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Father of Oshawa legend joins son in Canada sports hall

Richard Powless says he is proud of his father even though he isn’t alive today

Former lacrosse star Ross Powless has joined his son, former member of the Oshawa Green Gaels, Gaylord Powless, in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. (Photo credit: Powless family)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The father of an Oshawa lacrosse icon has joined him in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Ross Powless, the father of former member of the Oshawa Green Gaels, Gaylord Powless, has joined his son in Canada’s most hallowed sports shrine, and for one of his other children, Richard Powless, it elicits mixed feelings.

“I’m very proud, and also just sad because he’s not here, and he wasn’t here to receive it,” says Richard. “My mom and brothers who have passed weren’t here either. They all would have been so happy.”

Ross was a Mohawk lacrosse player out of the Six Nations Grand River First Nation, and was a centre and set up man. He died of colon cancer on May 26, 2003.

According to Richard, his father was disciplined, dedicated, and believed in hard work.

“He was a family man. Him and my mom managed to raise 14 kids on a carpenter’s salary,” says Richard.

The eldest Powless became a lacrosse player because his father, and his father before him, played as well.

“It was part of his heritage, and even though he attended a residential school, he managed to hang onto his language and heritage a little,” says Richard.

As an athlete, Richard says his father believed in being fit, both physically and mentally, and he also believed in teamwork.

“With all of the awards he won, he still recognized that he couldn’t have done it without his teammates,” says Richard.

But most of all, Ross was humble, according to his son.

“He never really talked about his accomplishments or his awards in lacrosse,” says Richard.

Ross was also community oriented, according to Richard. He helped build lacrosse and minor hockey in his community.

In terms of lacrosse, Richard says his father was “strict but fair,” and would always push his children to train and prepare for the season.

“He was a hard worker, and that’s what he taught us. You can play hard, but you can also work hard,” says Richard.