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May 15-- Coach Ladson Helms is retiring from the Vidalia School System. He has been a coach and teacher for 43 years and will be truly missed.

He was at Robert Toombs for two years and then moved into the Vidalia school system in 1978. He was at VHS for 20 years and then with J.R. Trippe Middle School for 21 years.

During that time Helms was an assistant football coach under Buck Cravey for 16 years and was the Head Football Coach at VHS from 1993-1997.

He was also the Head Coach of the VHS track & field team for 39 years where he had 22 individual State Champions and 8 Runners-up. As a team he coached the Indians to a State Championship in 2017 and a Runner-up in 2016 and also had one third place finish. The Indians also won 10 Region Championships under Coach Helms.

Helms coached the Cross Country team for 12 years and winning numerous Region Championships.

While at J.R.Trippe he was the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach for the Chiefs for 20 years. During that time the Chiefs won five Middle Georgia Middle School Athletic Association Championships and they had a record of 101-41. They also were the MGMSAA Runners-up four times.

He was the Chiefs Track & Field coach for 18 years and during that time they won six MGMSAA titles and served as the MGMSAA League Secretary for 15 years.

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to stay in the Vidalia School System for 41 years. I have seen a lot of administers, teachers, coaches and staff come and go and I have made a lot of friends over the years. I am going to miss them...and these kids, that is why we do this, for these kids. It makes me feel so good that I can be up town and somebody will holler, 'Hey Coach Helms,' and it is times like that that make it worth it and make you feel good. Those ones that tell you that they appreciate what you did for them. We are doing it for the kids and I hope that I have made an impact on some of them.

“I am proud of all of the accomplishments as a coach as well, and I have to say that I didn't think I was ever going to get a Track Championship, but we did it and that was one of the happiest days of my life. We had come close the year before, but no cigar, but that was one of the most enjoyable Championships of all. Through the years we have had a lot of Championships both at VHS and here at Trippe and with Track and Cross Country and I appreciate all of them. I plan on going canoeing, fishing and some hunting in the fall. I know I have to get my other knee worked on but I will be good to go and go and enjoy this time.” Helms said.

(L-R): Lance Helms (son), Gloria Helms (wife), Ladson Helms, Lee Helms (son), and Heather Helms (daughter-in-law). 5 10 19 Ladson Helms

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