Web extra | Defensive lineman Jerome Stevens: his wedding came first
Jerome Stevens, a Husky defensive lineman, was on the field when Curtis Williams was paralyzed in the game against Stanford in 2000. Five years later, Stevens...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Jerome Stevens, a Husky defensive lineman, was on the field when Curtis Williams was paralyzed in the game against Stanford in 2000.
Five years later, Stevens played for the Los Angeles Avengers, an Arena Football League team, when he witnessed teammate Al Lucas suffer a spinal-cord injury.
"With Al, we were on kickoff, and he dove to make the tackle, and he got kneed in the side of the head, at the perfect angle, all for a routine play," Stevens said.
Lucas was taken to a hospital but died before the game was over.
After seeing a second teammate get critically injured, Stevens thought: "It's a curse following me."
A year later, in 2006, Stevens signed a contract to play with the Spokane Shock, an expansion team in a different arena league. Stevens told the coach, at the season's outset, that he was getting married Aug. 26, the same day as the league's championship game.
The Shock went on a roll, posting a regular season record of 14-2. "When it got close to the playoffs, I was wondering if we should change the [wedding] date," Stevens says. "But then I thought that fate would have us lose. If I had done it, we would have been eliminated the next week."
The Shock made it to the championship game in Puerto Rico and won — without Stevens.
He had kept his wedding date. He married Nicole Eager, in Ocean Shores, in St. Jerome's Catholic Church.
"In the end we were both champions," he says of his team and marriage.
Stevens was a freshman on the UW's 2000 team. He graduated from the university in 2005, with a degree in sociology. He's now social-services coordinator at the Hutton Settlement, a group home in Spokane for children unable to live with family members.
Nick Perry: 206-515-5639 or email@example.com.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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