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Clare’s Nevin Hughes’ inspiring story prepares youth athletes for next level

‘They come to you with dreams, you come to them with a path’

CLARE— NEVFIT founder and former linebacker, Nevin Hughes, made it out of his small Detroit-area high schools’ football program and landed in the division one ranks at Central Michigan University.

“I can remember plain as day those that laughed, those that said, you know, ‘you go to a small school’ or ‘you’re from here,’” Hughes said.

His third year with the program, he suffered nerve damage, and was told he would no longer be a part of the Chippewas program.


“Having football end like that, I mean, I got my stuff put in trash bags outside of my residence hall,” he recalled.

Hughes struggled for the next few months while coming to terms with his injury.

“I had to come to grips with reality and realize it’s go time,” he said.

Hughes started focusing on his fitness but didn’t necessarily have a goal in mind. His roommate pushed him to sign up for Strongman games, where he ended up qualifying for nationals and becoming the U.S.S. 10th Strongest man. His newly established habits helped him find his love for fitness and coaching. He created the brand NEVFIT and now works out of a private space in downtown Clare.


“That’s when I really buckled down on my faith, really buckled down on what I wanted to bring to every area and every room that I was in,” Hughes said.

His first client, 7th grader Daniel Seefeld, started working with Hughes about three years ago. His brother had signed him up for one of Hughes’ sessions as a birthday gift.

“After all of these years working with Nevin, I feel that’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve gotten for my birthday,” Seefeld said.

The adversity Hughes faced throughout his football career has left him with a better understanding of the sport and how to inspire the youth that are chasing the same dreams he once had.


“I like to pride myself on bringing an edge of intensity to the coaching ring and an edge of intensity to the youth,” Hughes said. “Given that a lot of the perspective of youth football is that it’s just a game… Whereas in reality, the more intensity that is applied to their progression, the more they buy in. It’s almost like meeting them halfway. They come to you with dreams, you come to them with a path.”

In NEVFIT training sessions, youth players are challenged both physically and mentally, wrapping up sessions at the blackboard and going over plays.

Seefeld hopes to become a college and then pro linebacker or running back and is seeing firsthand what type of dedication it will take.

“He has an amazing work ethic. I mean, the guy wakes up at 3 am every day just to repeat the cycle, you know, on 3 hours of sleep,” Seefeld said. “He inspires me by just being here every day and training children to be great athletes.”


By just 7th grade, Seefeld is equipped with the knowledge and motivation to accomplish his football dreams, thanks to Hughes turning his personal struggle into something positive.

Hughes offers a plethora of services that can all be found on his website. He also has plans for his own football camp coming soon.

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