED kits, arm pads(most played without), helmets, jerseys, mouthguards. Powell Lacrosse and CPWLF are committed to getting more to the island in the coming months. Want to help raise money or donate equipment? Join our team for the next trip?
-Todd Burnham is an extraordinary person. He connected intimately with so many of the players. He truly listens and makes an impact everywhere he goes.
-We arrived with several Powell Lacrosse sticks, we left with none.
-This trip happened due to the contribution of Dreamcatcher foundation, Terry Goetz, Dan Denihan, Brian Downs, Elizabeth Quilter, Chad Watson, Ryan Thayer, Pete Ruggerio and more. We’re thankful for the tremendous contribution from all of you.
-Girl dads- Couldn’t be more proud of our daughters for serving the foundation and making an impact. They can now say they have friends in Jamaica and trained with the Jamaica National Team.
-DeAndre McKenzie was awarded the Powell stick as MVP.