High School Sports

Fueled by a passion to help others, West High quarterback Harrison Steeves-Little has a unique outlook

Harrison Steeves-Little is a senior at Anchorage’s West High and the front-runner to win the battle to be the starting quarterback for the school’s varsity football team.

But more impressive are his achievements and unique aspirations off the field.

While football is a “love and passion” for Steeves-Little and he intends on playing collegiately, preferably at quarterback, he doesn’t see making it to the NFL as a realistic goal for himself.

Instead, he says his true calling is to continue being in service to others as a nurse.

“I want to go to a great nursing school, play football for them, graduate with a nursing degree and go help people,” Steeves-Little said.

He’s already receiving interest from several college football programs at the Division I level but says that if it came down to choosing between a DI institution that is more renowned for athletics and a DII that has an amazing nursing program, he’d lean toward attending the school that best suits his ultimate career goal.

“Nursing is what I want to do with my life,” Steeves-Little said. “I have a passion for helping people.”


If he didn’t aspire to become a nurse, he said he’d want to be a teacher and work in public service.

“We’re student-athletes, but before that, we’re people ourselves and members of society,” Steeves-Little said.

Steeves-Little’s list of extracurriculars in and out of school are extensive and wide-ranging.

He’s on the Municipality of Anchorage’s youth advisory commission, a mayoral task force that represents youths, introduces different amendments to the city Assembly and shares opinions on legislation.

Steeves-Little is the student representative on the Alaska School Activities Association’s board of directors, and is also a member of the Alaska Association of Student Governments.

He said that he was inspired to not only get engaged but take up leadership positions in both the sports and youth community at large because he is in a position to be an agent of change.

“I’ve had a passion for it and as a student body, students and youth are unrepresented and we make up a sizable chunk of the population, so I think our views should definitely be heard,” Steeves-Little said.

He believes that any policy that could affect student-athletes should have input from an actual student-athlete.

In order to even play sports, one of the main household rules that Steeves-Little has to follow is maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He goes above and beyond with a current weighted GPA of 4.29 as a result of excelling in his advanced classes.

“It’s been that way since I was in middle school,” Steeves-Little said. “I take IB classes here at West. Before that I took honors and AP classes.”

As a freshman, he was a member of a state championship debate team.

“I was able to win my individual event as a freshman, which is pretty rare, so I was proud of myself — but I was more proud that we won as a team overall,” he said. “That is where the real joy lies.”

During his time in high school, he’s also participated in wrestling, basketball and track and field. This past summer, he juggled getting ready for his senior year while working at Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, often six days a week.

He says the secret to thriving in so many different arenas and managing the responsibilities that come with them is finding a nice balance.

“It’s easy to get overworked,” Steeves-Little said. “What I try to do is just know what my values are and what my priority is, and sometimes you have to sacrifice things you don’t want to sacrifice. You have to know what things lie ahead of you and have a system built in that is set up for you, so you can best spend your time.”

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‘Excited to see what we can do with this team’

Having the opportunity to lead the Eagles offense has motivated Steeves-Little since he was a freshman. He doesn’t intend on wasting it if named the starting quarterback.


He got some reps last year, but for much of his junior season, he sat behind last year’s regular starter, Jaideven Suesue.

“Everybody wants to be the guy and everybody has got to wait their turn,” Steeves-Little said. “I’m really just excited to see what we can do with this team.”

It’s been four years since the Eagles advanced to a state championship game in 2018 and seven years since they won it all in 2015. However, Steeves-Little is confident that this year’s team has a strong chance to end that title drought.

“We’re one of the most athletic, if not the most athletic, teams in the conference,” Steeves-Little said. “We’re fast, physical but most of all, we’re intelligent and have a bond stronger than anybody else.”

He believes the team’s deep connection will be key on its quest to win a state championship.

“I’m more motivated than ever,” Steeves-Little said. “Once you wait and then you get a little taste on the varsity level, then get a little more taste and you’re there in a playoff environment, you just want to be able to take the reins and lead a team like I’ll have the opportunity to do this year.”

Steeves-Little has the most decorated high school quarterback in state history as his position coach: West legend Conor Feckley, who starred for the Eagles on varsity from 2010 to 2012.

“He’s the greatest coach in the state and the greatest quarterback to come out of Alaska,” Steeves-Little said. “He’s meant a lot to me. When I was battling it out last year, he was a constant source of encouragement.”


Steeves-Little said Feckley has made him a better man on top of a better football player.

“He’s a phenomenal student and great athlete,” Feckley said. “Now he is in a position where he has to be the athlete that has to be the ultimate leader, which is a little more challenging.”

Feckley said that Steeves-Little plays with a tremendous amount of passion and competitiveness.

“He’s the type where if he throws a touchdown, he’s running down there and the first to celebrate with the receiver,” Feckley said.

He credits Steeves-Little’s emphasis on values to his parents.

“He is very fortunate to have a great home life,” Feckley said. “He’s got two amazing parents that are very involved in making sure he has a clear understanding of what school and life is like after high school.”

West head coach Tim Davis said that if Steeves-Little maximizes his potential, he could have a standout season.

“If he channels it all and finds a way, it could be scary,” Davis said. “When he channels it, it’ll be an explosion of good.”

West gets its season started Friday when it hosts reigning Division II champ Lathrop at 7 p.m.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.