Zac Callahan said when he found out he was on the All-State team “my heart started racing.”
The summer after his senior year at Green Ridge has been busy. Along with being named to the All-State team by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association, he played in the MHSBCA All-Star game and has been taking several trips to college campuses to try to find where he will play next year.
It is a long way from where he was two years ago.
After spending two years at Smith-Cotton, Callahan moved to Green Ridge for his junior season last year and his career took off.
“Just from where I was two years ago to where I am now is quite the journey,” he said. “Green Ridge has been a great place for me. Thanking them is the biggest part of it. They let me do it.”
Callahan knows where the credit goes. He said a big part of his own turnaround was because of his coach at Green Ridge, Jason Ollison.
“He believed in me,” Callahan said. “Coach Ollison, every day he’d come in and encourage you. He never told you you were doing bad. He only wanted to help. I needed someone to believe in me.”
Callahan’s turnaround in 2014 mirrored the turnaround Green Ridge saw as well, going from three wins in 2013 to 11 in 2014, losing to Northwest in the district tournament. Callahan found a place in the Green Ridge pitching rotation.
“He came in as a pretty good hitter,” Ollison said. “Where he improved is on the mound. He was in the weight room every day and doing everything he could do.”
As a senior, he became an important part of a team which reached the district final again, this time helping the younger Tigers improve as well.
“He would remind them why they were there,” Ollison said. “That’s the part they’ll miss the most from a guy like Zac.”
After the Green Ridge season came to an end, losing to Northwest in nine innings, Callahan was honored as part of the All-State team after hitting over .500 with six home runs. On the mound, he pitched more than 40 innings while walking six batters all year.
He pitched in the All-Star game alongside fellow Green Ridge Tigers Justin McCarthy, Conner Dillon and Tom Dove. Callahan earned MVP honors as his West All-Stars won 7-4.
Now the attention is turned to where Callahan will play college baseball. He is choosing between Missouri Valley, East Central University in Ada, Okla. and Southwestern Christian in Bethany, Okla.
He hopes to make his college choice soon.