All In The Family

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This spring, 187 athletes played on Kingsmen and Regals teams,helping secure Cal Lutheran’s reputation in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Spring saw particularly strong performances by the Regals track and field team, which earned its first SCIAC title in program history, and Kingsmen tennis saw the doubles team of Nicholas Ballou and Ray Worley rank as the number one team in the nation for several weeks. Meanwhile, Regals basketball won the SCIAC Post-Season Tournament and landed a spot in the NCAA III Tournament. Collaboration and family-like support are hallmarks of Cal Lutheran’s athletic teams, and in these extended families, several sets of actual sibling athletes demonstrate firsthand the importance of teamwork.

See what’s happening behind the scenes of Cal Lutheran Athletics at CLU Overtime

Daniel Azhocar, Sophomore

Major: Communication
Position: Running Back for Kingsmen Football

Daniel: “The best thing about having my older brother on the same team is giving my parents the opportunity to watch us play every Saturday. The worst thing is playing on the opposite side of the ball and trying to run away from him during compete periods. I think that having an older brother on the team is definitely a benefit, because I have somebody that’s already been through the system and I can talk to him about anything whenever I need to.”

Michael Azhocar, Senior

Major: Criminal Justice
Position: Middle Linebacker for Kingsmen Football

Michael: “Since my brother plays offense and I play defense, there’s always a chance that my little brother could run me over and I would never hear the end of it. I think having my brother on the same team does create a challenge, just because of how competitive we are. But at the end of the day, having the support of Danny on the field serves as a huge benefit. We feed off each other and perform at a higher level because of it.”

Rachel Smith, Junior

Major: Biology
Position: Outsider Hitter for Regals Volleyball

Rachel: “Even though all of us are sisters on the team, I love playing with Erika. After high school, I didn’t think my sister and I would ever get to play together on a competitive team again. I do wish we had some twin telepathy when we play, but usually the opposite thing happens and we both think the other is going to get the ball, or we both go for the same ball.”

Erika Smith, Junior

Major: Liberal Studies
Position: Defensive Specialist/Libero for Regals Volleyball

Erika: “Playing with Rachel means knowing that my best friend will share these great memories with me, and we know how each other plays, because we have played together our whole lives. I also like that I always have someone I can steal socks and spandex from—even though she hates it!”

Dylan Martinez, Senior

Major: Marketing Communications
Position: Quarterback for Kingsmen Football

Dylan: “The best thing about playing with my brother is just getting to be around him every day. But the bad part is he’s there to tell the team some embarrassing stories. Overall though, it’s a benefit to play together, because we’re always there to pick one another up when someone is feeling down, which can happen throughout the course of a football season.”

Derek Martinez, Senior

Major: Exercise Science
Position: Fullback and Running Back for Kingsmen Football

Derek: “The best thing about having my brother on the same team is he always has my back and can coach me on anything I need help on. Having my brother on the team is great, because he is always there to pick me up and push me, and with both of us play- ing offense, we can both get a better understanding of the offensive system we’re in.”