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

See More

Tipp hurlers already focused on All Ireland challenge

first_imgKillenaule’s Kieran Bergin admits winning the Munster title is a monkey off their back but says their attention has already turned to All Ireland challenge. The team won the Premier’s 41st Munster title at Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon, beating a strong Waterford side in front of a capacity home crowd.Thurles Sarsfields clubman Padraic Maher is due to undergo tests and assessments on a shoulder injury he picked up during Sunday’s provincial decider.Tipperary now have 5 weeks before their next match, an All Ireland Semi Final on the 16th August.last_img

See More

“We are the most affected, but we cannot do anything”

first_img“Ligue 2 is a very interesting competition. It has a lot of young players with a lot of potential. It surprised me. I never thought it would be so competitive.” Mario González, Clermont player The end of the football season in France left big losers, but nobody can lament more than the Clermont Foot 63. The team Mario Gonzalez, the only Spanish footballer in the French Second Division, was completing one of the best seasons in his memory. Fifth after 28 days, the ‘reuge y bleu’ squad still dreamed of moving up to Ligue 1. “We, Troyes and Ajaccio are the big losers, but we cannot do anything. It’s a shame because we were in a great dynamic“González analyzes.And so it is. If we only consider the last 15 days of Ligue 2, Clermont Foot 63 would lead the standings with two more points than Lorient. The club located in the Auvergne region had only lost one of its last 15 league matches. The rest of the results, nine wins and five draws that placed Mario González’s team as a serious candidate for promotion. “I had found my place when the competition was suspended due to the coronavirus,” laments the Spaniard, whose goals gave his team two separate wins against Nancy and Lorient.center_img “It would have been fair to play, but there is no use regretting it. It’s time to keep working and prepare for the next campaign, hopefully it will be just as good or better“admits González, who” would have rushed to the maximum to try to finish the season. “” We deserved more, but it would have been difficult to find a solution that pleased everyone. Our president, Ahmet Schaefer, proposed to dispute at least the promotion play-off. The club has worked until the last day to reach a term that would not harm us, but the decisions that have been taken have been others, “completes Mario.Despite the disappointing end of the course, Mario González values ​​”very positively” what has been his first soccer experience abroad. The man from Burgos suffered three injuries that led him to miss 10 Ligue 2 matches, but ended up contributing with three goals that meant six points in favor of Clermont. “I adapted very quickly and, although the injuries cut my rhythm, since January I feel super good. I am at a great level and, although it is a pity that I cannot continue showing it, I will work to do much better next year”, he values a Mario surprised by the level of Ligue 2: “It is a very interesting competition. It has a lot of young players with a lot of potential. It surprised me. I never thought it was so competitive“last_img read more

See More

Eclectic electric Ocaso Music Festival rages in Tamarindo

first_imgRelated posts:10 reasons to check out the first-ever Coca Cola Fest Meet Sarai González, the inspiring Tica in Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” video The Black side of the story: Afro-Costa Rican MC Huba Watson 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician TAMARINDO, Guanacaste— Raging the largest developed beach town in Guanacaste,Ocaso Music Festival kept Tamarindo wide awake following the turn of the year.Located on the Nicoya Peninsula on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the festival returned for its third year, bringing back thousands of underground electronic music enthusiasts who got to experience a party in beach paradise for six days.Ocaso aims to highlight a diverse array of artists and music genres under the house and techno umbrella, this year featuring established artists such as Damian Lazarus, Guy Gerber, Jamie Jones, and Loco Dice. (Here is the full festival lineup.)Putting six days of music together with more than 60 DJs is a process. Booking headline talent and adding everyone to that talent takes a particular type of dedication. For Ocaso organizer and founder Devin Ellis, it’s his favorite thing about the event.“I always wanted to be a DJ but never thought I was good enough to play in public,” Ellis said. “This is my sneaky way of DJ’ing by deciding which DJ plays when and where.”From Jan. 2-7, the festival was sprawled throughout Tamarindo, giving attendees a mix of sensory experiences, from having the ocean sounds in the background to the hypnotic techno, to being immersed in a mystical outdoor jungle amphitheater. The party began midday and continued early into the morning, and El Be Beachclub, Tamarindo Vista Villas Pool and La Senda took turns hosting the festivities. Scenes from the 2019 Ocaso Underground Music Festival in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. Duncan Anderson / The Tico TimesEllis, said he was flattered and surprised by the amount of Costa Ricans attending this year.“Ninety-one percent of attendees were Tico,” Ellis said. “The last thing we want at a festival is a bunch of Ticos staring at Americans in a VIP section.”Ocaso doesn’t have a VIP section, nor do they have bottle service or anything that could potentially separate people on a socioeconomic level. He said it’s this way because of the affordability of the tickets, with early bird tickets six months in advance being $49 each.The Tico Times attended the festival on the third night, which was hosted at La Senda — an outdoor labyrinth in the forest designed by architect Ronald Esquival, who specializes in sacred geometry and labyrinth design. La Senda was transformed into a jungle amphitheater for the festival, but the mystical air of the space channeled into the essence of the night, most notably seen in the visuals on screen behind the DJs.The man in charge of the mesmerizing stage lighting and production is Björn Jelinek, an Austrian living in the mountains of Croatia who produces a festival there called Modem. He got in touch with Ellis when he was visiting Costa Rica two years ago and is “one of the reasons why the event itself has taken a step up in the last two years,” Ellis said. “He took my paper napkin drawings of the stage, crinkled them up, laughed and said, ‘Wanna do this for real?’”On its biggest night, more than 4,000 people were partying at Ocaso. According to Ellis, the festival’s attendance has doubled each year.Compared to other festivals in Latin America, Ellis attributes the uniqueness of Ocaso to having an intimate, boutique feel.“What makes us different from other festivals is our total dedication to underground music,” Ellis said. “There is no commercial music or mainstream sponsors that most events have in Costa Rica.”Electronic dance music festivals usually have five to six stages and can welcome upwards of 100,000 people, which is “kind of impersonal”, Ellis adds.Costa Rican DJ Brenda Segura performed on the second night of the festival. She started DJ’ing five years ago when she was 18 years old and has been to Ocaso each year since its inception.“I fell in love with the concept of electronic music,” Segura said. “It’s something important for me. What comes out in my music is what’s in my heart and soul.”As a female DJ in a male dominant field, Segura gets a lot of attention because of her gender, but she doesn’t let it affect her integrity as an artist.“I’ve always wanted to have a DJ girl collective here in Costa Rica. The DJ scene here for girls isn’t that big,” Segura says. Duncan Anderson / The Tico TimesShe plays at venues in San José such as Vertigo and Antik, and she hopes to move to California this year to open her mind and experience life as an artist outside of her hometown.Attendees looking to channel their creative side at Ocaso had access to four immersive murals thanks to art supply production and distributor Arti Sur. Despite being painted away from the main stage, the murals were close enough to let the house and techno vibrations rumble through the brush.American artist Christopher Anway worked on a mural he described as an Aztec-style dragon monkey with blood sucking sharp teeth. Duncan Anderson / The Tico Times“I’ve been a tattoo artist for 20 years, and I’m an oil painter and sculpture as well,” Anway, who publishes his work @paintforfood, said. “I do big murals on buildings too, with some running in the Bay Area and Thailand.”Amidst the crowd of typically loud wardrobe choices seen at any electronic music festival, Kassidy Vargas stood out from afar. She was sporting a fiber fly whip as her way to express herself on the dance floor. Duncan Anderson / The Tico Times“It’s an outlet of energy,” she said.Vargas travelled from Arizona by herself just to be at the festival.“The production they did on this festival is top-notch,” she said. I’ve travelled a lot of places, gone to a lot of festivals, and this is really good.”Drugs and alcohol tend to follow music festivals wherever they go, and an emergency team was on site to ensure safety. The UNIMED Health System, which had a presence at Ocaso, said it had been quiet and that thankfully there were no accidents.Costa Rican indigenous gastronomy kept people’s bellies full throughout the festival with organically sourced food from the head chef of Sikwa and Alma de Amón — two restaurants in San José with the same owner. Duncan Anderson / The Tico Times“We basically did all the food ourselves,” Ellis said. “We didn’t have outside vendors, and we made sure that 100 percent of the product was grown organically.”In 2020, Ocaso will rage from Jan. 7-12, but be sure to check for early-bird prices six months in advance to experience the up-and-coming underground electronic scene in Costa Rica. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

See More