By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/8/09
The Third Annual Nick Colleluori Classic, one of the biggest men’s Fall Ball events of the year, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Ridley High School in Folsom, Pa.
The event, being held over two days for the first time, will feature 10 Division I, one Division II and six Division III squads. Run by the HEADstrong Foundation, the Classic benefits the fight against blood cancer and honors the memory of Ridley graduate Nick Colleluori.
Colleluori, a Ridley graduate with the nickname of Head, died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November of 2006 while a student-athlete at Hofstra University. Since then, the HEADstrong Foundation has raised $1 million for cancer research.
The Division I games – featuring Philly teams Penn, Drexel, St. Joseph’s and Villanova – will be held on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. These will be regulation-length games held either on the Grass Field or the Stadium Field. The full schedule is listed below.
The Division III games – featuring Philly teams Ursinus and Widener – begin at 10 a.m. These games will have 20-minute halves
As in last year’s event, each team will have an honorary captain, someone who is dealing with blood cancer.
Each participating team has been selling T-shirts on their campus to raise funds and awareness of this disease. Admission for the event is $10. There will be numerous vendors and refreshments available as well as all lime-green HEADstrong items such as helmets, t-shirts, sticks and laces.
In the past year, the HEADstrong Foundation has seen widespread growth of the legacy of Nick Colleluori, who himself created the idea for the foundation and the need to beat blood cancer during his 14-month illness.
Last winter the HEADstrong Foundation launched the “Score for a Cure” campaign to involve youth players by using sponsors to raise money. Last month, the first Nick Colleluori Women’s Classic was held at Hofstra with rave reviews. Also, a new youth team called Team HEADstrong was formed in Long Island.
“Nick’s message is being felt throughout the U.S.,” said HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori, Nick’s mother. “We have a team of 5th and 6th grade boys in California that raised $25,000 in the Score for a Cure program.”
“The women’s side is a whole new audience. The tournament was very successful and very well received. We already have gotten requests for two more teams for next year. The growth has been tremendous and very overwhelming.”
Another area of growth has been HEADstrong equipment, including the well-know lime green line of laces, helmets, sticks. In June, Brine entered into an agreement to develop a full line of custom boys’ lacrosse products, of which a portion of the net sales goes to the fight against Lymphoma.
“The Brine line has also been very successful with the first quarter proceeds being presented on Saturday,” said Colleluori. “We will be looking for a girls’ line by next spring. It just keeps going and going.”
Colleluori said expanding the Classic to two days was necessary to allow for more teams. Also, the Division I teams can now play regulation games.
“It allowed us to include more teams,” she said. “With one day, we were limited. More teams participating also mean more revenue towards the cause.”
Besides the Philly teams, the Division I field includes Lafayette, Hofstra, Detroit, Mount St. Mary University, Rutgers and Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC).
The Division III field also includes Wesley College, McDaniel College, York College, and Scranton. Wheeling Jesuit, a Division II team, will play with the Division III field.
Third Annual Nick Colleluori Classic Schedule
at Ridley High
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 (All Times Eastern)
9 a.m. – Rutgers vs. Pennsylvania
11 a.m. – Lafayette vs. Detroit Mercy
1 p.m. – Mount St. Mary’s vs. Drexel
3 p.m. – UMBC vs. Hofstra
9 a.m. – Detroit Mercy vs. St. Joseph’s University
11 a.m. – Rutgers vs. Drexel
12:30 a.m. Hofstra vs. Pennsylvania
1:50 p.m. – HEADstrong Presentation
2 p.m. – St. Joseph’s vs. Lafayette
3:30 p.m. – Villanova vs. Mount St. Mary’s
5 p.m. – Villanova vs. UMBC
Division III schedule
At Ridley High
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 (All Times Eastern)
Stadium Turf Field
10 a.m. Widener vs. York College
11 a.m. Widener vs. Ursinus College
12 p.m. McDaniel vs. Wheeling Jesuit
1:20 p.m. HEADstrong Presentation
1:30 p.m. Wesley vs. McDaniel
3 p.m. Ursinus College vs. Scranton
Natural Grass Field
10 a.m. Wesley vs. Wheeling Jesuit
11:30 a.m. York College vs. Scranton
12:30 p.m. Ursinus College vs. York College
1:30 p.m. Scranton vs. Widener