Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/12/10
The Philadelphia Wings will host the Minnesota Swarm Saturday night in a National Lacrosse League contest at the Wachovia Center (7:00) while honoring the memory of Ridley graduate Nick Collelouri and the HEADstrong Foundation.
The Wings will don neon green warm-ups and the popular HEADstrong shoe laces during this special night. In addition, the game referees will wear green jerseys and the Wings coaches will wear green to honor Colleluori, who lost his courageous fight against blood cancer on November 28, 2006, at the age of 21 while a student-athlete at Hofstra.
Fans are also encouraged to wear green to the game and help support the HEADstrong Foundation, founded by Colleluori. The Foundation generates funds for cancer research, increases public awareness, and distributes grants and assistance to survivors of blood cancer and their families.
The game has special meaning to two Wings players. Colleluori was the high school teammate of Bill McGlone and Brett Moyer, each of whom play for the Wings. The Wings will also donate a portion of the ticket sales from the game to the HEADstrong foundation.
The Swarm (4-4) has won its last three games. The Wings also will play Orlando Friday night
The Wings, sixth in the NLL Eastern Conference, still hope to go to the playoffs despite a slow first half of the season. They are led by top scorers Kyle Wailes (38 points), Drew Westervelt (35 points) and Mat Giles (31 points).
Callum Crawford leads Minnesota with 45 points and Aaron Wilson is second on the team 44 points.
Meanwhile, the Titans (4-3) are currently second in the NLL’s East Division and have lost two of their last three games. Jordan Hall leads the Titans with 41 points.
A plus for the Wings has been the play of defender John Christmas, the former Lower Merion and Virginia great who missed all of last year after co-founding the L.E.A.P.S. program. Christmas did not play in the first five games this year, but has three goals and four assists in four games since his return.
“Johnny has played great and it has been great to have him back,” said Wings coach Dave Huntley. “He was unable to play with us last year and has been doing some absolutely terrific things with his LEAPS Foundation in Philadelphia, so he needed to devote a lot of energy to that and we are really proud of everything that John has done with regards to that endeavor.
“He very much wanted to get back and he came out and had a great training camp. He bided his time, gave out a lot of energy, and is just one of those guys you really look forward to being around every weekend. I am happy that John is back and proud of what he is doing in Philadelphia to use lacrosse as a vehicle to help young people.”