Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.19.2012 at 8.00 a.m. by JJ Gilbane

Gilbane: With Pannell Sidelined, Senior Leadership a Must More Than Ever

JJ Gilbane

"Seniors lead the way" is a quote that we hear almost daily regarding the direction of our team. Whether it is in practice, the weight room, or in class, the team goes as the senior class goes.

With the injury that has unfortunately sidelined our captain Rob Pannell, we have had to respect and honor our responsibility to the team more than ever. Every member of our senior class has had to step up in order to help captain the team with Rob not able to be out on the field playing with us. Before each game, our entire senior class is up front leading the stretches; when the referees ask for the captains, we have all eight healthy seniors go up and represent our team. One of the best ways to lead and be able to communicate with the team is becoming a tighter group, and now that we start our Spring Break trip together, that is one of our main focuses.

We began our spring break last Saturday and will have until this Sunday to be together and bond as a team. We started off our break with a game at home against Yale, and will now face off against the University of Denver on Tuesday at Hofstra University. 

We just arrived on Long Island on Sunday night, and quickly headed over to Chris Cook's residence for team dinner. Chris's father played lacrosse at Cornell in the 1980s, and provided us with a great dinner and a premiere showing of some of his games and highlights from back when he played. Watching clips of him and his teammates on the old Astroturf on Schoellkopf Field sprinting around, diving for balls, and shooting and passing from anywhere at anytime, made everyone take a step back to look and realize the history of our program and what it means to play for Cornell. Lots of laughs and fun were had at the Cook residence as games of pool, foosball, basketball, and even a few piano and drum competitions were held.

My favorite part of spring break is getting roomed with different guys who you usually wouldn't room with. The coaches split up our team, usually freshman with seniors, and sophomores with juniors. This allows the younger guys to get to know the older guys, which helps us become a tighter knit group and really get to know your teammates off the field. My freshman spring break I was fortunate enough to room with both Rocco Romero and John Glynn. Some of my fondest memories of my entire freshman year were getting to know each of them over this break, laughing and messing around, while attempting to soak in anything at all I could from those guys who I looked up to so much.

Four years later, I am on the other side of the spectrum, and am fortunate to be rooming with Erik Turner, a freshman midfielder from Alberta, Canada. Hopefully I, as well as all of the other seniors, can help show the freshmen the way and make them understand how quickly college flies and to enjoy every second of it. While many other college students may be relaxing with their friends in tropical locations during their breaks, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here with my brothers, getting closer and working for a similar goal.

Thanks for reading,

JJ Gilbane