Barry Helton Recognized by Big Sandy School for Outstanding Athletic Achievement in a Careerby Donna Maranville
The Big Sandy School District 100J honored Barry Helton, Class of 1983, for his outstanding career achievements in sports the evening of November 23 at the school gymnasium. The event was attended by more than 50 family and community friends.
The featured speaker, Dr. Jerry Maranville, president of the Big Sandy Alumni Association, prefaced his talk by noting Simla high school’s good fortune in having an abundance of outstanding coaches and athletes work or attend Big Sandy. Only two or three, including Barry, have reached extraordinary status over the years.
During high school, he excelled in baseball, basketball and football earning many honors and awards including the prestigious Glen Morris Award. His records in high school football included 100 passing touchdowns which was No. 1 in the nation. His 7,831 total passing yards was 2nd nationally. The Simla Cubs won three consecutive football championships and one state basketball championship during Barry’s participation from 1979/80 until his graduation in 1983. He was the Hertz Award winner as Best Colorado Athlete and valedictorian of his class.
Barry attended the University of Colorado at Boulder on a Division I Football Scholarship. He was the starting punter in 1985 through graduation in 1987. His achievements in Division I football included two seasons Colorado consensus All American, Walter Camp All American, UPI All American, two seasons AP All American (1985 and 1986), and Special teams champion all years. He was later chosen to the “All Decade” team of the 1980s in the Midwest states of the Big 8 Conference with the outstanding punting average of 44.9 yards.
He was drafted in the 4th round by the San Francisco 49ers as a punter and was chosen his rookie year to the pro football Rookie Team. He was a member of the Bill Walsh coached 49ers that won Super Bowl XXIII against the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16, and Super Bowl XXIV beating the Denver Broncos 55-10. He retired from the NFL in 1993 due to injuries. He was inducted into the Colorado High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Colorado Springs Hall of Fame in 2012.
Hall of Fame football coach Ken Moore, who coached Barry during his high school days, gave his recollection of Barry as an athlete and their relationship through school and later in Barry’s career. He was assisted by boys basketball coach Dave Guy in unveiling the wall hanging showing Barry’s accomplishments which is now placed in the hall of trophies and individual athletic accomplishments directly across from the large gym.
Following the unveiling, Barry spoke of several specific things that had influenced his career. He expressed high regard for his teammates and coaches for their roles in his success. Barry expressed how his parents’ and siblings unselfish devotion to him as he moved through high school sports to college and finally to the NFL had been perhaps the most single influence allowing his rise to prominence. Barry also told of his pride in his wife and four children who have shared in his success along the way.
The evening was ended with a reception hosted by The Simla Cubs Booster Club.