Hall of Fame effort | Health
Local hockey fans are familiar with his name, but rarely get to see him. If you haven’t seen Amerks play-by-play announcer Don Stevens, you might be surprised.
The Amerks suffered a heartbreaking loss Tuesday night in their effort to reach the playoff. Behind the microphone as always, Don Stevens is calling the game. It was Stevens’s induction into the Amerks Hall of Fame last year that changed his life.
Stevens has been perched over the Amerks for the past 26 years. But this year, his voice sounds stronger and less out of breath.
Stevens weighed 350 pounds when he was inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame last January.
Don Stevens, Amerks Announcer, said, “I saw some videos I was embarrassed by what I saw I knew I had to lose some weight so I finally made up my mind that it was time.”
A year ago, he couldn’t tie his shoes. Now he can stretches and touches his toes. With the help of his doctor, Stevens made it his goal to lose weight. He started walking. He now jogs four miles a day.
Stevens says the miles and hours logged in a hockey season pilled on the weight over the years. Game days start at 9:00am.
Stevens said, “After the game, we could be on the bus five hours to Hershey, get there by 4:30 in the morning, up by 9 and do it all over again. Then a game five hours back to Rochester at 5 a.m. 2 to 3 hours of sleep then a game Sunday night, there's not time.”
Besides making sure he exercises daily, Stevens eats 1,200 calories a day. His fridge is full of vegetables, powered pre-packaged food helps. On the road, he’s learned to eat smarter. Stevens is down 100 pounds with 30 more to take off in the offseason.
He’s proud and why not. This local hockey mainstay has learned what every athlete must, hard work and discipline really can pay off.
Stevens said, “You don't feel like they're looking down on you, you can be part of the group when you're not this rotund individual it's the confidence level you feel about yourself.”
As for the Amerks, they get ready to play their last home game on Friday and despite last night's loss they remain in a five-way tie for sixth place. The top eight teams quality for the playoffs.