WREX Rock Stars: Will Nevitt - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

WREX Rock Stars: Will Nevitt

Will Nevitt Will Nevitt
Will Nevitt Will Nevitt
Will Nevitt Will Nevitt

Wednesday we introduced the Stateline to our first WREX Rock Star: singer-songwriter Adem Dalipi.

Our next rock star performs on a whole different stage and discipline.  

Karate and Taekwondo - they are striking art forms to watch, especially when you see a kid master it. They take a lot of discipline, not just physically, but mentally as well.  

But we didn't pick our next rock star just because he has racked up so many trophies; it is because we learned Will Nevitt isn't just a fighter, he is a walking miracle.

Excel Academy in Rockford calls itself "The Home of National Champions."

One of those champions is 17-year-old Will Nevitt, who has won more than 10 national titles.

"At Excel, that's what we are, we're fighters," Will says. 

And Will is always fighting for something.

"Fighting to win first, fighting to just make myself better," he says. 

Will just recently got back from a competition in Virginia where he, again, did very well. But trophies are not the only thing he is after.

"I told myself getting first place at this tournament isn't gonna matter 10 years down the road if I didn't learn something," Will says. "If one of my students didn't learn something, if I didn't bring something home to teach."

That's right, the Auburn High School junior is already a team coach, sharing his passion for martial arts with younger kids as one of the student instructors at Excel Academy.

"Today I was working on my aerials and he told me to stiffen my legs out," says Zorah Martin, one of Will's students. "Still kinda getting used to it, but he's really good."

Will was about his students' size when he first got started. At just 6-years-old he took to the sport fast.  

Four years into it, Will got his first black belt. But if you ask his mother, that shouldn't be a surprise. 

"There were some 3rd graders that were teasing a 1st grader," is mother says. "And he got off the bus and he says, 'Mommy, those kids were being mean ... I used my words but they didn't listen.' And I said 'oh, so then what happened?' 'Well, I hit them, and the bus driver told me to stop, but I didn't listen.' That was his first day of school in pre-k."

To really understand the impact of what that moment was all about, it is important to know two things: the kids he was defending were almost always girls  and that Will had lost a sister.

"He was a twin. And I lost my daughter," Will's mother says emotionally. "She was born too early. After five months of bed rest, my miracle baby ... he's my miracle."

"I didn't have to be here. I could've been my sister," Will says. "It could've been me that we lost and my sister could be the one that's in my place. So it really humbled me to say that I'm the one here and I need to bring it down a couple of notches when you're getting a little big headed. I just feel humbled."

The trophies, the medals, the attention, all easily deflected from Will, who would rather turn it around into what he really wants out of life.

"I would love to keep teaching. Teaching and coaching are my favorite thing to do. I love coaching," Will says. "When I have these team kids out here and I'm helping them, it's just for me, the coolest thing." 

Because he gets it at a such a young age, truly cares about others and is still rising to the top of the podium, martial artist Will Nevitt is a WREX Rock Star. 

Will has a few more tournaments this year. He graduates from Auburn next year and he plans to continue teaching and competing after that. He eventually would like to own his own business.

Coming up tomorrow, our third and final rock star. He is young but what he lacks in age, he makes up for in skill.

Caleb Goldsmith is just 7-years-old but he has been playing the drums his whole life. Come back tomorrow for our third and final installment of WREX Rock Stars.  

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