(Nov. 28, 2014) Stephen Decatur standout midfielder Jackson Mumford realized one of his childhood dreams when, during a signing at the school on Thursday, Nov. 20, he publicly announced his intention to play lacrosse for NCAA Division I Towson University.
A devoted lacrosse player since age 7, Mumford took an unofficial visit to Towson as a sophomore and officially committed to on Nov. 12, 2013.
“I picked Towson because they were the best fit for me athletically, academically and socially,” he said. “I’m looking to study education and Towson is one of the best teacher’s schools in Maryland.”
Mumford will attend college on an athletic scholarship and hopes to one day teach high school and coach lacrosse. He described the feeling of signing to Towson as “pure joy.”
“It’s been several years in the making,” he said. “I was just so glad that I was finally able to seal the deal and realize that my dream is coming true. My goals are to get on the field, which is going to be pretty hard, but I just want to play and prove that the Eastern Shore has something to do with lacrosse.”
During his remaining time at Decatur, Mumford, a midfielder, said his goal is singular.
“All I want to do is beat Kent Island,” he said.
Mumford’s coach, Scott Lathroum, said the three-year varsity starter has size, speed and a fiercely competitive nature.
“I don’t think he’s going to be a leading scorer any day, but he will be on that field playing constantly because of the athlete that he is and what he can do on that field,” he said.
Lathroum said Mumford’s devotion sets him apart.
“It takes a lot of dedication,” he said. “Summer hours–when everybody is surfing, working, going to the beach –he’s driving to Annapolis probably two days a week for practice, and then you travel all over the East Coast and you play. It’s not easy. Few players can do it [and] that’s why he’s sitting at this table.”
Mumford’s childhood coach, Brendan Hanley, and middle school coach Jim Shreeve were both present during the signing. Shreeve, who coached Mumford at Worcester Prep, said, “He was always the guy that I depended on.”
“He was the go-to guy,” he said. “He was always one of the leaders.”
Mumford’s mother, Fuzzy, said her son has always been busy with athletics.
“One year he played on four teams,” she said. “It had nothing to do that he was a superstar–he just wanted to play all the time.”
Fuzzy said her son had a “tough” eighth grade year, but turned things around after trying out for the Annapolis Hawks.
“He said, ‘this is my dream. I want to play in college.’ I said OK — never thinking it would work, never thinking he’d play Division I or anything like that,” she said. “And then he started to get all this college interest. And then it wasn’t just regular college it was D-I. And then he started getting scholarship offers.”
“I don’t know how to describe it when your kid’s reality surpassed their dream,” Fuzzy continued. “It is just awe-inspiring. He amazes me. He’s not perfect, but deep down he works really hard. He’s the guy you want in the fourth quarter–that’s who he is in life. When it comes down to it, he’s the one. And it’s just amazing to have that as your kid.”