After nearly two months of deliberation, Brusly multisport athlete Nick Penell decided what sport he’ll play and where he’ll continue his academic and athletic career.
Penell chose football over basketball and will attend Division II Lane College in Tennessee.
“It was a long process,” Penell said. “It was a hard decision choosing between football and basketball. Lane is a D-II school and was a better offer than I got to play basketball at Rainy River Community College. I really wanted to play basketball. It took two months to make this decision. I wanted to make sure I knew what I wanted to do.
With basketball behind him, Penell will focus on football where he made the All-District team at quarterback and helped lead Brusly to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history in 2019.
Penell played football for three years in high school after only playing basketball as a freshman.
When head football coach Hoff Schooler took over the program three years ago, he convinced Penell to play football and that decision proved to work out for both.
“Playing quarterback was one of the hardest things I’ve done,” Penell said. “When you lose you take the blame and when we win, we win as a team.”
Schooler said Penell and his teammate Grant Watts made history in their senior seasons. The duo became the first Brusly athletes to play in a quarterfinal football game and the Top 28.
Brusly advanced to the football quarterfinals for the first time in school history in 2019.
"I'm really happy for Nick," Schooler said. "They (Lane) were on him early and they stayed with him. I think he has a chance to get a great education and play football. They got a great one."
Penell said his time in high school has prepared him in many ways for what’s to come at the next level.
“I’ve been preparing for it,” he said. “I’m used to playing and dealing with adversity. We’ve learned how to handle adversity.”
Penell is leaving to head to Tennessee later this week and is using the time to spend with family and friends.
“I just want to thank everybody in the Brusly community for supporting me and my decision,” he said.