By Dan Harrison
---- — BEVERLY— Feelings tend to get the better of a football player.
Not Peter Kallas. Emotion is his bread and butter.
A Beverly native, Kallas finished out his senior campaign with the Endicott football team Saturday playing middle linebacker in the Gulls 34-14 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division 3 North Atlantic Bowl win over Norwich.
“He (Kallas) is the emotional center of our defense and maybe the emotional center of our team,” explained Endicott (9-2) head coach JB Wells. “He has a huge heart, and he plays extremely hard. He’s a good player who makes the most of his ability.”
Last year, Endicott started slow in the ECAC Bowl game against Mt. Ida, but this year Kallas and company were determined to start fast. The Gulls jumped all over the Cadets scoring three unanswered touchdowns to lead 20-0 after the first quarter.
“Last year, we got to the ECAC Bowl game and came out kind of flat. The big thing we harped on all week was coming out strong and playing our game and doing what we do,” said Kallas, who can be heard all the way up in the stands, pumping his teammates up on the field. “We definitely did that today.”
Doing what he does, Kallas finished with a team-high 13 tackles to give him a total of 67, which was good for third on the team this fall.
He also finished with two interceptions, nearly picking off his third Saturday when he batted away a fourth-down Norwich pass in the first half.
“I should’ve picked it off,” Kallas said. “I was just making my reads. I read the progressions, go through the guards and look to my nearest threat. I read the QB’s eyes and made a play on it.”
After the game, Kallas hung around the field with most of his Gulls teammates, soaking in the latest conquest in what’s been a successful career at Endicott. Playing collegiate football in his hometown, Kallas knows he is blessed.
“It was honestly the greatest experience of my life. I met some great guys who I’ll be friends with forever,” Kallas said. “Just playing for this team and still representing the city of Beverly, I couldn’t ask for more.”
Wells can. He knows Kallas, despite being a senior, has another year of eligibility left, and the Gulls head coach knows how valuable another year of Kallas could be.
“He actually has a year of eligibility left, so I’m trying to talk him into maybe doing a master’s degree and playing one more year of football for me because I love coaching him and he’s a lot of fun to be around,” Wells.
For now, Kallas is going to celebrate. If Saturday proves to be his final game in Gulls gear, Kallas can walk away feeling like a winner.