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Defensive lineman Ian Calfee made tremendous strides in his only season at Pulaski County.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Pulaski County defensive lineman Ian Calfee (right) celebrates a defensive stop with a Cougars teammate this season.
JON FLEMING | Special to The Roanoke Times
Pulaski County nose tackle Ian Calfee (bottom) drags down a Richlands running back during action this past football season.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Now for the big story out of the Virginia High School Coaches Association football all-star game.
That would be Ian Calfee, defensive lineman for West squad when it battles the East team starting at 7:30 p.m. today at Darling Stadium in Hampton. Calfee’s story is he’s big — way big.
At 6-foot-2, 340 pounds, he’s a lot of nose tackle.
Yet in many ways, his story is bigger than he is. After really only playing one year of high school football for the Cougars, Calfee made himself into an all-star and a college football prospect.
“This is a young man who is very determined,” Pulaski County coach Todd Jones said. “He was willing to do whatever it takes.”
That included overcoming a foot injury that slowed his progress at the most critical moment for a new player. He got hurt in the preseason, which cost him crucial practice time.
Still, he was able to make it back onto the field for the opener with Radford. He was in and out of the lineup for that game. That was his breaking-in period for varsity football. By the next game with Northside, he was part of the starting lineup.
“It took him a little while to get into game shape and to learn to adjust to the speed of the game,” Jones said. “He’s a big guy, he moved well, he had good athletic ability, and he continued to improve.”
Calfee is one of a number of Timesland players who will suit up for the West tonight. Others include Calfee teammate James King, Timesland athlete of the year Daniel Hamm of Fort Chiswell, Reid Sturgill of Chilhowie, Isaac Baltazar of George Wythe, De’Quan Green-Gause of Christiansburg, Demetreus Ferebee of Northside, Curtis Fridley of Rockbridge County, Roger Woody of Bassett, and Cole Worrell of Floyd County.
The West coaches are heavy on Timesland connections as well. H.S. Ingo of Division 2 champion George Wythe on the staff. Cecil Phillips of Amherst County is a Radford product, Greg Mance of Richlands is from Giles, and Heritage’s Brad Bradley went to Salem.
With Calfee’s size and ability, he would have figured to be on the watch list for some of the larger college football programs. But only being on the field as a senior doubtless hurt his chances in that regard. He selected Emory & Henry from a short list of suitors, according to Jones.
“I know I’m biased, but I think they got a steal,” Jones said. “He’s just beginning to reach his potential. He’s a very tough-minded kid. He’s going to do very well.”
Calfee is the largest player listed on the two rosters, but not by much. Martavious Robinson of L.C. Bird, who is 6-4, has him in height but at 330 pounds is 10 pounds lighter.
Calfee is not just a football player. He put the shot 51 feet 8 ¼ inches at the Group AA championship meet in May, good for a fifth-place finish.
He declined to comment for this story.
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