Curran leads WU defense, overcomes family tragedy

When discussing a good team, it’s been said that the offense sells tickets and the defense wins games.

This idea isn’t too far fetched for the Washburn Ichabod football team, as it gained the No. 2 rank in its region and the top spot in the MIAA conference. The WU defense echoes the team’s efforts as it is currently ranked No. 2 in the conference for total defense and among the top five in almost every category. Senior free safety Casey Curran holds the No. 7 spot in the MIAA for total individual tackles on the season and has no problem showing his pride.

“It makes me feel really good as a free safety,” Curran said. “Most free safeties don’t make that many tackles. I’m more of a run oriented safety.”

As a child growing up in Leawood, Kan., sports were always a topic in the Curran household, with Casey being one of four sons and his father a coach. Since his younger years, Curran admired his older brother’s participation in sports and decided then that he wanted to play football.

“I have an older brother and he was always playing sports,” said Curran. “He played football, baseball and wrestling. I just kind of followed in his footsteps and I did the same thing as him.”

Curran received recognition for his time in highschool, racking up two First Team All-Metro defensive back titles and participating in the Kansas Shrine Bowl and the Kansas City Football Coaches All-Star game.

After surviving the first three years in college, senior year is meant to be a breeze as the finish line is finally within sight. Emotions run high in anticipation and the feeling of joy can hardly be contained. Unfortunately, for Curran and his family, those sentiments would be short lived. Tragedy struck close to home earlier this year in May when Curran’s father lost his hard-fought battle with cancer. Like any tragic event, sorrow is felt through the hearts of the loved ones left behind, but with a lesson to be learned.

“He taught me a lot on and off the field,” said Curran. “One thing he always said to me is whatever you put in is what you’re going to get out. The time you put in working or preparing is what you’re going to get out of it. If you put that time in you’ll be successful in life. He always preached that to me.”

The free safety’s time put in has definitely shown outstanding results. Curran is listed in the Washburn football history books in not one, but three different categories. He is fourth on the all-time punt return chart with 594 yards, seventh all-time in career punt averages and his 191 yard interception return yards earned him fifth all-time at Washburn. As many could imagine, Curran has entered this season with a heavy heart, but as statistics would show he has remained focused and motivated to continue improving his craft.

“It starts with film studies and learning the opponent’s offense,” said Curran. “The tendencies that they like to do and the formations they line up in give me the reads that I need to make plays on the field.”

Just as quickly as the season began, it is soon approaching its end. History has been built and records have been broken, leaving big shoes to fill for the future incoming players.

“[I’m] definitely going to miss the bonding,” said Curran. “The experience that I get with other teammates just interacting and communicating with my teammates is definitely the biggest thing I’ll probably miss.”