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Penn State Love Stories: IM Flag Football Teammates

When Karen Powell’s friends invited her to join an intramural flag football team during her freshman year at Penn State, she expected just some fun matches with good friends. But little did she know her very first game would introduce her to the love of her life.

When the group took the field for the first time, one of her new teammates quickly snagged her attention — enter Adam Powell. The spark was instant, and Karen knew she had to had to get to know Adam further.

“His ginger locks caught my eye and I was impressed by his running speed against the competition,” Karen said.

The two freshmen instantly bonded and enjoyed getting to know each other during games and practices. Soon after meeting, the pair went on their first date to Adam’s formal.

From then on, Adam and Karen dated on and off throughout college. However, Karen moved to Washington D.C. after graduation while Adam went to New York City, and they soon got swept up in their own separate lives.

But as fate would have it, that wasn’t quite the end of the story for these two Penn State grads. It was only a matter of time before Adam and Karen crossed paths and, consequently, realized what they had been missing while they were apart. Three years after graduation, the two attended a wedding at Penn State for their mutual friend — ironically, the same friend who decided to arrange the flag football team years before.

“Adam was my plus one for the wedding, and he’s been my plus one ever since” Karen said.

(Photo: Karen Powell)

After the wedding, the couple dated long-distance before Karen eventually relocated to New York City. Shortly after moving into their own apartment together, the course of their relationship changed forever.

On January 20, 2011, the couple went out to dinner at their favorite local sushi spot. Karen was preparing to run a half marathon the next day, and to her, it was just an ordinary Friday night — that is, until Adam proposed in the middle of their snowy walk home.

“I was completely shocked,” Karen said. “The best surprise engagement I could have asked for.”

After getting married, the couple has since left New York and now lives in Fair Haven, New Jersey with their three sons (each of whom happened to be born on a holiday). Adam and Karen will be married for five years on December 15, and they couldn’t be more grateful that a chance game of flag football brought them together.

(Photo: Karen Powell)

About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]

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