Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/30/10
The 8th grade Ridley Youth Lacrosse team traveled to in late July to play in the first annual California Lacrosse Classic in Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County.
The tournament was hosted by Team Relentless, a U15 club lacrosse team created to raise money for the HEADstrong Foundation. Team Relentless, located in Orange County, has modeled itself after the HEADstrong Foundation and its mission by raising money and awareness of blood cancers on the West Coast.
Team Relentless is coached by former Radnor and Maryland standout Max Ritz and former Johns Hopkins star Kyle Harrison. The two are also co-founders of the LXM Pro tour, which debuted on the East Coast Saturday at Radnor.
It was important to Chuck Dotson, the tournament director, to have a Ridley team at the inaugural tournament, since HEADstrong founder and the late Nick Collelouri started playing lacrosse for the Ridley Youth Squad. With a great deal of planning and fundraising by parents and monetary help from local businesses, the boys’ trip became a reality.
The Ridley squad was the only town based team in the tournament, which was made-up primarily of all star or club lacrosse teams. Ridley played teams from Washington State and California and finished the pool play seeded seventh out of 16 teams with a 2-2 record.
Ridley made the “A” bracket playoffs, but lost in the playoffs to the eventual tournament runner up, Pacific Cascade, a Seattle based club lacrosse team by a score of 6-4.
The tourney featured featuring more than 25 of the top middle-school and younger club lacrosse teams from Southern California, Arizona, Utah, Washington and Northern California.
Nick Colleluori died four years ago due to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a lengthy battle. He was a student-athlete at Hofstra University. Nick’s parents and brothers Daniel and Michael were on hand to meet all the players and teams.
Team Relentless beat Pacific Cascade Clash (Seattle), 13-6, in the championship game.
Overall, the trip was a great success for Ridley, as the boys got to play top lacrosse teams for a great cause at a beautiful site. The tournament facility was first class, playing at an equestrian facility in San Juan Capistrano. The players enjoyed playing beach volleyball in Dana Point or visiting Laguna Beach and San Clemente, which were just miles down the road.
The team was made-up by kneeling (L to R): Connor Flynn, Matt Borchert, Mike McGugan, Jimmy Stillwell, Andrew Kelly, Brian Burke, Steven Dever, Kevin Kelly, Nick Hill, and Chris Bruton. Standing is Dan Insalaco, Steve Nasella, Matt Saucelein, Colin Bosak, Brian Sinex, John Saunders, Ben Kellet, Louie Harrison, and Johnny Yentch. The team was coached by Matt Flynn.