Cayden Santay (left) standing on the Raymond James Stadium turf with his dad Carl Santay.

Carl Santay and his son, Cayden Santay, both have had the unique opportunity to work for pro football teams in Tampa. Carl has been a ball boy for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1992. Now, Cayden is a ball boy for the Tampa Bay Vipers, who also play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Carl started as a ball boy with the Bucs when he was in high school. His father had some contacts that helped get him in the door, and his dad also helped with the moving of equipment with the equipment manager. Carl has made it a family tradition since then, working most Sunday home games. He is now in charge of all the ball boys at the Bucs games as a senior ball boy.

Carl’s favorite part of the job is being in the locker room and being behind the scenes, getting to know the players on a personal level. He has enjoyed working with players such as Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks.

His fondest memory on the job was working the 2001 and 2009 Super Bowls in Tampa. He is excited to work the 2021 Super Bowl that will be held in Tampa and hopes that Cayden will be a part of the crew and be there with him to experience it.

“The atmosphere is obviously different from just a Bucs game,” said Carl. “To have the opportunity to be on the field for my third, and hopefully my son will be on the sidelines with us for the Super Bowl next year.”

Cayden is a junior at Newsome High School. He is a former football player who wanted to take a break from playing the game to pursue other interests. In his first season as a ball boy with the Vipers, he has gained a new appreciation for the game.

“It’s a different perspective of the game,” he said. “It’s more interactive, you get to hear the coaches, players and referees. You get to see the game from a different view.”

Cayden currently works for Carl’s business, Ultra Tranz Logistics, in Brandon. He wants to go to firefighter school when he graduates next year. He hopes to be able to work as a ball boy for the Bucs next season with his dad, and he appreciates his opportunity to work for the Vipers. Carl looks forward to making good use of his time with his son.

“The main thing is building memories,” said Carl. “Not a lot of people have the opportunity to be on the field, on the sidelines for NFL and XFL games and be able to do it together, especially if we get to do the Super Bowl together next year.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.