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Football: Armwood coach's son grew up on the field
By JOE SMITH
Published December 5, 2007
SEFFNER - Armwood coach Sean Callahan admits he felt flashbacks Friday night.
From one son to another.
When Hawks junior linebacker Casey Callahan craftily crept back in underneath coverage and snatched away a pass from one of the state's top receivers, Plant's Derek Winter, it sealed Armwood's 36-7 region final win and was "the favorite play of my career."
"It reminded me of Kirk (Callahan) a little bit there," Sean said of his older son, a 2003 Armwood grad who is an undergraduate assistant at Central Florida.
For the Callahan sons, the sideline has been like a second home. Like Kirk, Casey was at games "probably ever since I was born." He helped as the waterboy. He watched film with the coaching staff, and with Sean at home.
Now, as the Hawks prepare for Friday's Class 4A state semifinal at Miami Booker T. Washington, Casey hopes to help bring his dad one step closer to a third title.
But now, Casey - the Hawks' top tackler (120) - has had more than a front-row seat. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Casey is in his first year starting after playing mostly special teams last season.
Casey's role became bigger midway through the season, when star junior linebacker Petey Smith missed five games with two abdominal surgeries. Casey and seniors Chris Greene and Leon Johnson picked up the slack.
With Booker T. Washington's speedy, spread-option attack looming, Casey said, "I'll have to be at the top of my game."