By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/16/11
Every year during the morning of the Nick Colleluori Classic, Hofstra men’s lacrosse coach Seth Tierney would take his team to the cemetery here in Ridley to pay their respects to former Pride lacrosse player Nick Colleluori.
Last Saturday, before the 5th annual Classic at Ridley High, Tierney made a change. He took the Pride squad to the new “Nick’s House,” just unveiled nine days earlier.
“Nick’s House” was built in just a matter of months, close to the home of the Colleluori family, which has taken the legacy of son Nick and built a foundation that has become a staple in the world of lacrosse and beyond.
The home, rebuilt from an old and dilapidated building, was funded nearly all through donations to the HEADstrong Foundation. It houses the offices of the foundation, a warehouse for lime green apparel and also features two apartments available (rent free) for families that trek to Philadelphia to seek treatment for their child.
Just one day after a dedication for the opening of the house, a family from Colorado came to stay at “Nick’s House” while their child was being treated at the University of Pennsylvania.
Hofstra got to see “Nick’s House” before playing two games at the Classic. The Pride claimed a 2-1 victory over Lehigh and later edged Cornell, 6-5. But more importantly, Hofstra’s players got to see first-hand what Nick’s legacy and the HEADstrong Foundation are accomplishing in the fight against blood cancer.
Coach Tierney and two Pride players spoke about the event:
Coach Seth Tierney:
“This one hits home for us because of our relationship with the HEADstrong Foundation.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this and to see what the Colleluoris have done with this foundation to get to where it is today. Usually, we go to the cemetery, but this time we thought it was important to go to see ‘Nick’s House’ to see what they have done.
“The word is awesome!
“I thought we played hard; I don’t think we played well. It was the first time out. We lost a lot of lacrosse players and I was thrilled to see a lot of young guys run around. We’ve got to can more shots and work harder, and we will.”
Senior midfielder Steve Serling (South Side High):
“It was a tremendous experience to see (Nick’s House). It really hits home to our program. We’ve talked about making the trip to Philly, but to live it and see it, it really puts everything into perspective.
“That’s what this day is about; it’s a lot more than lacrosse. His attitude and relentless attitude will forever be in the locker room at Hofstra and his legacy will continue to live on. His work ethic and attitude is something our coaches preach day in and day out.
“It’s great to see they are raising so much money for research. They have become known not only in lacrosse community, but in all sports.
“It’s great to come out and play another team. It’s a good ending to the fall season as we come together. We know what the cause is. He (Nick) was a Hofstra guy and that makes it a surreal experience.”
Junior midfielder/face-off specialist John Antonaides (St. Anthony’s):
“It’s a pretty cool experience to go see ‘Nick’s House.’ Obviously, none of us played with Nick, but hearing his story and everything he stood for, seeing how HEADstrong started out and how it’s grown is amazing.
“It’s a great experience. I can’t think of any other fall tourney I’d want to do. You see his parents, and here we are seeing how much of a home we really have here.
“We’re all real excited to play here. You hear stories about Nick and watch videos. You know how he played; when we are here, we want to play like he would play and do what he would do.”