As a returning three sport varsity athlete, senior Leif Heltzel starts on both of the varsity football and basketball teams, and then runs track in the spring. He has played football since freshman year and is a captain on this season’s squad.
“He leads by example,” head coach Jamie Carter said. “He has always been a leader, and the team looks up to him, especially after losses like [against Loudon County].”
Senior co-captain Marcus Smith says that Heltzel’s not only a leader, but also a producer.
“He is the one who gives the speeches and gets the team motivated,” Smith said. “He will definitely lead the team in receptions and yards too.”
Junior Quarter Back Louis Heisler will have Heltzel as his main target this year.
“Leif is awesome; he’s one of my favorites,” Heisler said. “He’s a playmaker. I know that when I get the ball to him, he’s going to do something with it.”
Heltzel has been an impact player on the football field since his sophomore year. Last year Heltzel was named to the second team all district, and he hopes to play football in college.
“I am being scouted more as a receiver,” Heltzel said. “Honestly, I will do anything they need me to do [on the football field] that will help me get into college for free.”
Carter says that Heltzel has the potential to go far and play Division 1 in college.
“He has all the right tools that coaches look for,” Carter said. “He has a huge upside, which is what college coaches say when they see a player with potential.”
Heltzel hopes to major in creative writing.
“You can do what you want [in creative writing],” Heltzel said. “Anything like a math field is structured. You have formulas and rules. [In creative writing] you can write about anything you want.”
Independence and originality is a theme in Heltzel’s favorite TV show, The Boondocks, which is about the life of two underprivileged urban
African American youths.
“They take real stuff, like real life situations and satirically murder them,” Heltzel said. “It is just sarcastically funny.”
In the winter, Heltzel is a starting forward on the basketball team.
“He does really well,” senior Jay-Jay Roberts said. “Going straight from football to basketball can be difficult but he does it well.”
Heltzel believes that this basketball season will be more successful than last year.
“I think that the other seniors who didn’t start last season are going to have the opportunity to play and make the team better,” Heltzel said. “There will also be a better team chemistry.”
According to Roberts, Heltzel will have a positive impact on the team’s morale.
“He contributes more size to the team,” Roberts said. “He executes well and will definitely be a leader on the team. If there is a guy on the team who isn’t playing well or having a good day, he keeps us up.”