After Sam Halm scored the first of his two touchdowns in Friday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division victory at Princeton, a St. Bede assistant football coach made a declaration about the Bruins junior.
“Sam Halm,” the coach said, “has the best hands in the area.”
Recently, Halm has been using those hands with great proficiency.
In his second season on varsity and his first as a full-time starter, Halm has made the transition from backup fullback last season to the Bruins’ versatile weapon this fall.
This season, the 6-foot, 185-pounder has played all over the field as he’s lined up at running back, wing back and in the slot as a wide receiver, and he’s done nothing but succeed, especially in St. Bede’s passing offense.
“When I get the opportunities that I’ve been given, I’ve really been trying my best in those situations,” Halm said.
The last three weeks, he’s blossomed as the Bruins’ receiving threat.
After a being held without a catch in Week 1, Halm has caught all 219 of his yards and all four touchdowns during the last three weeks, including two-touchdown games in Weeks 2 and 4 sandwiched between a seven-catch, 102-yard Week 3 performance.
“We thought Sam could catch anything that’s out there,” SBA coach John Bellino said. “When he drops one, it’s like, ‘Why did he drop that ball?’ because we’re so used to him catching the ball.”
In Week 2 against Bureau Valley, Halm’s second receiving touchdown of the game from junior quarterback Jack Brady gave the Bruins the win, and his pair of second-quarter touchdown receptions from Brady last Friday sent St. Bede on its way.
“We have been working really hard,” Halm said of his relationship with Brady. “We’ve been working on routes, working in the weight room, getting our timing down and just catching the ball.”
One of only four returning players from last year’s 7-3 squad, the St. Bede coaching staff tried to figure out ways to best utilize Halm, junior running back Justin Shaw and senior running back Michael Bellino.
What they came up with has allowed Halm — who was a quarterback in junior high before becoming a fullback his first two years in high school — to line up all over the field on offense as well as playing as a safety, inside linebacker and outside linebacker on defense.
“I just play where the coaches want me to play and wherever is best for the team,” Halm said. “The coaches always preach about, ‘Make the team better. Don’t play for yourself,’ so wherever they put me, I just try to do my best.”
It’s helped the Bruins surprise many with a 3-1 start to the season.
“Sam is just a good athlete, and he worked hard in the offseason, became a little stronger for us and grew a little bit,” Bellino said. “He could’ve been our quarterback as well as being a talented running back and a talented receiver. We move him all over. He is a very versatile player and can play numerous spots. Plus, he is very, very intelligent and could learn more than one spot. You could talk to him and change things on the fly.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.