Experiencing a New Culture  

Last May, Tricia Murphy, Class of 2022, and Morgan Bronk, Class of 2021, travelled with the field hockey team to Barcelona and Madrid, Spain. What did they think?

What were the games like?

Murphy: The matches were incredibly eye opening. One team had women in their late 20s and early 30s, which was surprising considering there are very few adult leagues in the United States It was a lot of fun to play against the advanced teams because it gave us a good idea of some skills that we could work on and use in the regular season.

How is field hockey different in Spain?

Bronk: Field hockey was really big in Catalonia. Parents would drop their kids off at field hockey practice and then go play in their own leagues. It’s a big sport over there. You could really see that.

Murphy: It’s so much more popular there. People start playing at a young age and continue to play into adulthood. Also, it’s almost exclusively played on AstroTurf, which is almost a completely different game because it is so much faster than playing on grass, which is what we are used to.

How is field hockey different in Spain?

Bronk: Field hockey was really big in Catalonia. Parents would drop their kids off at field hockey practice and then go play in their own leagues. It’s a big sport over there. You could really see that.

Murphy: It’s so much more popular there. People start playing at a young age and continue to play into adulthood. Also, it’s almost exclusively played on AstroTurf, which is almost a completely different game because it is so much faster than playing on grass, which is what we are used to.

What effect did the trip have on the team?

Bronk: It really brought us together and allowed us to bond. We also got to hold onto our seniors for a little bit longer since the trip was at the end of the school year.

What was your favorite part of the trip?

Murphy: The trip enhanced my experience as an athlete. The players that we trained with there had such finely tuned skills, and it was interesting to learn from them because they had so much experience. We got to experience more than you would think possible considering the amount of time we were there.

Bronk: The bike tours we went on. It was so fun just navigating through each city on a bike. Being an athlete over there makes you a well-rounded person, just being able to experience another culture. You’re actually living it, hearing the language, and trying to speak it.

Bigger than Basketball  

Last May, the men’s basketball team traveled to Costa Rica, a trip made possible thanks to the support of generous donors. Two players, Jake Ross, Class of 2020, and Kendall Baldwin, Class of 2021, reflect on what made the trip such a memorable experience.

What were the games like?

Jake Ross: The competition was different. There were a few younger teams but also some older teams that had some big guys who were not afraid to use their bodies. A couple of the guys spoke English and, after the game, I asked to get their picture, and we talked for a bit. I found out two of them play in the states. And, now we follow each other on Instagram. 

Kendall Baldwin: It was different. I feel like their game is more fast paced, a bit more physical. You can get away with more, but we played through it.

What effect did the trip have on the team?

Baldwin: We were already pretty close but I feel like we got closer as a team and even with the coaches. We experienced stuff and made memories that we still talk about to this day.

Ross: The bond, the trust, the memories; those are things you can’t put a price on. Those are things you just cherish and grow from as a group. It sets a tone for the year, just being together in a different country, going through a new experience. It’s something we’ll continue to reflect on throughout the season.

What service projects did you do?

Ross: We did more than one but the best one was working with local youth at an activity complex. It was probably 100 degrees and the kids were out there playing soccer for hours, having a great time with us. They were so happy. 
When we left, they were waving goodbye to us on the bus.

Baldwin: Even though there was a language barrier, you could tell they were still happy to see us and enjoy the time we spent with them. They understood what we were doing and that it was bigger than basketball.

What was the best part of the trip?

Ross: The last game we played. It was competitive and we had to work for it and really see what we were made of. It also gave me the opportunity to understand that I want to travel when I’m older. I like the culture shock. I could have stayed there another month.

Baldwin: Zip lining. I did not want to go when I got up there and saw the heights but I’m glad I did. The whole trip was a phenomenal experience; words can’t even describe it. It’s something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.


Did you know?
A $1,000 gift can fund an international trip.