The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Sports

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
Local Sports
  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout

    An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Indians scratch back into Muller final A young and inexperienced Anderson team again proved its mettle Friday in the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Indians (2-3), playing without several expected starters to open the season, clawed out a 10-6 victory against Lapel (2-2) at Memorial Field to advance to the championship game for the 10th time.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pendleton Heights, Frankton to meet for net title

    Pendleton Heights and Frankton advanced to today's Madison County Championship title match after posting very different victories. The Lady Arabian tennis team advanced after defeating the Alexandria Tigers 4-1. For Frankton, it came down to a No. 1 singles tie-breaker to put away Lapel.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0418 - PHHS vs Alex - 017 Arabians hold off Alex to reach semifinals Good teams don't need much help. That didn't stop Pendleton Heights from accepting a little aid from Alexandria in the second round of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • Tigers, Eagles early winners in Muller Tournament Alexandria and Frankton were the victors in the opening night of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament at Pendleton Heights.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin