Brayden Hellum: a boy and his love for the game

Senior+Brayden+Hellum+lines+up+at+home+plate.+Along+with+the+other+seniors%2C+Hellum+led+the+boys+baseball+team+to+a+successful+start+of+the+season.

Photo by Hunter Reardon

Senior Brayden Hellum lines up at home plate. Along with the other seniors, Hellum led the boys baseball team to a successful start of the season.

Hunter Reardon, Social Media and Podcast Editor

As spring rolls around the corner, boys of all ages grab their bats, gloves, and cleats and head out to the baseball field. Four-year-old Brayden Hellum was not too keen on that idea. As years passed by (and with the encouragement of his dad), young Brayden had finally decided that baseball, was indeed, his favorite sport.

Despite being coerced by his dad, he turned out to love baseball. Family plays a big and important role in a kids sporting career. Starting with their unconditional love and support, they often influence sport choices, and then provide car rides.

“He never really forced anything on me, he just wanted to introduce me to the game, and he’s kind of let me and my passions drive me,” senior pitcher and center fielder Hellum said.

Hellum has a 19/36 batting average and in 13 innings pitched, has a 1.8 earned run average and 18 strikeouts.  He leads the team in batting average and on-base percentage.  His coach and teammates agree that the strongest aspect of his game is his hitting, but overall, he is a very balanced player.  

“He’s able to hit even the best pitchers and that’s what makes him different than a lot of other players,” coach Michael Parker said.

This year, the captain role on the boys baseball team is a combined effort of all the seniors. Each senior has their own way of leading and instead of having only a couple of guys that can be turned to for help, there are multiple.  It shows that every player is just as important as the next and everyone has their own role on the team. Hellum has dreamt of leading this team and winning a championship with his best friends and teammates.

“He’s always pushing and you want to do the best for him, for guys that care that much and really leave it all on the field. He is the guy that you want to impress and a guy you want to play your hardest for,” junior Mason McCurdy said, “He hates to lose. He’s the first guy that’s gonna pick up teammates in the locker room, but if you lose, he’s gonna let you know, he’s going to push you to be the best and he’s gonna push you to do better the next time.”

He just wants to do the best he can to not let his team down.”

— Coach Michael Parker

“Even though his emotions tend to get the best of him, he’s always out there for his teammates. And so sometimes it can look like he’s really hard on himself, but he just wants to do the best he can to not let his team down,” Parker said.

Next year, Hellum will be continuing his education and baseball career at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). Based off his wants and competitive mindset, he either wanted to go to a Division I school or to a junior college first. Ultimately he wanted to go to a Division I school off the bat, but decided junior college is his best path forward.

Hellum said he visited NIACC and really liked it there. NIACC does a good job of sending players off to D1 so he also took that into consideration.

So far, the team has won 12 games and lost two. This year, the team is described as very team-oriented and close-knit. They play for each other and stick it out to the end no matter the circumstance. The seniors do a good job of enforcing that culture of everyone has to do their job and no one is more important than the other. 

“Our team culture is the best we’ve ever had. I mean, everybody’s in it for each other, people have accepted their roles. Truly unselfish players that are playing for Stillwater Baseball first and themselves second,” Parker said.

Last year, the baseball team lost in the state quarterfinals to Minnetonka. It was devastating for the team as they were the number one seed and the favorites to win it. It definitely put the pressure on for this year to prove themselves and finish what they started.

“I was on first, rounding second, and the guy caught the ball. I just didn’t really know what to think. It was like, ‘it’s all really over’ and then, I kind of made a promise to myself that I would never let this feeling happen again to me or my teammates. I do remember taking a picture of the bracket after, of the score when we lost. It’s been my wallpaper ever since. So it’s pretty much like the first thing I think about when I wake up and it just motivates me a lot,” Hellum said.

Coach Parker thinks he’s “scrappy, feisty, and truly loves the game of baseball.”