Famous family lines in NHS sports
It might be hard to imagine that, despite being the second youngest high school in the district, Northwood has a long history of athletes and alumni like its sister schools, University and Irvine. However, with 19 years underneath its belt, Northwood has already played host to entire families of athletes, with multiple siblings dominating the playing field, including the Beqajs and Overbaughs.
The Beqajs come from a long line of soccer players, with alumni Halil and Linda Beqaj having played soccer for Northwood in 2011-2015 and 2012-2016 respectively, and their younger brother, junior Edin Beqaj, currently playing soccer for Northwood’s varsity team. With a family passion for soccer, it comes to no surprise how soccer has shaped Edin’s life through his skills and expertise in the sport.
“My older siblings made sports at Northwood seem so fun when I was younger,” Edin Beqaj said. “I watched my sister play Gym Madness once and it only raised my anticipation for high school and sports in particular.”
Before Halil Beqaj left to University of California, Berkeley and Linda Beqaj to University of California, Irvine to play soccer, Edin and his family used to practice together all the time. During their training, Halil’s skill at the sport ultimately inspired Edin to work hard to get better at soccer himself; this motivation has made Edin an asset for Northwood’s varsity soccer team.
“I wanted to play soccer at Northwood for myself so there was not much influence there.” Beqaj said. “However, there were expectations about which level I should be playing in because of my brother’s skill at my age.”
Meanwhile, following closely behind their alumni sibling, Malcolm Overbaugh, who graduated in 2018, juniors Kathleen and Alec Overbaugh have been involved in sports for the majority of their lives. They were introduced to soccer when they were just four-years-old, mainly due to their older sibling playing the sport. Up until last year, every Overbaugh sibling played soccer, but due to multiple severe injuries, including torn ACLs, Kathleen is currently on track and Alec is on the swim team for Northwood. Malcolm runs on the track team for UCI.
¨Playing the same sports as them was really fun and honestly it makes it more competitive for me,¨ Kathleen Overbaugh said.