You might think that being good enough to be the most valuable player in a certain sport, a person would have to devote a tremendous amount of time thinking about, practicing and playing nothing but that game. That's not the case with Weber High volleyball player Caroline Steuer.
Oh sure, Steuer has put in her share of hours in the gym practicing her serves, passes, spikes and digs. But once a match or practice session is over, last year's Deseret News Class 5A MVP has plenty of other things she'd rather be doing."I love volleyball but it's not my life," Steuer said.
As much as she enjoys playing volleyball, the 5-foot-11 senior also enjoys skiing, going on hikes with her dog Heike and hanging out with her friends. Basically, Steuer likes to live the life of a normal high school student. In fact, she just participated in Weber's Homecoming festivities as a homecoming queen nominee.
While trying to live the normal life off the court, Steuer is a standout player on it. She has been a starter all three years of her high-school career and last season averaged 11 kills per match on a team that went 32-1 and won the state championship.
The 17-year-old is on the same pace this season which has helped her team jump out to a 5-0 mark in Region 1. That record will be tested tonight when the Warriors square off against third-ranked Bonneville, the team Weber beat in last season's championship match.
Steuer, however, couldn't care less how her stat averages stack up as long as the Warriors win their matches. Her nickname might as well be T.P. for "team player."
"You can never really look at (stats) because we try different things in games," Steuer said. "Besides, you don't need the stats to know how well you have played."
When asked about his star player, Weber head coach Dave Lewis summed it up by saying that Steuer has no weak spot in her game.
"She is a do-everything and be-everywhere kind of person," Lewis stated "She plays like no ball is out of reach," which Lewis has no problem with because "her style of play is very contagious."
Having her play influence that of her teammates is exactly what Steuer wants to do. While setting goals this past summer on how to improve her game, her main goal was to help improve the play of her teammates.
"Sure I want to reach my peak level of play but I'm not really concerned about myself," Steuer said, a statement echoed by her coach.
Individual awards don't mean that much to Steuer either. Winning the state championship created a better feeling than being named MVP, evidenced by the MVP trophy which has still gone uncollected.
"She is very deserving of (awards) but she does not go after them," Lewis added.
Despite having loads of natural talent, Steuer gives credit to those who have helped improve her game, including Lewis and Weber State head coach Al Givens, who coached Steuer's club volleyball team this summer.
" helped me understand volleyball and the way I look at it," Steuer said. "He helped me learn to play a smarter game."
Of course, being named MVP of the state championship team brought on plenty of letters and calls from college coaches who would love to have her name on their rosters. But Steuer has not made a decision on where to go and did not want to name any schools to which she has made recruiting.
"I would like to make the decision soon but I don't want to rush it," Steuer said, who is tossing around the idea of studying to become a veterinarian. "I'm still deciding on whether to stay instate or go out of state."
Whatever the choice, Steuer is not anxious for the season to end. She is having too much fun playing for a team of friends and would love nothing better than to duplicate last season's accomplishments.
"It would be awesome to win the state title but it would be awesome just to know that we played our best."
Spoken like a true MVP.