The Cabrini Men’s lacrosse team was invited to the Nick Colleluori’s HEADstrong Foundation Lacrosse tournament last Sunday, Oct. 8.
Over 4,000 fans piled in the bleachers of Ridley High school’s Phil Marion Field. It was a tournament that consisted of six teams from both Division I and Division III schools. These six teams, their families and fans all helped raised money to help Nick Colleluori’s dream continue in succeeding to help patients that are diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Division I schools that were in attendance included Bucknell University, Hofstra University, St. Joseph’s University and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Cabrini and Haverford Colleges represented the Division III schools.
Nick Colleluori, 21 of Holmes, Pa. was an All-American football and lacrosse player for Ridley High school and a starting defenseman on the Hofstra University’s men’s lacrosse team. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the fall of 2005, beat the cancer in the summer of 2006 and then was diagnosed for the last time last fall.
The inspiring story of Colleluori and how brave and unselfish he was during the time he was sick and fought for his life harder everyday will amaze you.
Last November, right before Colleluori passed, his last words were him telling his family and friends to not be scared or upset. He told them to care for the other patients who have this horrific cancer and help save them. And that is exactly what his loved ones are doing for him.
The Hofstra team, which consisted of Nick’s younger brother Mike, all wore lime green uniforms which is the color of the Lymphoma Cancer ribbon. Colleluori used this ribbon to design the HEADstrong logo, using the ribbon as the head of the lacrosse stick in the logo. Also, the whole team wore the number 27, which was Colleluori’s number at both Ridley and Hofstra.
Senior attack Matt McKinney was a good friend of Colleluori’s. He, along with senior Rob Tinsley and junior Pat Grenier all played with Colleluori in high school.
“As a senior and my last year of lacrosse, it was great to have a chance to play in the first annual HEADstrong tournament,” McKinney said. “It was especially great because he was a friend of mine and it’s great that Nicky’s memory is staying alive.”
Without keeping score, the Cavalier’s played against St. Joe’s, Haverford and UMBC.
Senior captain Dan DeRosa contributed an envelope to Mrs. Colleluori in between games that was filled with checks and donations that the team and their families donated.
“I am very inspired and humble to play for such an important cause. It was a great experience to play against such a high grade of talent,” DeRosa said. “But really, that’s not what it was for. It was more to raise money and awareness for the HEADstrong foundation just like Nick wanted to do.”
His parents, three brothers and fiancé, would like to continue this tournament annually. This year they nearly raised $75,000. Next year there are other men’s and women’s Division I teams already asking if they could be in next years tournament as well.
“Make use of the time you have and don’t stress the little things, have a smile and enjoy what you can get out of life,” -Nick Colleluori