Sprint Football’s Brooks Panhans: A Southern Swiss Army Knife
“The path to success is not always straight.” “It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.” “I’ll do anything to help the team.” These are common cliches often thrown around the world of sports. Despite how overused or corny they may be, their respective messages carry weight. Moreover, the ability to buy into a cliche and play for something bigger than oneself is what turns a group of great players into an even greater team.
Brooks Panhans’ path to sprint football success has not been straight. At Plano Senior High, he was a two-year starter at quarterback going against the best that the great state of Texas had to offer. Playing with and against many future Division 1 football players, Panhans was no stranger to high-level football. After an injury shortened his senior season, it appeared as though a lifelong passion would have to end quietly. But like a true player, he couldn’t stay away for long. With no guarantee that he would get to recapture the every sought-after role of quarterback, he came back to the game he loved. Surprising no one, the game welcomed him back with open arms. When asked what getting to play again means to him, Panhans said “it’s been a tremendous experience so far getting to go out every single day with a great group of guys and a great group of coaches to play a game that I’ve loved since I was a child. It’s been a rewarding experience.”
Part of what makes sprint football special is that it allows for players like Panhans to have the ending to their career that they deserve. His story is not to be confused with a comeback or redemption story. His story should be what everyone on the team sees it as: a football player coming to work every day, trying to win games and make the people around him better.
Despite this long-awaited reunion between a man and his passion, football is not a sport known for being easy to return to after a two-year hiatus. Being a newcomer to the team, Panhans’ role as QB1 would have to be left in Plano for the time being, as incumbent starter Connor Ostrander already had a firm grip on the job. However, the question was never if he would play, it was where. If you asked Panhans which positions he’s played through the first two games of this year, he may forget a few. If you’ve been to at least one sprint football game this year, you have definitely seen #5. So far, he has played at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, personal punt protector, holder and kick return blocker. This not only speaks to Panhans’ selflessness, but his versatility. He is currently the only player on the Big Red with a passing, receiving and a rushing touchdown. So far, his involvement has seemed to only benefit the offense as the Big Red currently leads the league in total offense, despite playing one less game than seven teams.
When asked if he would continue to be tried out at new positions during practice, Panhans humbly responded, “It’s what I hear.” Along with the rest of the Red, Panhans looks to find the end zone in whatever fashion he can this Friday, October 6th, 2017 against Penn. GO BIG RED.