By Gregg A. Sims
Brady Helms is looking for a break.
Not the kind that comes with human bones. He knows more about broken bones than the average high school junior already.
Helms is looking for a good break this fall as he enters his third season of football at North Daviess, where his father, Scott Helms is the coach.
The son suffered broken arms in his first two seasons as a Cougar. The right arm went in a junior varsity game against Mitchell his freshman year. The left was broken as North Daviess hosted Springs Valley at Cougar Valley in the team’s ninth game.
Those experiences, Helms has played in 10 of 23 possible games his first two seasons, have left the quarterback filled with excitement for the third time around.
He’s ready to make his breaks on football field this fall,
“It’s been fun just to get back out there and play with the guys again,” Helms said. “All of the guys are fun to be around, and I’m definitely looking forward to the new season.”
Helms was not the only Cougar to suffer an injury last fall. Senior Anthony Steffey went down on the first defensive series of the season at Tecumseh after running on offense.
The loss of Steffey was the beginning of a season that witnessed Helms join Steffey on the injured reserve.
“When Anthony went down last year it was more than just losing a running back and a defensive player,” Helms said. “He was a team captain. He was the type of player that was nearly impossible to replace, although we all did what we had to do to try.”
When Helms goes to the line to call signals at home against Tecumseh Aug. 17, he’ll be joined by several players who experienced that year.
“We are going to be young, but everyone has worked really hard and we’re looking forward to it,” Helms said. “Everyone has stepped up. We even have young guys who have. It doesn’t matter how old you are. That’s what we want to see.”
The lost freshman season was a surprise with the first injury in Helms’ athletic career.
The second was tougher.
“I thought after the first year that I had gotten the injury thing out of the way,” Helms said. “The first year was the first time that I had ever been hurt like that — where I had to miss games. I think it just makes you more excited for the next season.”
Helms showed improvement as a sophomore quarterback. The passes were getting better, and the running game was good, despite missing Steffey.
“I thought we were at a point where we had some things going last year,” Helms said. “It was heartbreaking to go through an injury a second year.”
The junior year looks brighter thanks to work at Force Fitness in Bloomington.
The center has given Helms more flexibility, more strength and greater speed. That should all increase the chances of an injury-free year.
“They have helped make me more flexible and I’m in better shape,” Helms said. “I really appreciated everything they’ve done.”
With a few weeks remaining before the start of that new season, Helms simply wants to get started with a new, and better campaign.
“The plan is to pick up where we left off last year,” Helms said. “We lost some seniors, but we have good players coming back — a lot of skill players. We hope we can pick things up from there, and put together a really good football season.”