A Number is Worth a Thousand Words

Story by Mark Carlisle

Photo by Miles Furuichi

To some it may be a trivial decision, but for many athletes, a lot of thought goes into what number they choose to wear on their back. In our last issue, we took a look at the reasons behind the numbers of many Chapman athletes, (Hyperlink here.) but there were more who wanted to share.


#29. Matt Smith. Baseball. Junior pitcher.


"I'm 29 because that was the number my dad was when he played football in college."


#7. Natalie Both. Softball. Junior pitcher/outfielder.


"I guess it just always seemed like a lucky number to me, and I've always had it since freshman year of high school."


#9. Karina Muniz. Softball. Senior outfielder.


"I chose the number nine because it is my lucky number. Me and my grandpa share the same lucky number. Also I was assigned the number nine when I first started playing softball at age 14, and I have worn the number nine all throughout my softball career."


#73. Jacob Speer. Football. Junior center.


"I had this number (73) in 8th grade for my Pop Warner team and wanted it in high school but got in a fight with an older guy, and he got priority. So I couldn't have it until I came here and got the chance. Although I wanted 72 freshman year, but it was taken."


#24. Katie Bell. Women's soccer. Freshman midfielder.


"I chose the number 24 because my older sister was No. 24 her freshman year of college as well. She also plays soccer."


#23. Sean Davey. Football. Senior defensive back.


"I have played with multiple numbers, but, generally, the number in football is related to the position you play – defensive back is typically 20-40. I liked 23 because I associate good athletes with low digits – any form of 1-3. Players feel loyalty to their number from past if they have been that number for a long time. I have heard guys who wear a number to honor a former teammate, and I know some guys in professional sports will pay teammates to have their number."


#11 Gino Belassen. Men's soccer. Junior midfielder.


"I didn't pick my number, but I was given No. 11 by my coach, which was the number I wanted. my dad was No. 11 in France, and so was his dad."


#10. Julia Diaz. Women's soccer. Freshman midfielder.


"I picked No. 10 as my jersey number for a couple reasons. I have played with No. 10 multiple times since I was 5 years old. This number is typically a midfielder's position, which I have played my whole life. My dad played with this number throughout high school and in college as well. As freshman, we got to choose our numbers from whatever jerseys weren't taken by returning players. Luckily for me, 10 was available. And Messi is No. 10 – just an added bonus.


#32. Forrest Wiederman. Baseball. Sophomore outfielder.


"For me, I've usually had a higher number whether it was in high school or in college because the numbers go by size most of the time. And I'm a bigger guy, so 32 is a choice often available so I've stuck with it whenever I can."


#15. Colin Zavrsnick. Men's basketball. Senior guard.


"Well I was always No. 4 in my years prior to Chapman, since about age 7 when I started travel baseball. When I came to Chapman that number was taken by a senior, and I was given 15 by my assistant coach. So I've kept it ever since."


#18. Cassie Oregel. Softball. Senior, pitcher.

"When I was younger, I was always No. 8 because my birthday is on the 8th. But when I got here that number was already taken, so I thought as long as that eight was in the number, it should be fine."

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