Good Old Helling Stadium

Scott Mackey sent me this picture awhile back and it has unleashed an avalanche of memories for me personally, more so perhaps than maybe any other picture I have received. The old football field and track were like a second home to me.

Looking at this picture and seeing the old football practice field made me start to sweat just sitting here at my desk. All of a sudden I can taste that dirt where grass was supposed to be, smell the practice jerseys that never got washed (ever), and I can feel the sun beating down on me during those two-a-day practices during camp.
A long time ago I used to play football here occasionally but practiced here a lot. In just a matter of seconds I can see things that are not pictured. I can see the tackling dummies lined up for “Oklahoma” drills, the coach at the top of the bleachers filming, the “pretty boys” (quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs) at one end of the practice field playing catch and having a good ol’ time while the “hogs” (linemen) are down at the other end working (guess which I was).
Just typing that paragraph above, more memories keep flooding in that I have tried so hard to suppress. Flashbacks of pushing the seven man sled up and down the field and all the different drills we used to do for practice on that dry dirt field and sadly I have to admit that I miss it. I did not enjoy it then, but in some weird way I do miss it.
Looking at the old bleachers set up, the visitor stands are bigger than the home stands today. With all the regulations in place for bleachers (each step can only be so high, no openings, etc…) there was not enough space to go as big as these old bleachers. I remember running up and down those bleachers for track and for football and at the time they felt as those home bleachers were as high as the ones in Happy Valley. Well maybe not that high but they sure felt like it.
I could go on and on but I want to hear your memories also. Whether they are memories of the before mentioned practice field, the cinder 300 meter track that was deemed to un-safe for track meets in the mid 90’s, the concession stand that seemed to be open all year round (opposite corner of picture), the state of the art lockers rooms that visiting teams refused to use, the way the wooden bleachers would bounce in the student section, watching a football game and dropping something through the bleachers and having to go find it in the rocks underneath, or even perhaps some of the great football games, soccer games, powder puff games, sixth grade Olympics, renowned half-time shows or even one of the record breaking track meets that took place here. Please share your memories below or email me at
Helling StadiumThank you again to Scott Mackey for supplying the stroll down memories lane.

4 thoughts on “Good Old Helling Stadium”

  1. The Lincoln High School Band, under the direction of Mr. I.B.Weinstein, was the first band to march on that field!! They ushered in the 1953 WOLVERINE FOOTBALL SEASON!.. Drum -Major, Emily Antinossi, Head Majorette, Connie Neve, and Band President, Victor Fera.. (95 members).GREAT MEMORIES !!!

  2. Boy do I remember that stadium. How the football team was up in arms about letting the soccer team use the field for games. Marching band practices and performances (yes, I played trumpet through 11th grade), powderpuff games an how Costa didn’t allow the boys to dress up as cheerleaders.

    The best was when my friend Tim Grinnen convinced me to run track our senior year for “something to do.” We figured, heck we’ll high jump, long jump, and triple jump. One of the few home events was against Aliquippa. Tim and I were walking back from the long jump pit (we sucked at long jump btw except for Sam Ruffin. Man he had wings on his feet.) when Coach Bart said he needed Tim and me to run the 3200 meter relay. Run? What do you mean run? I started to look at Tim and thought, “You said this would be fun and easy.” “What’s that?” I asked. He briefly explained you grab the baton and run two laps and hand it off. Wow, great coaching. Tim ran the first leg, I the second. I forget who the other two. I think one was Jered Boone (RIP). Tim held close in the first leg and I took the lead in the second leg. I think we lost. The reason I don’t remember is right after my leg, I had to run to the high jump “pit”. I say “pit” because it was basically a mat with a high jump bar on asphalt over near the bathrooms. Did they sweep up the gravel? No. Did we take a spill or two on our approaches, yeah. LOL

    Oh and by the way. If anyone reads this and has a 1992 yearbook. On the track page they have me quoted as saying, “Going to states was fun. I just wish we had more that went” or something to that effect. Note: I did not go to states and never said that. There, conscience cleared. Also note that I was not on the baseball team, soccer team, or any other group photo that I was able to sneak into except for the musical, basketball and track team photos. I figured, its my senior year and I am going to get into as many pictures I can. Plus it got me out of a lot of classes that day. LOL ; )

  3. for almost 30 years I was “The Voice of The Blue Band”and can remember the stadium well and eventually became the field announcer at the new stadium for many years.

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