Not only do the Helias Crusaders play their last regular season game on Saturday, but it’s also senior night for twenty-three of the Crusaders. Helias (4-4) looks to end their regular season with a win over DeSmet Jesuit (2-6).
For the 2016 season, the senior class has 612 total passing yards, 1,385 total rushing yards, 36 touchdowns, 429 total receiving yards, and 238 solo tackles. As they look to add to these stats, the Crusaders also face challenges against DeSmet.
“They are really athletic and love to pass the ball,” said running back and linebacker Dylan Gaines. “I think if we can stop their quarterback from making big plays, we won’t have any trouble.”
As a Crusader, Gaines has acquired 174 total rushing yards, 38 carries, and 156 solo tackles in his high school career. For him, it’s crazy to think that his high school career is ending.
“It’s crazy this is my last regular season game of my high school career,” stated Gaines. “It feels like just yesterday I was having my first high school practice. But I’m excited to end this regular season with such a great group of guys that I now call my brothers!”
As seniors, the boys realize that Helias has not only taught them on the field, but also prepared them for life off the football field. For Jonas Miller, running back and linebacker, it’s one of the most valuable things he’s gained.
“I’ve learned things don’t always go your way and how you respond to them makes all the difference,” said Miller. “Also, you won’t make it anywhere or be successful without hard work and dedication to something you love.”
“Football has taught me the value of leadership and how to face adversity well,” added lineman Sam Clardy. “We are all going to face adversity some time or another in our lives and what better way to learn how to do it then by playing your favorite sport with your brothers.”
Quarterback, Chandler Luebbert, has had 446 total passing yards, 26 pass completions, and 475 rushing yards in his career at Helias. Luebbert has made many memories in his four years as a Crusader and will miss Helias football.
“My favorite memory was freshman year beating Liberty North to advance on to state,” said Luebbert. “I’ll miss the Friday (Saturday) night lights the most because of the atmosphere that it held.”
Helias is ranked 23rd in the Missouri Class 4 standings out of 64 teams. The team has spent the last week preparing for their game against DeSmet. Clardy has prepared for a fast-paced game on Saturday.
“For us to win on Saturday, it is going to take us playing fast, physical, and as a team,” said Clardy. “If we can do that on both sides of the ball, we will be victorious.”
“Mastery of the scouting report and hard work in practice is preparing us for the game,” added Miller. “Also, lots of communication between players and coaches.”
The game will be this Saturday, October 15, with kickoff at 7 p.m. at Adkins Stadium. Senior night will take place at halftime.
“I’ll always remember Helias and the memories I have here,” stated Luebbert. “I’ll miss this place and the people a lot.”