Helias football became a part of the Helias community in 1956 bringing with it 23 District Championship titles and 2 State Championship titles. Not only winning, but pride has become a tradition for Helias football. Returning head coach Timothy Rulo looks to continue that tradition with the 2016 team.
“The amount of tradition of excellence that this school has and the amount of pride that the student body and the community has for the program, for all the programs, is great. It’s something you don’t see at other schools,” said Rulo.
For many players, those traditions have become a piece of their favorite things about playing for Helias.
“My favorite part about playing for Helias is the traditions throughout the years, the sense of pride I have when I put on my jersey and think about all the people that have played with my number throughout the years,” stated running back Logan Roling.
The Crusaders have made sure they are prepared for this season. Starting in the winter of 2015, Coach Rulo started holding meetings with the senior class to get their thoughts on the upcoming season and hear any ideas they might have.
“I’m a strong believer that at 17 or 18, they know what’s best for them,” said Rulo.
The Crusaders have twenty-three seniors listed on the roster for the 2016 season. Senior and left guard Sam Clardy has been preparing for this season since November.
“I’ve been putting in work since November,” said Clardy. “Also, I’ve been coming in every Thursday for offensive line drills.”
Helias football opened their season August 19, in Hannibal. With 251 rushing yards, 43 carries, 101 total return yards, and 2 touchdowns, Helias fell 19-14 but provided a glimpse at what they are capable of.
“The biggest thing is the culmination of hard work and attention to detail on the field for on field success,” Rulo said.
Running back and linebacker Jacob Storms, started his senior season with 11 carries, 89 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 kickoff returns. Storms is hopeful about having a winning season.
“A very successful season and a long run in the playoffs,” Storms predicted.
Dalton Weaver, linebacker and wide receiver, had 2 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, and 1 sack against Hannibal. Weaver is looking for revenge in district play.
“Going back to the district championship and beating a team that has beat us the last three times at their house is our biggest challenge,” Weaver said.
Jake Burnett, fullback and linebacker, completed 4 carries, 30 rushing yards, and 11 solo tackles during the Hannibal season opener. Burnett dedicated his summer to weight conditioning and learning the Helias playbook.
“I have gained better knowledge of the offense,” stated Burnett, “and hit the weight room hard.”
Left tackle and defensive end Caleb Albertson, has developed a bond through Crusader football that could possibly last a lifetime.
“My favorite part of Helias football is the brothership,” commented Albertson.
Helias Crusaders will be back in action at 4 p.m., Saturday, August 27, in their home opener against AC Prep.
“The fans should expect huge things from us this season,” said Burnett. “The ceiling is so high for this team and when we reach it, no team will want to play us.”