Clay Helton’s past inspires his football acumen

first_imgFaith. Family. Football.That is the motto of USC’s team, promoted strongly by their leader, head coach Clay Helton. Helton assumed the head-coaching role two days after the Trojans’ convincing 40-21 win over UCLA on Nov. 28.The motto has since been embraced by the team and is emblazoned on black hoodies that can frequently be seen around campus.Helton said in an interview with the Daily Trojan that selling kids on the team’s motto is one of his biggest recruiting tools.The words that Helton now lives by were taught to him by the same man who gave him his start as a coach: his father, Kim Helton.“My dad taught me there’s not a lot of time out there to be able to do other things, so concern yourself with three things: Faith, family and football, and that’s what I believe in,” Helton said.His coaching career began immediately following graduation. Helton spent two years at Duke, one as a graduate assistant and one as the running backs coach in 1996 but then moved to his alma mater and the school his father coached at — University of Houston, where he was the running backs coach for three seasons.“It’s not too many times you get to work for your best friend in life and your hero and that’s what my dad is to me,” Helton said. “I’ve learned so many lessons from him, not only as a young guy, but as a coach, and now as a guy that’s 43 years old.”FaithReligion is a big part of the football culture at USC, and it can be witnessed every time the team runs out of the Coliseum on Saturday. They all head for the end zone where many players take a knee and take a moment to pray.Religion is in the locker room, on the field and in tattoos.“We believe that no matter what religion you believe in, if you want to practice your faith, practice your faith and we support you,” Helton said.FamilyThe two-faced second moniker holds especially true for Helton, whose coaching career has been so intricately tied to his family. Getting a start from his father gave Helton the opportunity to develop not just his knowledge of Xs and Os, but develop his character as well.“He’s taught me how to be a husband, a father, a football coach and a leader of men,” Helton said of his father. “I’m very blessed to have a guy that isn’t only my best friend but also happens to be a really good football coach too.”Helton said he still talks to his dad two or three times a week.Helton’s parents live in Florida acting as caretakers for his grandmother, who is in her 90s. They take an annual trip to visit their son’s colleges though, and now that Helton has hired on his brother, Tyson Helton, as quarterbacks and passing game coordinator, Helton is hoping that his parents will be able to spend more time in California.Tyson Helton also played for his father at Houston before becoming the special teams coach at Hawaii. Most recently, he was the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky.“I’ve always known how talented a coach he is, but now to see it up close and personal is great,” Helton said. “To bring that dynamic to your football team, not only a guy that you love, but also an ultra-talented coach it makes you very proud as a head coach. I’m mad that he has more hair than me, and he’s a lot skinnier than me.”Helton has been able to surround himself with those he loves, no one more than his high school sweetheart, Angela Helton. Helton and his wife have quite the love story.Though Helton says he no longer looks the part, he was once the quarterback at Clements High in Sugar Land, Texas. Angela Helton was a member of the dance team that performed at the games.“I’ve been in love since I was 15, she figured it out at 17, and we’ve been in love ever since,” Helton said.Going into their 21st year of marriage, the Heltons have three kids of their own, including high school senior, Reid Helton, who is looking at USC as a possible college for next year.FootballAs spring football begins, Helton has his hands full implementing new concepts as well as incorporating freshman onto the team in what he expects to be a competition-filled spring season.“The beauty of spring ball is competition, and that’s where you establish yourself,” Helton said.  “Over the past six years, we’ve had 15 freshman All-Americans, so here it’s about stepping on that practice field and competing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior.”Spring isn’t just about football though. Helton said the program tries to get the players together as much as possible to promote the family-to-football tie.“We believe in the family aspect of things and the brotherhood, and to have that you’ve got to be together,” Helton said.Helton cited bowling and movies as two team favorites as well as Friday night dinners at local restaurants on road games during the season.In his first full season as head coach, Helton has a lot to juggle between deciding starting lineups, preparing for a full schedule of tough opponents and keeping off-the-field drama to a minimum. For him though, it’s much simpler than that when you are able to focus on the things that matter most: Faith. Family. Football.last_img read more

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On hold: Fall athletes try to assess future

first_imgLast Updated: 21st August, 2020 07:18 IST On Hold: Fall Athletes Try To Assess Future Devin Meyrer has the same feelings as many athletes in conferences that have seen their fall seasons postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He understands why the decision was made, but he isn’t sure whether it will be feasible to conduct a season in the spring LIVE TV Devin Meyrer has the same feelings as many athletes in conferences that have seen their fall seasons postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He understands why the decision was made, but he isn’t sure whether it will be feasible to conduct a season in the spring.The University of Michigan distance runner participates in cross country in the fall, before shifting to indoor track in the winter and the outdoor season in the spring. For some athletes who do both cross country and track, some decisions might have to be made.“We have no idea of how the logistics will work, especially for those of us who compete all three seasons,” Meyrer said. “There are going to be schedule conflicts, but we’ll be ready for any variable.”College athletes who compete in Olympic sports during the fall say they figured their seasons were at risk well before the NCAA and some conferences announced postponements. They also say it was better to make this move in advance than having to shut things down in the middle of a season.Meyrer has been caught in both scenarios. He was running well last year and placed 16th at the NCAA Division I Cross Country meet, but saw his outdoor season canceled two weeks before it started. He also saw teammates not get to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, which were canceled after everyone arrived to compete.“For distance runners this means we have lost two consecutive seasons,” he said. “Spring was a shock to the system because everyone had to go home and you lose that team camaraderie. This is more like a slow burn. We were excited to show the work we had done since March even if the opportunity to race was being done in a controlled environment.”Dana Rettke and her Wisconsin volleyball team were well into preparations for another possible Final Four run when the Big Ten’s postponement announcement came on Aug. 11. However, she wasn’t shocked by the outcome because of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Midwest during the summer.“The chances of having a season were decreasing. There was a bigger fear of knowing if there was going to be a second wave if we were already into the season,” she said.The senior middle blocker, who is the reigning Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, is trying not to get too wrapped up in what a spring season might look like because too many unknowns remain. Her biggest concern is making sure she follows all the necessary protocols for the two classes she will have that won’t be online.Rettke also hopes they will get a chance to have a season after the Badgers advanced to the national championship game last season before losing to Stanford.“The recent practices honestly were some of the most fun I have had in the gym. Now we have an entire fall semester to prepare which will be beneficial,” Rettke said.While most teams in the Midwest had an opportunity to begin practicing, Stanford’s Catarina Macario and Southern California’s Marcus Longton had not even gotten that far. Local health regulations have restricted most California schools to just conditioning workouts.Macario is a senior forward at Stanford, which is the defending NCAA women’s soccer champion, while Longton is on USC’s water polo team. He is a sophomore driver on the Trojans, who reached the final last year.“As defending national champions we have to set and keep the tone that we will be here and ready to compete,” Macario said. “We will keep training as if things will play out in the spring. Hopefully by then schools and conferences will have figured out a safer way to compete and travel and do the things we used to before.”Another concern is what the field would look like during an NCAA tournament. If the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences decide to compete in the fall, they would be ineligible to be in the tournament.Even if it wasn’t the usual field, Macario stressed that a national title would still be the goal.A spring men’s water polo season could also be compressed due to logistics. Not only would their season be going on at the same time as the women’s, it would also come in the midst of preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo Games, which are supposed to take place next summer.Four members of USC’s men’s team are training with the U.S. team, but the Olympic roster still isn’t set.“The coaches are working to have every player on their best training scenario,” Longton said. “Maybe some guys go compete with their old clubs. Whatever happens all my team is on board if there is any chance to have a season. Every athlete wants to compete.” FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News center_img First Published: 21st August, 2020 07:18 IST COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US Written Bylast_img read more

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SUITS FINAL SEASON TEASER FEATURES PATRICK J ADAMS ANTICIPATED RETURN VIDEO

first_imgIt’s nice to have you back, Mike Ross.In a new 30-second teaser touting the ninth and final season of Suits, Patrick J. Adams returns to his old haunts after being away for one calendar year. And though it’s felt like forever since Mike and his mentor, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), were reeling off legal wins at the law firm, it’s nice to have the pair back together again. Advertisement Facebook “I always have time for an old friend,” Mike says, as he shakes Harvey’s hand.  We have seriously missed this bromance!So what whisks Mike away from Seattle where he’s, presumably, still happily married to Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and helping those in legal need at their own firm? A case that pits Mike against Harvey and Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl). Patrick J. Adams (Photo courtesy of USA Network) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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