Royals Siblings: Sports Run in the Family
Just like the Manning brothers, Williams sisters and Van Arsdale twins, the Regent Royals program has some stellar sibling duos! Read on to learn all about them.
The Morrison Twins
Playing on different ends of the field, sophomore brothers John and Isaac Morrison have been enjoying the opportunity to play collegiate soccer together this season. Though they are in the same year, John was the first to attend Regent in 2021 on scholarship playing goalie and studying criminal justice to pursue a career in law enforcement. Due to an injured elbow, he hasn’t been able to play in games this season, but he practices and travels with the team. Isaac transferred this fall to join his twin in a next-door dorm and as the team’s forward; he’s studying Christian ministries with plans to become a pastor.
The twins began playing soccer in eighth grade when their dad’s passion for the sport rubbed off on them. As homeschoolers, they competed on recreational teams throughout high school, and one of their fondest memories from this time was when they created an elite squad called Djurop. “It was just six of us who were, like, the most elite people on the team and always super hyped,” Isaac recounted with a laugh. As a squad, they entered a couple of 4 v 4 tournaments and maintained their group for two years.
Despite their “elite” namesake, the brothers noted that they’re a “bit of the underdogs on the [Regent] team because most of the players have done travel soccer, and we did rec.” However, they both emphasized that “If you work hard and love the game, you can really go places, even if you didn’t have the same opportunities as others.”
When asked about their favorite trait in the other, Isaac said he admires John’s consistency and “composure on the soccer field and in life.” John shared that he loves Isaac’s joy and infectious energy that’s evident on the field and in the team.
The Murrell Sisters
Kaila and Kali Murrell, both juniors, are thrilled to be reunited on the same court this year after two years of playing collegiate basketball for different schools. The twins are excited to “be together, play together and graduate together.” Kali transferred to Regent in 2021 to study business administration and was joined by her twin sister, Kaila, this fall, who’s studying communication.
The sister duo started their basketball career at four years old, following in their dad and three older brothers’ footsteps. “I think our dad just put a basketball in our hands, and we’ve loved it since,” Kaila stated. They pursued their passion into high school and college, cheering each other on as they did.
Working together, Kali operates as the point guard while Kaila plays 2 and 3 guard. When discussing their court dynamic, the ladies noted that they’re “really competitive” if they’re on opposite teams but a force to be reckoned with on the same side. They are constantly encouraging and pushing each other to be the best they can be.
However, even during the most competitive times, Kali said that Kaila is always there for her: “If I ever feel down, she’s always cheering me up and making me smile.” This has been evident over the past year, especially while Kali healed from a leg injury last season. Thankfully, she has been making steady progress and participating in team practices. Kaila added that her favorite trait of Kali’s is her level-headedness: “She knows how to calm me down and handles situations really well.”
The Walston Siblings
Andrew and Nicole Walston share not only a last name but also a talent for athletics and a passion for pursuing God. Their journey to playing together this season has been unexpected. Andrew, a first-year graduate student, plays shooting guard for the men’s basketball team. He came to Regent as an undergrad and has led the team as a captain over the past four years. Though he planned to transition into the workforce upon graduation, he was given the opportunity to play one more year and will graduate this July with a master’s in business administration.
Nicole, a freshman studying graphic design, was also not expecting to be at Regent this year. But the Lord clearly opened and closed doors, and she is now eager to make her mark as an outside hitter for the women’s volleyball team. Never anticipating their athletic collegiate careers to overlap because of their four-year age gap, the Walstons are excited to be united in the same program this season.
Athletes themselves, Andrew and Nicole’s parents instilled an early love of sports in their children, and many favorite family memories involve basketball games in the driveway. Andrew remarked that their “parents were also really great about using sports to teach life lessons” like teamwork, commitment, overcoming adversity, recognizing that, at the end of the day, it’s just a game.
They’ve both experienced more lessons as they’ve grown in their sports. Though she started with basketball, their mom’s love for volleyball led Nicole to try it for herself and commitment full-time to the sport. This transition forced her to adjust to a more team-oriented mentality. She emphasized that success is very dependent on how much team members trust one another. “Volleyball is only successful if a team works in likeminded ways. Chemistry and victories come from that togetherness, and experiencing it is beautiful.”
Andrew emphasized that “your identity isn’t in anything you do; your identity should be in Christ.” He encourages students to “put your identity in Christ, and make sure that’s always your foundation. Keep perspective because, even if you have a bad game, God’s still on the throne.”
When talking about the other’s most admirable traits, Nicole noted that Andrew’s leadership qualities: “As the eldest sibling, he always stepped up and took initiative… He also radiates God’s love in a way that draws all kinds of people in.” Andrew remarked on Nicole’s ability to be “tough as nails” and admires how “she always keeps up with [her two older brothers].” He also appreciates “her work ethic” and how he’s seen her grow and apply this trait to college athletics.
As you can see, we have some great family athletes who are ready to continue working hard this second half of the semester. Make sure to say “Hi!” if you see them!