Pictured in front, from left are Tristen Helvie, Emma Helvie and Izabelle Helvie. In the back are Nicolle Helvie and Trevor Helvie. Photo provided
Huntington North senior Emma Helvie put pen to paper on Monday afternoon, Nov. 14, signing with Saginaw Valley State University to continue her academic and softball careers as a Cardinal. Located in University Center, Michigan, Saginaw Valley State is an NCAA Division II institution that competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. While Helvie had also considered schools like Grand Valley State University, Huntington University and Indiana Wesleyan University, among others, Helvie ultimately decided Saginaw Valley State was the way to go. “I just loved the campus and I loved the coaching and the atmosphere around it,” Helvie said at the signing. “It was just the environment and how they presented themselves and the team around them, it was just amazing.” Helvie has been an instrumental piece of the Viking softball program throughout her high school career. Already a three-year varsity letter winner, Helvie has earned a pair of both Northeast 8 Conference First Team All-Conference and Third Team All-State recognitions for her prowess on the field. During her junior season in 2022, Helvie recorded an impressive .479 batting average, racking up 35 hits—including eight doubles, a triple and two home runs—en route to 28 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Helvie also earned four walks, and remarkably struck out only one time all season. Those achievements came on the heels of a sophomore season that saw her accumulate an incredible .512 batting average with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Though Helvie’s talent is apparent, Huntington North softball head coach Pete Eckert has greatly appreciated Helvie’s selflessness to better her team above all else. “Emma is successful and will keep being successful due to her willingness to be coached,” Eckert said. “She understands the game and what it takes to be a team. Emma was recruited to play college ball as a catcher, and she was known to be an outstanding catcher with a collegiate arm in travel softball. As her high school coach, I asked her to play third base for Huntington North. Due to injury and having another catcher on the team that went on to catch in college, I moved Emma to third base to help make our team stronger. She didn’t question the move and became an outstanding third baseman, even though her desire was to be behind the plate.” Eckert hopes Helvie is able to build off of her success in order to lead the Vikings to a successful 2023 season. “My hopes for Emma’s senior season and the rest of the seniors is to make a run to the state finals,” Eckert said. “For Emma herself, I hope she can become more of a vocal leader on this team. Emma has always been a leader on the field, but I would love to see her take this team and motivate them to their full potential, to show the younger girls what it takes to be successful.” In the classroom, Helvie has achieved scholar-athlete status. At Saginaw Valley State, Helvie plans to study exercise science to become a physical therapist in the future.