Focusing the bean that sits atop your neck on some important offseason storylines. Take out your notebook or something.
He once roamed the wilderness, sharing mythical tales of achievement with creatures of unknown origin:
@pannellwatchRob was sighted in the woods behind Schoellkopf... Maybe going to shower with Sasquatch? #3 #nobodyknows twitter.com/CornellLacross…— Big Red Lacrosse (@CornellLacrosse) April 14, 2012
And he has (possibly) returned!
Subject to the whims and wisdom of both the NCAA and Ivy League, The Sasquatch will be decked in red again next season for Cornell. It's been a weird trip to and through college lacrosse for the Long Island native, making a stop-off at Deerfield Academy before ending up in Ithaca and having his senior campaign cut short due to a treacherous flat tire. When healthy, Pannell was among the elite -- if not the class of the elite -- in all of Division I, showing nuclear force and a caring touch that increased the overall verve of the Big Red offensive simply by wearing a uniform and holding all the appropriate equipment volatiles necessary to play the game.
The biggest question entering the 2013 season isn't whether Pannell will impact the Red but rather how long it will take him to get his sea legs back and start running through opponents like he did in 2011 when he took home the Enners Award as the nation's most outstanding player. Unlike North Carolina's Nicky Galasso, who suffered a similar injury entering the 2012 season, Pannell should have ample time to heal his accelerator. It's a matter of getting back into game shape and experiencing the sexiness of game speed, which should cure itself nicely through fall ball and early season scrimmaging.
With Colgate's Peter Baum and Massachusetts' Will Manny, Pannell is a strong frontrunner for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award and, more importantly, the title of "Most Exciting Thing On The Planet That Isn't A Rocketship." He'll fortify a Cornell offense that already includes Connor English, Matt Donovan, and Steve Mock, a fact that should make the Ivy League shudder with glimpses of complete goalie terror. The Big Red are still going to need to shore up a defensive unit that slipped frequently throughout 2012, but with Pannell back in the mix they may be able to simply outgun their opponents and give the scoreboard a blinking workout.
He's back, boys and girls, and this is great for Central New York lacrosse and beyond.