His story: Aaron Stevenson started playing football at age 7. At Western Hills High School, he got playing time at the varsity level as a freshman and a sophomore. This year, as a senior, he set the school single-season rushing record with 1,880 yards on 256 carries, an average of more than seven yards per rush. He also found the end zone 17 times. In a Nov. 1 victory against South Hills, Stevenson exploded for 269 yards and three scores on 43 carries.
His goal: Now that his high school career is over, he hopes to attend college, play football and study business.
He said: "The season didn't go like I planned. I thought we would make the playoffs, but everything doesn't go as you expect sometimes. I did the best I could.
"I make sure I'm the hardest worker [in practice]. I make sure I'm there doing what I have to do and show that if you put in the work, good things will happen. I try to lead by example when I step on the field, but I'll also talk to the team and try to get them up and stay pumped up.
"I've been playing football all my life and it's what drives me to be good at school and at everything. Football has made me the type of person I am right now."
Coach John Naylor said: "He worked his way into the varsity squad about halfway through his sophomore year. You could tell he was different from most sophomores. He has a competitive spirit about him and is very driven. He's the best leader I've ever had as a coach. He's a vocal leader and a by-example type guy. He's like an extra coach on the field.
"When coaches are trying to get extra effort out of the kids or you can tell that practices are going bad, a lot of times we don't have to do anything because he would step up and get everybody in line and get them playing harder. He's the most competitive person I've ever coached. I can't think of a practice he took off. I can't think of a play that he didn't go full out -- practice or games.
"He's one of a kind and we're truly going to miss him. Whatever college gets him is going to get a great player, and more than that they're going to get a great person. I can't say enough about him. My own kids idolize him."
Note: In addition to running track, power lifting and playing football, Stevenson was named Western Hills' homecoming king this year.
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