Q-and-A: Tewaaraton Finalist Rob Pannell
The race for the men's Tewaaraton honors was a two-person competition between Cornell's Rob Pannell and Virginia's Steele Stanwick. Stanwick won the honors last Thursday night — a decision Pannell told LaxMagazine.com beforehand that he was expecting given Stanwick's playoff push and Virginia's run to the title. "I think Steele is going to win," Pannell said.
Here's more of an interview with Pannell conducted in the auditorium of Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., just before the Tewaaraton ceremony last Thursday.
What are your impressions of being here and hanging out with some of the other finalists?
It's very humbling to be surrounded by great players such as Steele Stanwick, Joel White, John Galloway and Jeremy Boltus, all who have had great careers overall and play on great teams. It's a little bitter coming back here with Steele having won the national championship, and losing to Syracuse once in the national championship [in 2009], but at the same time, it's good to be around them. It's motivation for the future, and it's also a credit to how good they are. Jeremy Boltus has had just an unbelievable career at Army and the leader that he is over there is a credit to his success.
Any joking around with Steele about Virginia going on to win?
No, not at all; just congratulations. It's really the first time I've gotten to know him somewhat. My little brother [James] is going to Virginia, and he stayed with Steele on his recruiting trip, so he told me he was a great kid, and someone who I would probably love if I got to hang out with him. Getting to know him now, I'm happy for him that he won the national championship. At the same time, I'm a little bitter that they were able to beat us in the quarterfinals.
What would it mean to you to win the Tewaaraton?
It's a great individual honor and it's also a credit to my teammates. I wouldn't be in this position without them. To know the guys that have come before me and won this award and been finalists for it, it would be great to be mentioned in the same sentence as them or on the same trophy as them, but I think Steele has the trophy at the end of the day that everyone wants. This is another great individual award."
Who do you think is going to win?
I think Steele is going to win. With the playoffs that he had and the run they put together, Virginia winning the national championship, generally this award goes to someone who is in the final four or on that national championship team. I think the postseason he put together -- he had 21 points -- is just unbelievable display of his talents. It certainly helped put his team in the position they were in.
So you've been paying attention to the stats?
You follow lacrosse. I got my brother around me. I got my parents around me. Lacrosse surrounds me. I'm following the games, and you can't help but hear everyone saying he had 21 points. Especially me being a Cornell guy, I know the record he was chasing was 25 by Eamon McEneaney and Tim Goldstein, who had 25 points in the NCAA tournament [in 1977 and 1987, respectively]. I was aware of that. It's just an unbelievable accomplishment by Steele and a credit to him and his team's success.