Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Armwood's Callahan picks up tackles the hard way

SEFFNER

While game-planning for Armwood's vaunted defense, most opposing teams have come to the same conclusion: To move the ball, one must at all costs avoid the side of the field occupied by Ryne Giddins, a heralded defensive end, and Petey Smith, arguably the area's top linebacker. In theory, this seems logical. In practice, it rarely works. That's because Casey Callahan is waiting for them.

"I like when they do that," said Callahan, a linebacker. "That's how I make all my tackles."

On some defenses, Callahan would be the centerpiece. At Armwood, he lives in relative anonymity. Giddins recently was named the CSTV national defensive player of the year. Smith has narrowed his choices to Auburn and No. 1-ranked Alabama. Safety Angelo Hadley has scholarship offers from programs such as Georgia and Michigan.

Jealously, however, is not an issue for Callahan.

"I like it," Callahan said. "I'm playing around the best, and they bring out the best in me. That makes you a better player in the long run."

Callahan might get little attention, but make no mistake, he can play.

During the Hawks' run to the state semifinals last year, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior, who committed to Division I-AA Stony Brook earlier this year, was tops on the squad in tackles. This fall, despite missing two games with a shoulder injury, he is once again among the team's leaders (he had 12 last week in a win over Tampa Bay Tech).

"Last year when we lost Petey for a little bit, everybody thought it was easier against us," said Sean Callahan, Armwood's coach and Casey's father. "But we didn't miss a beat."

Casey Callahan's stellar play, as one might expect, greatly pleases his father. But that doesn't mean he's any easier on his son.

"He's got an eye on me at all times," Casey Callahan said.

The elder Callahan disputed that accusation by saying simply, "That's everybody," before adding, "I don't have to worry about him."

For the Hawks, Casey Callahan has personified consistency. Known as one of the team's most sure-handed tacklers, his on-field mistakes have been few and far between. He's big. He's strong. He moves well. And he's smart.

Still, "a lot of teams overlook him," Smith said.

The ones that do have paid the price.

"When you underestimate Casey, he'll come up and bite you," Giddins said.

Armwood's Callahan picks up tackles the hard way 12/04/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 5, 2008 8:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The homer that almost was hurts Rays in Tuesday's loss

    Blogs

     

  2. Former Buc Mike Glennon says right things about Bears QB situation

    Bucs

    Mike Glennon's go-to line about being recognized around town since becoming a Bear worked as well as ever, producing laughs.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon, shown last season with the Bucs before signing in the offseason with the Bears, is showing good humor about a looming competition in Chicago. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  4. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.