By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/3/13
Monmouth men’s lacrosse coach Brian Fisher will be making a special homecoming Saturday at the 7th Annual Nick Colleluoci Classic at Ridley High.
A 1997 Ridley grad, Fisher’s team is making its program debut in the annual Fall Ball event that brings thousands of college fans over two days. Seven men’s Division I teams will compete Saturday and 13 more Division II and III squads on Sunday. The event is dedicated to remembering the life and legacy of former Hofstra lacrosse player and HEADstrong founder Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori, a Ridley grad who passed away seven years ago after fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“I didn’t know Nick all that well, but I have known the Colleluori family and I’ve gotten to know Nick through the family and their stories,” said Fisher, a former assistant at Notre Dame. “I know he was a strong and mature young man to battle cancer in the manner he did.
“He had the foresight and drive to say he wanted to make this foundation and support blood cancer awareness and give back. It speaks of his character that he showed this passion by getting HEADstrong up and running.”
Fisher’s Ridley roots indeed run deep. He was a member of two state championship teams under coaches Doug and Kevin Ellers (he also played football and wrestled). Now in his first head coaching job, he relishes the chance to kick off the program where he has so many fond memories. His team faces St. Joseph’s at 1 p.m. and VMI at 4:30.
“It’s fun for me and a great honor to come back and play at Ridley and support HEADstrong by honoring the life of Nick,” he said. “I spoke to my team about who Nick is.
“In addition to that, it’s our first go against two other other D1 teams that are deeper and more experienced than us. We are excited to be playing at Phil Marian Field. It’s our first competition against outside opponents. It’s kind of scary to know we’ve had 18 practices and so how we evaluate evaluate our team will be much different than other programs.”
Another focus is the Philly connection on Fisher’s roster. Eleven of the 40 members are from Philly (see list below).
“It’s a great opportunity for our fan base from Philly to see us,” he said. “We have a lot from the area and I am sure the parents are excited to see their kids have a go at it.”
Fisher admits he loves recruiting in his hometown.
“Certainly there are a lot of good programs in Philly,” Fisher said. “Being from that area certainly didn’t hurt. They learned that Monmouth is off the beaten path, tucked away in the Northeastern most corner of New Jersey. It’s only an hour and a half from Philly; it’s so easy to get here and we’re building more and more recruiting relationships.
“The beach is a mile away so it’s unbelievably attractive. The school is making a significant financial commitment to get us started and the campus itself provides an intimate academic environment. For students, you can’t go wrong.”
Monmouth’s Philly Connection
8 Kevin Murphy Fr. M 5-9 175 Lafayette Hill, Pa./Penn Charter
10 Chris Daly Fr. A 6-2 180 Wynnewood, Pa./Lower Merion
12 Tim Kemner Fr. A 5-9 155 Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional
13 Nick Hreshko Fr. GK 5-6 165 Warrington, Pa./La Salle College H.S.
14 Dylan Schulte MF 6-1 170 Fr. Southampton, N.J. (Seneca [Bridgton Academy])
17 Zack Schleicher Fr. M 5-8 155 Wayne, Pa./Conestoga
22 Matt Worrall Fr. A 5-11 160 Landenberg, Pa./Kennett
26 Andrew Grajewski Fr. D 6-0 175 Collegeville, Pa./La Salle College H.S.
30 Eric Berger Fr. M 5-10 170 Ardsley, Pa./Penn Charter
41 Stephen Murowski Fr. M 6-0 185 Marlton, NJ/Cherokee
45 Tyler Keen Fr. M 5-11 175 Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West
Head Coach: Brian Fisher (Ridley High 1997/Rutgers, 2001) – 1st season