Seffner, May 15, 2018 – The Christian Crusaders ended their 2017 season on a rather disappointing and unproductive note courtesy of their stronger ranked rivals, finishing with an overall record of 1-8. But, that didn’t slow down their star student athlete and two-way playmaker Christian Helms from producing and seeking his elite potential. Christian starts at WR for Seffner, makes a difference on the opposite side of the ball at Free Safety, also contributing on special teams- all while maintaining a 4.2 GPA! Going into his final year in the maroon and white, it’s safe to say with his unmatched work ethic he’ll be leaving everything he’s got on that football field, regardless of the team’s season outcome.
“From a student perspective he’s at the top of his class, excelling tremendously, striving to be Valedictorian, and that has opened up a lot of doors to IV colleges asking about him. As a player, Christian has always been a competitor, as a freshman, I remember him going to a camp and he went toe to toe with every senior, 9th or 12th grade it never mattered to him, he’s always pushing himself, and his coaches always say he is very coachable, adding everything to his toolbox. He reaches out to every mentor and professional he can, attends elite camps around the state and shows out to the best of his abilities. He’s really blossoming, putting in the work and using his blessing. When he was little playing running back in Pop Warner football, he asked me if he could be like Barry Sanders, I said son, if u can be like Barry Sanders you’ll be something special someday, ever since then he’s been working towards perfecting his craft. Nobody outworks him, and he realizes if you want to be special you have to do the things other people don’t want to do,” explains Christian’s compassionate father, Chris Helms.
“If there’s a chance I can stay home and go to USF I’d like to take that opportunity and develop in their medical program but IVY league schools like Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Princeton are showing the most interest, also had some conversations with coaches that came to my school like Davidson, North Dakota State, and USF. This year I’m looking forward to being a leader on the team as a senior, play better than I ever have before and show people what I can do. People around me are always encouraging me and setting me up for success so I feel like if I don’t, I feel like I’m not fulfilling their faith in me; every time I step on the field no matter where it may be-practice, a game, or camps, I have to earn everything and the underestimation motivates me- if you put your mind to it you can do it,” Christian Helms states.
Watching film alone, it’s clear Helms is a team player, adding tenacity on both ends of the spectrum with his 6’1” 185-pound frame, finishing his designated blocks and completing the tasks asked from his positions always finishing on top. His quick decision-making and feet off the line propel his offensive capabilities, easily able to catch in-stride and the decisive slant routes cut off tackler’s angles setting himself up to produce on the scoreboard, like he did this past junior year for Seffner, responsible for 32 of the team’s scoring points, accumulating 5 receiving TD’s. Helms wrapped up his junior year catching colleges’ attention on and off the field, but as far as the rest of his stat-line goes, he aggregated 360 receiving yards on 24 catches, averaging 15 RYPG, 40 YPG, totaled 9 defensive tackles, recovered a fumble and put up 454 all-purpose yards.
Father Chris Helms goes on to state, “His motivation and mind set I’d say is a combination of taking the good and bad from life, learning life lessons early on he’s always been mature, and being at a small school people were saying him and the team couldn’t accomplish things- just being able to prove them wrong, and turning that into personal motivation, is why he has so much self-believe. If he falls he gets right back up and when he puts his mind to it he will not stop competing until he succeeds. He signs up for personal training, works with IMG academy and studies film; he always knows where everyone is supposed to be on the field. I say if you can’t learn anything else, you’re going backwards. He’s looking for a school that combines his football and medical aspirations- originally, when he was younger he wanted to go to Oregon, was all about being a Duck, but now as he’s gotten older and taken on more responsibilities, he wants to stay home and keep his schooling options open, going through those progressions and seeking the best spot for him.”
“Physically I’m preparing by staying in the weight room consistently, agility drills, gaining weight but also staying lean and in shape, our school trainer is good at keeping us on our toes. Mentally, I’m watching film, studying what I did good and bad, staying as ready as possible-live, sleep and breathe football. Being Free safety is similar to playing wide receiver; catching the ball coming down with the ball, making tackles and on the offensive end, I’ve got good hands and a nice build, if you throw it up, I’ll come down with it.
The majority of my day is spent working out, I also have to stay right in the classroom so everything falls into place; I go to church on Sundays, spend time with my friends, girlfriend and family, so being away from the hustle and bustle of the game, relaxing and enjoying the loving people around me are things I like in spare time. As far as getting ready as a team for the season goes, you know when you tell people you went 1-8 last season and they ask why it’s frustrating to explain but we were younger than every team we played and on the mental side of things we weren’t there- 7 of 8 games we lost within a touchdown and two were dropped Hail Maries’ so it’s important that when we step on the field Friday night we lock in and play unselfishly, but more so gel together as a whole and that will determine how the future of our season will play out,” Christian goes on to say.
Wise words from this scholar and athlete making a name for himself on and off the field; for Christian, being ambitious and determined with belief in himself along with his work-horse mentality is what separates him from the pack; he won’t let anyone undermine his grind or stand in his way of climbing the success ladder- and the best part is, he will never have to be reminded.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor