File // THE CHIMES
Athletes across the nation have been anxiously waiting for the green light to compete again. This year’s freshmen and new transfer recruits were brought into Biola’s family during a time of great uncertainty. However, the coronavirus pandemic did not stop these athletes from continuing their collegiate careers. The new recruits are making the most of an undesirable situation by pushing through the adversity of new environments.
“Given the circumstances of this pandemic it was weird trying to get to know my teammates the first few weeks together, however, the environment is very friendly and also we have a coach that preaches on building relationships as much as he coaches soccer,” said Biola’s men’s soccer team newest defender, junior Lawrence Kwazema from Owerri, Nigeria. “It helped build up chemistry so fast within everyone in the team. Also, we have enough older guys on the team that takes up leadership to help guide the younger guys.
Not only are Biola’s athletes some of the best competitors nationwide, but they also are determined to stay spiritually sound during their four years as a student-athlete.
“[Biola is] one of the best places to grow spiritually and strengthen my faith in God,” Kwazema said. “Biola offers a full college experience, it’s a family, you get to be around people that share the same goal as you and want you to succeed spiritually and physically.”
Jahquez Durham, a graduate and new track and field recruit from Orlando, Florida, is expanding his faith by getting his master’s at the Talbot School of Theology.
“I wanted to keep pursuing and pushing my faith, and Biola was the perfect place to do that while still competing and advancing my education,” Durham said.
Biola is a Division II university. While the school prides itself on academics and its religious-based programming, athletics is still at the forefront of what brings students to want to become an Eagle. Senior Jared Kapturasky, a transfer from Mercyhurst in Youngstown, Ohio, took the opportunity to excel in both his personal and professional careers.
“Biola presented me with a new opportunity to move across the country and challenge myself,” Kapturasky said. “I knew I’d be coming to a program that is hungry for success and that’s exactly the environment I wanted to be in.”
The hope for Eagles’ Athletics is to resume play in late January—COVID-19 permitting. There has been great preparation for the tentative spring season that is fueled by motivation.
“This season I am hoping to be part of history, to archive things that haven’t been archived yet, win games, set records, win championships,” Kwazema said.
The competitive nature of the student-athletes is rising and the anticipation for an athletic restart is more than ever.
“I’m hoping to just leave an impact on and off the track,” Durham said. “A fast time is great, but 10 years from now I want to look back on more than times. I’m really looking forward to just running again. I haven’t competed since February and I really just want to get on a track and go.”