Familiar names on horizon for Warriors

There might be a connection between the 1985 Whiteland baseball team and the one taking the field a year from now in the form of Cole Warweg and Luke Helton.

A sophomore shortstop for the junior varsity squad, Warweg is the son of Chad Warweg, the starting shortstop for that Warriors state finals qualifier all those years ago. Helton is an eighth-grader who might see his share of varsity action a year from now as a middle infielder. His father is Mike Helton, a sophomore starter for Whiteland 30 years ago and still the program’s career leader in home runs with 26.

The Helton surname has deep roots in Whiteland baseball lore.

Twin brothers Raymond and Lehman Helton, Mike Helton’s uncle and father, respectively, were drafted by the New York Mets in 1966 and assigned to report to the franchise’s minor-league training site in Homestead, Florida.

Raymond played either first base or in the outfield, while Lehman Helton was a shortstop. Mike Helton would continue his playing career at Franklin College from 1988-91.

Those are tough footprints to duplicate, and Mike Helton knows it.

Especially for a freshman.

“I played 14 games as a freshman and was no good. I don’t even know if I got a hit that season,” Mike Helton said, referring to the 1984 Whiteland baseball team.

“But Luke is a totally different player than I was. He’s a little more of a spray hitter and a middle fielder, where I was at the corners. I just want him to enjoy it and become his own person. Both of my sons play a lot of basketball, too. Whatever they’re happiest with, that’s fine.”

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.