By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/11/13
You could excuse former Ridley lacrosse great Brian Fisher for being emotional Saturday when he brought his Monmouth men’s lacrosse team to Ridley High last Saturday to compete for the first time as a varsity program in the 7th Annual Nick Colleluori Classic.
But Fisher said he was more concerned with his Hawks’ first look against competition.
“I have a lot of memories on this field, some exciting and fun games,” said the 1997 alum who also played football at Ridley. “Today was another one. I didn’t put too much thought into it, but they were good nerves watching our team prepare for the first time.
“It’s been 15 months building and we have been (practicing) four weeks together. This was the day we’ve had circled on the calendars, the day we’ve been looking forward to.
“I was pleased with the excitement and energy we had. We have a lot to build on. It felt good to compete and felt good to coach.”
Monmouth played St. Joseph’s and Binghamton during the Division I day. In all seven D1 teams competed and 13 more competed on Sunday in the Division II-III day of the HEADstrong Foundation event that raises money for blood cancer in Nick Colleluori’s honor.
Monmouth also had a special Philly flavor – 11 of the team members, all freshmen, are from the region.
“It was a no brainer for us to play, with our proximity to Philadelphia and my roots here,” Fisher said. “I have known the Colleluori family a long time.
“To support the Foundation in honor of Nick and to participate in this event is meaningful. It shows the guys that there is more to life than lacrosse.”
One of the Philly players was attackman Zack Schleicher, who helped Conestoga reach the state finals and share a Central League championship last year.
“It was surreal,” he said. “After 4 weeks of just going hard against each other it was nice to beat up on somebody else today. It’s definitely a homecoming. I saw so many friends from other schools; even played against St. Joe’s, I went against some old Dukes teammates. The guys were talking smack.
“We were just trying to have good stickwork and limited turnovers; show the fundamentals. We also wanted to compete and play hard and play fast.”
Hofstra has come to the Nick Colleluori Classic all seven years of the tourney. Pride coach Seth Tierney makes the event a major focus each year and his squad visited Nick’s House on Saturday before its games vs. Binghamton and Villanova.
The meaning of the tourney is never lost for Hofstra and Nick’s legacy grows stronger each year despite the fact his former teammates are now long graduated.
Freshman defenseman Stephen Satterwaite (Malvern Prep) has grown up through the HEADstrong Foundation. He played on the HEADstrong L.C. and also volunteered in past years at the tourney.
“It’s really nice to be back in front of family and great to be home,” he said. “It’s really cool to be a part of it here.
“I have helped at tournament, and it’s really great to see everything from the Hofstra side. It was great knowing about Nick and helping people understand what it’s about.”
Satterwaite says it’s easy to appreciate life and lacrosse when he thinks about Nick’s struggles and fight to help others.
“I feel more a part of it (HEADstrong),” he said. “Now I am with a group of guys in the same locker room that Nick played in. All those feelings creep up on you.
“Coach Tierney is always talking about Nick and being relentless. If we’re having a bad day, imagine what his days were like. Imagine what other (sick) people have to go through; we’re out there playing lacrosse.”