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Sophomore Jorden Yeargen (left) and junior Courtney Morsberger (right) worked with Fields of Growth, a non-profit organization, to promote lacrosse and caring in Riverton City, Jamaica.
Women’s lacrosse players take love of the game to Jamaica
BY BRITTANY MURDOCK
With their sticks and equipment in hand, two Guilford
women lacrosse players traveled to Jamaica's Riverton City,
the location of a trash dump.
"The conditions were absolutely disgusting, and it smelled
terrible," said junior Courtney Morsberger. "The worst part
about it is that kids who live there acted as though it was
For 10 days, Morsberger and sophomore Jorden Yeargan
spent their time interacting with locals, sightseeing and
The girls traveled with volunteers to Riverton City through
the non-profit Fields of Growth. Not only did they play
lacrosse with the kids for several hours a day, but they also
visited the kids at their school.
"Everyone was so nice there, and the kids had so much joy
for life," said Yeargan. "Everyone in Jamaica is really athletic,
so the kids picked up the sport very quickly. They were also
very competitive, always competing against one another."
Fields of Growth recruits student-athletes who play
lacrosse from universities across the nation, like Nicole
Hancock, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
While in Jamaica, she accompanied the Guilford girls as they
visited the Bob Marley Museum, shopped at local craft fairs
and chilled out with locals.
"We had a New Year's Eve party on the beach with tons
of food and a giant bonfire," said Hancock. "On New Year's
Day, we went to the school and helped serve food and hand
out presents to all the kids we had coached in lacrosse the
Director and Founder of Fields of Growth Kevin Dugan
guided the excursion for the volunteers in Jamaica and had
great things to say about Morsberger and Yeargan.
"Courtney and Jorden brought such a positive attitude to
the trip," said Dugan. "They did a great job coaching, but
more importantly brought huge hearts for those in need."
At first, the parents of Yeargan and Morsberger were
apprehensive and worried, but after further research, they
"I thought it sounded like a unique opportunity to build
community outreach and offer kids a sport," said Deborah
Underwood, Yeargan's mother, in an email interview. "I was a
bit concerned about her traveling into an unknown situation.
We were able to see uploaded pictures on the website, which
really helped knowing where they were staying and what
they were doing each day."
"We had great confidence in the organization that ran the
trip, as Courtney had gone with them on another mission trip
this past summer in Uganda," said Morsberger's father, Mike
Morsberger, in an email interview. "We knew this trip would
strengthen her commitment to charitable action and provide
an unforgettable experience."
Not only did the girls adjust to scorching temperatures,
they also adapted to the culture's diet, which meant chicken
and rice every night. The group of volunteers lodged with
Jamaican surfing legend Billy Wilmot and his family. In
addition, the crew met some of Bob Marley's relatives and
visited his old house.
"Staying with a Jamaican family made the experience
more authentic," said Yeargan. "When we all needed to get
around, instead of getting on a bus, Billy would call a local to
drive us around."
Morsberger appreciated the selflessness of members of the
community, noticing that they were willing to help others
"Even though these kids were in an unhealthy environment,
they were all so happy," said Morsberger. "Jamaican lifestyle
isn't about you, it's about the community. They really believe
in 'one love.'"
In love with lacrosse, the Guilford girls offered their time
and energy by accepting this rare juncture.
"I think it's wonderful for my athletes to see other
opportunities with lacrosse," said Head Women's Lacrosse
Coach Sarah Lamphier. "Doing service work and community
outreach is a phenomenal thing. For both Jorden and
Courtney to combine the two, I just love it."
Both Yeargan and Morsberger have said the trip was life
changing and, without a doubt, something they will never
Josh Pittman stands tall among athletes, students alike
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BY MALIKAH FRENCH
Cheers echo through the
stands of Ragan Brown Field
House as the familiar name
bellows over the intercom:
Josh Pittman. A North Carolina
native, senior Pittman has
worked hard to offer leadership
to his teammates on and off the
court. Friends have described
him as humble, laid back and
close enough to be family.
However, there is more to
this Division III athlete than
basketball. Few students
at Guilford are aware that
Quakerism is in his blood.
"His mother's very active in
Quaker Youth Meeting in the
state," said Vice President for
Student Affairs and Dean of
Students Aaron Fetrow. "I know
of his mom through Quaker
camp and yearly meeting."
The Pittman family is noted
for its closeness. Josh's parents
attend almost every home and
away game. His Guilford life
and family life intertwined
when his younger brother,
Justin Pittman, joined the
Guilford community in 2011.
"Josh and Justin
up beating on
other in athletics,"
sophomore year, they
made their choices — basketball
The closer proximity has
allowed the brothers to
enhance their friendship while
propelling their own athletic
"We look at each other as
family and as best friends,"
said Justin. "We are very
competitive, but at the end of
the day we love seeing each
In his time at Guilford, Josh
has made ODAC First-Team two
consecutive seasons, won the
prestigious Nereus C. English
Athletic Leadersliip Award and
scored over 1,000 points.