Orange Lutheran junior Andrew Urian began surfing around age 10, much later than his local Huntington Beach peers. Joining the junior lifeguards summer program got him into the waves, and he’s been surfing ever since.
“I’m in the ocean all the time, and I just love the beach,” says Urian. “Honestly, it's my home.”
Urian specializes in short board and body board for the Lancers, and he takes a lot of pride in being able to attend a high school that has a surf program and allows him to catch some waves in the morning before class. Developing closer bonds as a team and building friendships are a few of his goals, and the three-year varsity surfer is aiming for a top five finish as OLu heads into league championships later this month.
Additionally, Urian is one of the team’s veteran body boarders, and he spends time working with his freshmen teammates to help guide their experience.
“Andrew truly has a servant's heart,” says OLu surf head coach, Marc Laulhere. “He is kind and puts others first. He is a team-first athlete and will do whatever the team needs to succeed.”
Urian wasn’t always comfortable in the water. Learning to respect the power of Mother Nature and overcome fears of the ocean was a process. But the junior lifeguards programs helped him with his confidence, and today, he can’t imagine a life without surfing.
“Now I'm just surfing waves, not even thinking about it,” says Urian. “So I feel like I've kind of developed over the years and am better about trusting myself and trusting that I won't get hurt.”
As a multi-sport athlete for the Lancers, Urian is a member of the Lancers boys indoor and beach volleyball teams. When he’s not in the water, he can be found playing volleyball on the beach or snowboarding in the local mountains.
Urian also serves the OLu campus community as a member of ASB and as an Ignite Mentor where he helps freshmen students adjust to the high school experience.
“I love helping out new people,” says Urian. “I love getting them used to this OLu environment, how it's like a bigger school. I like being able to welcome in those freshmen in and help them get used to this environment.”
His role models include teammates and senior surfers Reed Wilson and Garrett Teng, and Urian also looks to Coach Laulhere as a strong mentor and leader.
“I'm always talking with him and especially down in the surf, he's always giving me advice,” says Urian of Laulhere.
The 17-year old is considering pursuing a career in physical therapy or physical health and is looking at colleges away from the beaches of the West Coast. But no matter where he lands, Urian’s faith is at the forefront during preparation and competition in any sport, as he turns to prayer to for guidance, safety and peace.
“I always pray before I get in the water,” says Urian. “When I go down and do my stretch, I always pray. I feel like that's just kind of God guiding me through those heats, and God being with me. I always pray for that.”