SPORTS >>Signing up with Wofford
By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor
Lady Panther senior point guard Maddie Helms has officially committed to becoming a Terrier for the next four years. Helms signed an NCAA letter of intent to play college ball for Wofford University in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Helms has averaged over 12 points per game, well as four assists and three rebounds since joining the varsity team as a sophomore.
Wofford coach Edgar Farmer spotted Helms in an AAU tournament in Atlanta, and expressed interest in Helms to her AAU coach Scott Loucks.
Loucks encouraged Helms to explore WU. The 5-foot-6 Helms initiated the contact, and was eventually offered a scholarship.
Helms explained the unusual event of the athlete initiating the recruiting process.
“He talked to coach Loucks, but I don’t think he got my number,” Helms said. “So I just called him and he offered me.”
Helms visited Spartanburg over the summer and verbally committed while on campus.
Wofford is the only Division I school to extend an early offer to Helms, but she was receiving interest from Arkansas, Arkansas State and others. Once offered though, she decided that Wofford was the place for her.
“It was small and very homey,” Helms said. “I really liked it and I liked the coaching staff. I prayed about it and asked for peace about attending there. It felt right. It wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Helms has started for the Lady Panthers since her sophomore year. She has guided the team to two conference championships. Cabot lost in the second round of the state tournament her sophomore year, and advanced to the semifinal round last season.
Cabot coach Carla Crowder believes Helms was a great pickup for the rebuilding Lady Terriers.
“She has a great head, she’s a hard worker and we’re really excited for her,” Crowder said. “She’s an excellent leader. She has a great family and great support behind her. She’s just a good kid and I’m really very proud of her.”
Wofford is coming off a 7-21 season, but the record is deceiving. The program is on the rise under second-year coach Farmer.
He inherited a team that had gone 4-24 and 0-28 in back-to-back seasons, and has installed a new system and brought a new energy to the program.
The Lady Terriers are currently 3-0 this season. It’s the best start for the team in five years.