Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Esko honors local 'legend'

Davis Helberg was honored prior to Esko's game against Two Harbors on Friday, Sept. 7, for his work on behalf of the Esko Sports Alliance. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)1 / 4
(From left) Esko players Jaustin Piepho, Luke Wagemaker and Hubert Gonsorowski present a jersey to honorary captain Davis Helberg during a ceremony before the Eskomos game against Two Harbors on Friday, Sept. 7. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)2 / 4
Esko honorary captain Davis Helberg flips the coin at midfield prior to the start of the Eskomos game against Two Harbors. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)3 / 4
Esko football players will wear a "DH" decal on their helmets all season to honor Davis Helberg and his work on behalf of the Esko Sports Alliance. (Jamey Malcomb/NEws-Chronicle)4 / 4

Esko's Davis Helberg was honored prior to the Eskomos' game against Two Harbors on Friday, Sept. 7, for his work with the Esko Sports Alliance.

As part of "Davis Helberg Night," he was made an honorary captain for the game, receiving an Esko jersey with "Helberg Class of 1958" printed on the back. He also made the coin toss at midfield before the game.

"This guy's a legend," ESA board member Russ Davidson told Esko players Jaustin Piepho, Luke Wagemaker and Hubert Gonsorowski as the trio presented Helberg his jersey.

An Esko native, Helberg served as secretary of the ESA for many years and was instrumental in starting the Esko Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, according to ESA board member Russ Davidson.

Helberg, 77, has traveled to 55 countries and worked as a sailor, dispatcher of ships, a sports and news reporter and as the executive director of the Duluth Port Authority for 24 years.

Helberg co-wrote and edited a history of Thomson Township called "Esko's Corner" and a book, "Thomson's Night of Terror," detailing the 1918 fire.

Now battling small-cell lung cancer, Helberg is in hospice care, but is working to complete yet another book, "Did I Ever Tell You," a collection of personal essays and anecdotes.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 355-8868