The Wall Street Journal printed a fantastic article about Ryan Powell and his family. It encapsulates his family’s journey from their dirt backyard to working in McDonald’s, from being in the best shape of his life to running out of time. After all, the Powells are lacrosse in many people’s minds.

At the age of 32 most athletes hang up the cleats, but Powell wasn’t ready just yet. All three (Casey, Ryan, Mike) earned full scholarships to Syracuse, won national championships and became All-Americans. Larry, the dad, sold a gun to afford the kids first lacrosse sticks. They later went on to wrack up awards, endorsements, and professional contracts, becoming charismatic ambassadors for a sport in search of stars. By no means has it been an easy road to success. As Ryan clings to every breath in his last World Games he reminds his USA teammates how he got there. WSJ’s Sophia Hollander writes:

He told them about his journey from his small town in upstate New York, the hours spent playing under street lights, at the bus stop, battering balls into the wall of the nearby elementary school (and breaking the occasional window); grinding the grass in his back yard to dirt from months, then years of relentless play alongside his brothers. When they couldn’t afford a goalie stick, they used their dad’s fishnets.

Casey and Michael had each earned gold medals at the world championships. Ryan was the only Powell competing this year—and the only one without a gold. Time was running out.

“I have been super competitive with my brothers over the years and that’s really built me to be the person that I am,” said Mr. Powell.

“This time around I don’t feel that all to be honest with you.” He paused. “I just really want to win one for our country and the things we’re going through.”

Read this mesmerizing article in its full entirety at the Wall Street Journal.