The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Colts

September 21, 2013

Pair of Colts surprise 'inspirational' Elwood teen

ELWOOD, Ind. — Not every homecoming queen gets an escort onto the field by a pair of Indianapolis Colts.

But few girls have fought through as much to deserve it as Elwood's Maddi Helpling.

The 2012 homecoming queen received a shock Friday night as she entered the field at halftime of the Panthers' game against Eastbrook. Her surprise escorts as she crowned 2013 queen Grace Arbuckle were Colts long snapper Matt Overton and punter Pat McAfee.

The idea was hatched by Overton, who has made comforting ailing youth his mission since coming to Indianapolis last year. His first contact with Helpling came through a story she shared on Twitter, and he followed up with a visit to her room at Peyton Manning Children's hospital.

The former Elwood volleyball and tennis player is battling high grade Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that requires 29 months of chemotherapy Helpling hopes to complete in March. In the meantime, she's studying to become a nurse practitioner at IUPUI.

Her treatment prevents Helpling from a carrying a full schedule for now, but she plans to take a full-time class load next fall. When Overton heard her story, he hatched a plan with her grandma.

"She's a great girl, very inspiring to all of us," Overton said. "I had known that her homecoming was coming up and that she was crowning the new homecoming queen here at Elwood. And I thought it would be perfect for Pat and I to come out here and surprise her."

Helpling previously met with the players on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium before the regular-season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 8. But she had no idea a reunion was coming Friday night.

"Mamaw kept it a secret," Helpling said. "She's good at that."

Text Only
Colts
  • SPT - HB0322 - Grigson art Grigson happy with offseason additions Though he stopped just short of declaring his shopping spree over, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear Friday he's happy with the team's offseason haul.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0318 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • George Bremer-2.JPG George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football

    Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_irsaymugshot.jpg Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Bryant Orem said.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0316 - Nicks photo Nicks betting deal with Colts will pay off Hakeem Nicks is betting on himself. The 25-year-old wide receiver with a Super Bowl ring and a long injury history from five years with the New York Giants chose a fresh start in Indianapolis because he believes the pieces are in place for the franchise to make a long postseason run.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0315 - Nicks art Colts add WR Nicks on one-year deal The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season. On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0314 - Jones art Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight. Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0313 - Alex Mack Colts quiet on free agency's second day Wednesday was relatively quiet for the Indianapolis Colts, as general manager Ryan Grigson appeared content to let the market settle on Day 2 of free agency before making his next move.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0312 - Arthur Jones art Colts' focus mainly internal on Day 1 Ryan Grigson crossed his top offseason priority off the list Tuesday as the Indianapolis Colts spent the first day of NFL free agency largely retaining their own talent.

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0311 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Free agency season is upon us The Colts are about to lose cornerback Vontae Davis. Unless, of course, the sides are about to agree on a new deal. Depends on whom you're following on Twitter and when you last checked your timeline.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

Colts Video
Twitter Updates
Reader Photos From Camp


Share your camp photos with us.

Colts Camp Webcast Archive