By KEN MORSE
Plainville senior Brady Callahan will be heading to Western Connecticut State University in the fall to join the Colonials football program.
“I chose Western because I wanted to be close to home so family and friends can come see the games,” said the three-sport athlete. “Western runs a similar offense to what we have been doing at Plainville. I feel I can fit in and use my skill set in their passing game.”
Callahan has never been one to concern himself with numbers, even though that will be his course of study in accounting at WCSU. The tri-athlete was more focused on the ‘W’. If you went by stats alone, he was not the MVP on any team he played for.
“I leave in mid-August for camp, and I plan to work harder than I ever have to help my team be successful,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
His coaches were well aware of the fact that, with Callahan in the game, the chances for success went up exponentially. How else do you explain helping to turn around a 0-10 football team into a 6-4 contender?
“He is old school, a throw-back,” said Plainville football coach Tim Shea. “You still have a few three sport athletes around but very few that have his kind of work ethic. For Callahan it has nothing to do with stats and has everything to do with winning. You can’t coach passion. You either have it or you don’t. That’s what Brady has a passion to succeed.”
Callahan played an integral role that turned a 0-20 basketball team into a state tournament team by his senior year. He finished the season averaging 9.7 per game and led the team in assists.
“He is one of the few student-athletes that I have seen who never takes a play off, in practice or in games,” said Plainville boys basketball coach Jim DiNello. “Brady sets the bar extremely high, and he does that academically, socially and athletically. I’m so proud of him, and it has been a privilege to coach him.”
It came as no accident that in his senior year Callahan was named to the All-Central Connecticut Conference team in football (3rd time), basketball and baseball. He led with a passion to succeed that was contagious to the players around him.
It mattered very little what his role was he just wanted to make plays. During the basketball season when the team was still trying to find its identity Callahan led the team in scoring in five of the first eight games.
Once the team developed a couple of consistent scorers, Callahan switched gears and began to attack the glass to help out in the rebound department. It didn’t matter what his scoring stats were because he’s never played for the stats he plays for the ‘W’.
That is the attribute that caught the attention of the Western Connecticut coaching staff. The Colonials are also getting a multitalented football player who gained over 1,000 all-purpose yards and scored 10 touchdowns as a sophomore on a team that went 0-10.
As a running back-receiver-linebacker on the football team, Callahan helped to put a spark in the Blue Devils as a junior gaining 853 all-purpose yards with six touchdowns as Plainville improved to 5-5. His senior year was cut to just four games due to an injury but he came back and helped the team win three of the last four games to finish at 6-4.
As the lead-off hitter on the 12-8 baseball team Callahan is batting .385 second on the team in hits 20 and runs 16 with 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts and has struck out just 10 times in 74 plate appearances. When the situation calls for it, he has no problem giving up his at bat to sacrifice a runner over. It’s all about the ‘W’.
“Brady leads by example with an exhausting work ethic,” said Plainville baseball coach Lou Mandeville. “His hunger for the team to be successful by improving his skills is contagious.”
Callahan said that he is looking forward to the next challenge in the field of athletic competition and excited about the opportunity to be part of the Colonials football program.
“I just want to go up there do what the coaches tell me to do and be part of their program,” he said. “I don’t have any expectations except working hard and doing my job on the field.”