Accolades continue to roll in for former Pioneer Brooks Helton. Despite having his season cut short due to an elbow injury, Helton was named all-state by Tennessee Baseball Report.
Helton was limited to 27 games after sustaining an elbow injury pitching against Stone Memorial April 15. He played in the field the following night, but was unable to play in the last 12 Warren County games.
Helton underwent Tommy John surgery late last month and has kept in good spirits since the injury.
“So far, the rehab process is pretty slow and methodical. I’m still in a pretty heavy brace until late July and my tendon is scheduled to be fully straightened out in about two weeks,” said Helton. “This October, I will start throwing again. Next June, I will kick off bullpen work in my return to baseball.”
Helton was in the midst of a magical season when slight discomfort on the second-to-last pitch he threw in a win against Stone Memorial ended up being a game changer. Helton, also the District 6AAA player of the year, was hitting .463 with four home runs and 31 RBIs. On the mound, he had compiled four wins and 36 strikeouts.
The Pioneers were in a tie for first in the district when Helton went down. A late split against White County allowed Cookeville to claim the district regular-season crown. The Cavaliers added a tournament title a week later, beating Warren County in the championship.
Helton was flattered to be in the company of the state’s elite.
“Being named all-state is an honor I don’t think I expected. There’s some top-level guys going to big Division 1 schools on that list so to be there with them feels good,” said Helton.
Helton will enroll at Faulkner University this fall, where he plans to redshirt his first season. After that, it’s back to throwing flames.
“The support from Faulkner has always been there. I’ve made call with my coaches and they all know what situation I’m in,” said Helton. “This is something they have dealt with before and we’re all confident I’ll hit the mound with more velocity than I ever had.”