It’s not all that hard for Kerrville Tivy High senior quarterback Trapper Pannell to get inside the heads of his wide receivers and the defensive backs tasked with covering them because he has ample experience playing both positions.
Pannell’s football intelligence, along with his dual-threat capabilities and prowess as a utility player, have benefited the Antlers. Together with fellow senior signal-caller Cole Miears, the 6-foot-2-inch, 195-pound Pannell commands a high-flying offense that have defeated opponents by an average of around 27 points. Head coach David Jones is enjoying the positive results generated by Tivy’s two-quarterback system thus far, hailing Pannell as “a very talented kid” who doubles as one of Miears’s targets when he is not under center.
“He’s just a gifted athlete who could do a lot of different things,” Jones told Texas Scorecard.
According to the coach, Pannell demonstrated “a lot of ability” with his arm and feet when he first enrolled at the Hill Country high school 65 miles northwest of San Antonio three years ago. He joined the varsity his sophomore year, starting out in the defensive secondary before seeing more action on the other side of the ball.
“He was a great competitor,” Jones said. “You can tell that he wanted to win. He’s just a good-sized kid who runs very, very well. He’s just athletic. He can do a lot of things, and I knew he had a lot of special talent.”
Pannell essentially has the best of both worlds, acting as the Antlers’ trusted field general and go-to pass catcher. The three-year letterman effortlessly applies the instincts of a passer to the wideout position and vice versa.
“I think you get a better feel for what secondaries are doing,” Jones said. “You understand where the holes are. You understand where the gaps are. You understand where you need to get yourself in order to be successful. I think that’s one of the things he’s been able to do.”
While splitting snaps with Miears, Pannell has thrown for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions through six games. He has rushed for 402 yards and 10 scores, as well as caught four passes for 58 yards and two TDs.
Pannell and Miears account for a combined 1,628 passing yards of the Antlers’ 2,600 total offensive yards amassed so far.
The sky is the limit for Pannell, who has received scholarship offers from UTEP and Sam Houston State, as he continues to sharpen his offensive acumen. At press time, he was selected to play in the 2020 SA Sports All-Star Game.
“Every time he plays the game, he gets that much better,” said Jones, who recently became the second winningest coach in Tivy’s history with 66 wins. “You get exposed to things. The more you see it, the more common it becomes. He reacts better to things. He still has a huge upside. He has a lot left in the tank. He can get a lot better, and he’s working every day to do that.”