Callahan named all-area wrestler of the year
Alan Callahan’s career at Baldwin High was set up for a Hollywood-like ending at the Class 4A state tournament in Salina.
With one more victory, Callahan would win his first state title, just like his older brother, Kevin, did the year before. He would also surpass his brother’s state record for career wins by one.
However, Saint James’ Taylor Moeder crushed that dream in the 112-pound finals. The Baldwin High senior still finished the tournament with his highest placing ever.
“He had an outstanding career and he capped it off with a great senior season,” Baldwin coach Kit Harris said. “I hate for him to define his career by one match he lost — the state championship match — when one match didn’t go his way and so many others did. He has a lot to be proud of and has nothing to hang his head about.”
Harris is exactly right. Callahan completed his storied career at Baldwin High with 171 wins — tying his brother’s state record. He was 43-5 during his senior campaign.
“I think watching his brother win state made him have a strong desire to do the same thing,” Harris said. “I remember how mad Alan was when he got beat out his junior year, but shortly after his loss, he was right there in his brother’s corner cheering him on to a state title. They are really close, that’s why maybe it’s fitting that they ended up tying with the state record.”
Callahan won five tournaments and placed runner-up at five tournaments. He never finished worst than second this season. That helped earn him the Lawrence Journal-World All-Area Wrestler of the Year.
“Looking back, I’m proud of how I wrestled,” Callahan said. “It was a pretty successful season and placing second at state is pretty good. It was a really great season.”
Callahan won the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational, Eudora Cardinal Classic, Rossville Invitational, Holton Invitational and the Frontier League Tournament.
“He’s been a really hard worker,” Harris said. “This year he was not just working hard, but he was also thinking about things more. He’s always been a goer. Then he added smart wrestling to that and had a great season.”