Orange Lutheran sophomore Kefir Changwalker has been playing hockey since the first grade. Originally from Las Vegas, the Tustin resident got his start in roller hockey, and after moving to Orange County, he transitioned to ice at about age nine.
Hooked on the sport from the start, Changwalker has been at the rink ever since. He played on club teams for several years and now is full time with the Lancers hockey program as a defenseman on both the D1 and D2 rosters. The speed of the game and his role on defense are why he enjoys playing.
“Obviously it's fun, but I like the speed of it, especially,” says Changwalker. “On defense, I can definitely see the ice better.”
As the three-time current Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) and CAHA state champions, Changwalker is looking to help his Lancer teammates defend both of those titles this season. He knows that showing up to each game prepared to play is a significant part of contributing to that legacy of success.
“Kefir is a very gifted young man on and off the ice,” says OLu hockey head coach Ryan Frost. “He is an exceptional student, as he carries a 4.29 GPA, while being a terrific hockey player as well. Kefir has impressed our entire coaching staff with his work ethic every day. He is someone that drives the bus for our group. He is a guy that everyone loves and someone everyone loves to be around every day. We are extremely fortunate to have Kefir in our hockey program.”
Changwalker is also a member of the OLu Lancer Ice Academy, which allows him access to elite hockey training, while also maintaining high level academics through the school’s blended program of online and on-campus classes. As a result of this experience and his years playing the sport, hockey has taught him what it means to persevere.
“Hockey has taught me to be a good teammate and sportsmanship,” says Changwalker, “and when you’re down, you’ve got to keep going.”
Changwalker also is a member of the Lancers boys lacrosse program, and he has his sights set on playing junior hockey en route to playing at the collegiate level. Frost and the OLu coaching staff are significant role models in his life, and he is inspired by his mother’s commitment as a hockey mom in helping him achieve his goals within the sport.
Faith plays a large role in athletics for Changwalker, and the peace of God’s presence as he prepares to compete helps to keep him focused.
“Faith is a big thing for me, especially in preparation and in the games,” says Changwalker. “It’s good to know that God is there with me and helping me through all the way.”
Learn more about Kefir by watching "The Walk".