Steward of Finneytown
Mr. Stevens returned to Cincinnati in 1960 building a home in Finneytown on Shuman Lane. His contributions to Finneytown began when Mr. Stevens was a coach in Knothole “D” League. He was a “C” League Supervisor and served as Secretary for the Finneytown Athletic Association. In 1966, he had 960 boys in the baseball program. In April of 1967, Mr. Stevens attended a soccer clinic at Berea College in Kentucky.
Upon returning home to Finneytown, Mr. Stevens quickly formed a “board” of interested and willing men, some of whom had played this new sport of soccer, and began to plan the Finneytown High School soccer program. In the fall of 1967, 200 boys began to play soccer in the newly named Soccer Association for Youth (SAY) of which Mr. Stevens was a founding member. He would serve on the Board of Directors and was elected Chairman of the Rules Committee. Finneytown had five teams practicing for the opening of the first season of youth soccer on September 16, 1967 at Lockland Stadium.
By the fall of 1974, the Ohio High School Athletic Association established soccer as a recognized sport. This status included an Ohio State Championship Tournament. Finneytown High School won that first state championship. Mr. Stevens’ dedicated leadership was undoubtedly an important factor in Finneytown’s outstanding success in 1974 and again in 1976, when a second state championship was won. At this second outing, he was elected by the High School Coaches in Ohio to officiate the Final match in 1976.
Additionally, Mr. Stevens co-founded the Midwest Soccer Officials Association and ran soccer clinics at Finneytown High School for Officials. He also helped to form Soccer Boosters to solve the issue of funding the soccer program which eventually raised monies for cutting and marking fields as well as portable goalposts. He helped to direct fund-raising efforts for a large ice machine which served all sports.