Phillylacrosse.com, posted 1/3/09
Philadelphia teams fared exceptionally well Friday in the first day of competition before sunny skies onWesley Chapel District Park (FL) as the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions began with Toyota Pool Play in the elite and rising stars divisions.
In the 27-team Elite Division, Mesa Fresh 2010 highlights the undefeated teams, as the Malvern-based squad is the lone unbeaten with a roster that doesn’t include a single senior.
The six additional teams that finished the day 2-0 included three Philly teams: Team Headstrong (last year’s runner-up), Rebel Elite and LB3 Blue. Other 2-0 teams are the Connecticut Seminoles, Maryland Lacrosse Club and Edge Junior Select (Ontario, CAN).
In a bid to become the first repeat national champions, the New Westminster Salmonbellies (British Columbia, CAN) did not disappoint, defeating Steel City Select (Pa.), 11-5, and the Tampa Bay Fire, 18-3.
On the flip-side, the Connecticut Hurricanes, which finished in fourth-place a year ago, lost both of it games today (11-8 finals to both LB3 Blue and Burnaby Mountain Senior Selects [British Columbia]). The Hurricanes, the 22-seed, will meet the 11-seed, Edge USA (Md.), in the first round of the championship bracket.
The Dick’s Tournament is considered the US and Canada boys’ travel team championship.
Headstrong Foundation is recognized
Three members of the Colleluori family (parents Cheryl and Pat and son Michael) are in Florida to support Team HeadStrong in its quest to win the national championship and to promote the HeadStrong Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in honor of Ridley High graduate Nick Colleluori, who lost his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006.
FOX 13 Tampa was at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions on Friday, covering the national championship. A moving and emotional story about the HeadStrong Foundation aired earlier this evening on FOX that featured interviews with Cheryl and Pat, Nick’s parents.