Jesus over baseball

Photo by Allison Mantooth

“Dude looks like Jesus,” freshman baseball player Graham Dykes says about freshman catcher Ben Stevens. With curly, dark brown hair down past his shoulder, Ben Stevens fits the description.

He was labeled the “Jesus guy” on campus from week one, but his teammates certainly feel as though the description fits on a much deeper level. 

“He’s a natural leader,” assistant baseball coach Ryan Guyton said. “He’s got a lot of charisma and is able to talk with anybody and everybody.”

Stevens’ teammates agreed that he was a leader among them. Dykes mentioned how much of an impact Stevens made when he gave his testimony as the semester began during Mustangs Under Development Week. Dykes also said Stevens is always communicating in a confident manner from the catcher position and constantly encouraging his teammates.

One question that surrounded Ben Stevens was whether his faith was strong. Dykes said he considers Stevens an “open book” when it comes to his relationship with God. When asked any questions, Stevens said he is always excited to answer. 

Stevens’ passion for God played a factor in his coming to CBC. While trying out for University of Louisiana at Monroe, Stevens caught the attention of multiple coaches and was given quite a few offers. Although he was pursuing athletic scholarships, the determining factor for schools was ministry and missions. Stevens was planning several mission trips over the summer that would interfere with the proposed college baseball season.

“We try to find baseball players that are mission fit [or ready for the mission field],” said Guyton. He said that he and the other coaches were impressed with Stevens’ choice to put missions before money. 

Stevens said he is not done with missions just because he is in college. He said he aspires to use his major in physical therapy on the mission field. Africa is a possibility, though Stevens said he is ready to go wherever God leads. He agreed that baseball could be a part of God’s plan. 

“That would definitely be a good goal,” said Stevens.

Roommate and fellow catcher on the Mustangs team freshman Chris Marcotte says Stevens was openly religious, as well as confident and competitive, pushing others on the team. 

“I would say it’s a positive influence,” Marcotte said about Stevens’ faith. He is another catcher who said he was competing for the same position on the field. Marcotte said he and Stevens work hard to foster a competitive but friendly relationship.

“There’s always going to be conflicts… but you leave it on the field,” Marcotte said. “We push each other to be better.” 

Stevens recognized he had a few faults. “I’m definitely not Jesus,” he said with a laugh. He said he recognized his resemblance to the Hollywood representation of our Saviour and how those were some big shoes to fill. But he adds, “I have my fair share of faults and struggles. I’d rather people say I act like Jesus than I look like Jesus.” 

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