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The Davey Spurlock

David SpurlockHaving a “fighting heart” is a trait that can be learned, but requires a person to step outside of their comfort zone and to have the utmost courage to do whatever is required to do the right thing or simply what has to be done. It is only human to feel like we don't have what we need sometimes to keep pushing forward; we get tired, we can’t stand the discomforts, we just want the struggling to stop! Having a fighting heart is to fight these feelings of giving up, to push forward, to overcome the obstacles and challenges in our way.

Many schools and many sports have created “fighting heart awards” to acknowledge those extraordinary individuals who face obstacles that seem larger than life, that are intimidating and life threatening, but seem to measure the odds, grit their teeth and prevail.

Cal Lutheran’s own Coach McEnroe tells of his own father receiving a fighting heart award from the High School in Texas he played for many years ago. “Mac” believes that the lessons, values and integrity that others acknowledged in his father were the guidelines upon which he has raised his kids and have guided his own life.

At Cal Lutheran we first observed such courage in the life of a student upon whose name we placed this honorable annual award of acknowledgement. His name was…

Davey Spurlock, one with a Fighting Heart

Davey Spurlock fought thru two major obstacles on his way to graduating from both California Lutheran College and then Law School. In 1964 as a Freshman, Davey suffered injuries so severe that he was given no more than 72 hours to live. Listed in grave condition, his doctors said he would only live if he had “a fighting heart”. He fought through this and returned to his team the following year, but his doctors would not approve of his playing. With football an important outlet in his life, he simply could not handle this decision; he was lonely and homesick and his grades suffered. His answer was to just walk away from these conflicts.

It was his love of football that allowed Davey to be persuaded to try again at CLC where his professors worked with him to get him academically healthy and in 1967 he returned to football. Newly invigorated he started every game as linebacker, led the team in interceptions with four and received the “Davey Spurlock Fighting Heart Award” that had been created in his honor in 1964 when he first fought through his devastating injuries.

In his final season he played defensive back and recorded a school-best eleven interceptions. That year he was named to the All-District Team, All West Coast Team and the All-Lutheran Team. He was selected as CLC Player of the Week three times that season and brought his career interception total to fifteen, receiving the Davey Spurlock Fighting Heart Award for the third time in his career.

Upon graduating from Cal Lutheran, Davey Spurlock pursued a Law degree and upon his successful completion, was elected to the CLC Board of Regents, elected President of the Alumni Board of Directors, and was inducted into the CLC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. He is an ardent and loyal supporter of his Alma Mater.
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