A Don McCormack column...

A Don McCormack column...

Paying another visit to the variety store...

On the mend

According to Kelcie Hellmer, today is Day 1 in terms of her recovery from surgery she underwent on Monday.

Hellmer, a 6-foot senior volleyball, basketball and track standout at Jefferson, underwent surgery on Monday at the Cleveland Clinic to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

"I'm just glad it's finally over and done," the daughter of Mark and Cheryl Hellmer said from her home on Monday night. "It's a big relief to me because now I can't start the rehab.

"I can't wait to get it going and start my way back."

Hellmer injured her right knee while playing in a national AAU basketball tournament in Chicago on July 28.

According to her mom, Hellmer's surgical procedure lasted about 90 minutes on Monday.

"It was kind of funny," Cheryl Hellmer said. "When I walked into the room to see Kelcie when she came out of the anesthesia, she was sitting up, smiling and eating milk and cookies.

"You could tell she felt relieved that it was finally over and that everything went well."

Kelcie felt well enough on Monday to attend Jefferson's Meet the Team gathering for it's fall sports teams last night. She will be on crutches for about six weeks to keep her weight off the knee.

"We go back to the doctor on Friday for my followup," she said. "Then, I start the rehab on Monday. I can't wait."

She admits it's been very difficult to watch her volleyball teammates practice and scrimmage, knowing she won't play this season. Hellmer was the best finisher on coach Don Palm's Jefferson squad that came within two points of reaching the Division II Final Four last fall, bowing to eventual state runner-up Walsh Jesuit, 15-13, in a fifth game of a regional championship match.

"It's really hard to sit and watch because I want to be out there with my teammates," she said.

But she knows it's out of her hands.

"There's nothing I can do about it, and I hate that," she said. "Now, I'm just going to try to do everything I can to get back for basketball as quick as I can.

"That starts on Monday."

Radio waves

Joe "Mr. Sports" Pete - aka The King of Ashtabula County Media - announced on Monday that WFUN will be broadcasting the SS. John and Paul-at-Conneaut football game in Week 2.

The game, which will be played at Municipal Stadium on Friday, Sept. 1, will also be broadcast by WWOW.

Taking over

Joe Gerics was hired at a Conneaut board of education meeting as the Spartans' new varsity volleyball coach.

Gerics, a Conneaut, graduate, will replace Dawn Zappitelli as coach of the Spartans.

Zappitelli served as coach for five seasons, posting 31 victories. She is now an assistant principal at Gateway Elementary School in Conneaut.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. He can be reached via email at donmac@suite224.net.

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