Student-Athlete Spotlight

She's the team's 'spirit leader'

Rock Canyon's Mara Powner leads team with spirit, passion

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Mara Powner is a true point guard. A coach on the floor who rarely misses minutes in a game, Powner prides herself on passing.

Powner sets the tone for the team in most games, and is usually the one to bring everyone else down to earth if things aren't going exactly to plan. Coach Becky Mudd calls her the team's “spirit leader.” When she moves on to college, she wants to study communications.

Her drive comes from what her coaches have instilled in her over the years: Fight to the end, and push yourself to be the best.

“I'm very passionate. I think of myself as the coach on the floor, and I've thought of myself like that for a while,” Powner said. “I always have to know what's going on and be aware of everything.”

Coach's take:

"Mara is our spirit leader. She's a kid that everybody looks up to and loves playing with. She's the most vocal player on our team and our main ballhandler. She is a super competitor. She's intense and one of the best ballhandlers I've ever coached. She makes us go all the time. She's the one pushing the tempo and being aggressive."

Key statistics: Mara Powner averages 7.7 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game through 18 games as of Feb. 6.

How's the season going so far?

It's actually been a really fun season so far. We are doing a lot better than we've done in the past. The girls are a lot of fun and it's great chemistry.

What are you focused on down the stretch?

Personally, being a senior, I just want to play every game my best and make sure I'm working hard every game.

Do you have any moments you look back on in your senior year?

There's a ton of great memories, but one game particularly sticks out. Last year, when we played Ponderosa. It was a winnable game for sure, and one of my teammates was shooting the ball real well and I was one assist short of the most assists in a game in Rock Canyon history. That's one I'm pretty proud of.

Do you have any plans for after high school?

I'm between two universities right now: Colorado State and Cal Lutheran University. I'm up in the air, but I'll figure it out.

Do you have any plans to play basketball after high school?

Maybe, but I'm leaning more toward just focusing on my studies.

What do you want to study?

I want to study journalism and communication.

Do you have a favorite class?

I'm in a concurrent enrollment, college-level English class, which I really enjoy. It's a lot of hands-on writing and stuff on our own, so I really like that.

What does it mean to be the coach on the floor?

I definitely have to know not only where I need to be on every play, but where everyone else needs to be, which is challenging at times. If we get frustrated as a collective unit I just need to be the one that brings us back.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Always just push yourself to your best. I've had a lot of great coaches over the years through club, and every single one of them wanted to make sure everybody was giving their all all the time.

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