Neuqua Valley two sport athlete Carson Stevens steps up on and off the field

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Neuqua Valley junior Carson Stevens helps the Wildcat baseball team by hitting dingers or nabbing opposing base runners as a catcher. The two-sport athlete is also a member of the Neuqua football team, but when he’s away from the field, he spends parts of his school day helping out kids in the community, working with special needs students and preschool-age classes.

“I love just being around them every day. They’re fun to be around So I like seeing them every day, they bring a smile to my face,” said Neuqua Valley two-sport athlete Carson Stevens. 

Helping other students began in middle school

Carson Stevens first recognized his ability to connect with younger students in middle school.

“It just happened there’s this kid named Drew at our school, and during COVID, me and him would hang out, and I’d go to his house. He would never go to class, so in middle school, they’d call me out of class to help him get to class because he’d only go to class with me. So after that, I was thinking I can help people like this, and I just kept doing it,” said Stevens. 

Making a new friend in middle school, inspired Stevens to take a swing at working with other kids who may need a helping hand. Stevens has spent the last two school years helping kids with disabilities and this year he is expanding his teaching abilities by working with preschool kids. 

“I just help them during the school day. So if they’re not being cooperative and doing what they need to do, I help them get that done. If they’re not wanting to go to their class, I go help them go to their class, like a little stuff like that,” said Stevens. 

The days he works with the kids will vary, but Stevens also participates in monthly buddy-up sessions. So when it’s his time to shine, he makes the most of it.  At the preschool, he teaches every two weeks while taking an early teaching lab. In addition to the daily experience of connecting with his fellow teammates, spending time with kids is a big part of Carson’s home life as well.

“I have some little cousins at home. You know, I always play with them, you know, So everyone says I have the patience to work with little kids. So I love seeing them every day. It’s the best part of my day during school every day,” said Stevens. 

Patience is key for Carson Stevens

Teaching kids and playing multiple sports always requires patience, which is something his head baseball coach James Thorton has noticed on and off the diamond. 

“It teaches him to be laser-focused because you’re dealing with little ones. So we were hoping those lessons he learns in the class, carries over athletically and academically. This is an opportunity for him to be focused and lock in on things that need to get accomplished,” said Neuqua Valley Baseball Coach James Thornton. 

Stevens is only a junior with another year to spend with the blue and gold and discover what the next step in his journey will be.

“Everyone tells me I should be a special ed or preschool teacher because I teach preschool at Neuqua. Everyone says I’m really good with kids, and special needs kids. So everyone tells me I should do it and I have been looking into it,” said Stevens. 

Carson Stevens involved in the classroom down the road

Regardless of his future career path, these experiences and accomplishments will help him and the local kids in the long run. But for now, Stevens will continue to work on his game on the field while expanding his knowledge of connecting with kids in the classroom.

“I just really think we should all be equal. Kids just need people to help them, and some people don’t know how they need to help them. They don’t all need to be helped the same way, everyone needs to be helped in their own individual way, so it’s a way to connect with the students,” said Stevens. 

For more sports stories and highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!