By James Boyle
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/10/13
Josh Caven was just a kid when he first volunteered at the Nick Colleluori Classic. On Sunday at Ridley High, at the Seventh Annual Classic, Caven was back as a competitor with Centenary College.
“It’s awesome,” said Caven, a junior midfielder from Pennsbury who had 14 goals and 11 assists last year. “When people ask me [what HEADstrong is], for the people who don’t know, I honestly say ‘it’s the equivalent to Livestrong for lacrosse.’ It’s getting that big, and it’s good. I’ve gone to many states to play lacrosse, and there’s at least one person on every team that’s got laces, HEADstrong laces.”
Centenary, located in Hackettstown, N.J., was one of 13 teams competing Sunday in the Division II-III day at the Nick Colleluori Classic. The Fall Ball college lacrosse tournament honors the Ridley High School graduate who lost his life to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while playing at Hofstra. The tournament has helped the HEADstrong Foundation raise nearly $4 million to fight blood cancer.
Caven remembers being a spectator at the Classic watching his older brother Joey play for Hofstra, which competes every year at the Classic.
“I think its very family oriented and once you’re in you’re in,” said Josh Caven, who wore Colleluori’s No. 27 his junior year at Pennsbury. “You can’t go anywhere without seeing HEADstrong, you can’t go anywhere and play without thinking HEADstrong, without having that mentality of relentlessness.
“I set the county record for goals that year, wearing 27. It’s something that reminds you just like tying up your cleats with the HEADstrong laces. You put on that jersey, wearing 27, you know you gotta be relentless.”
Centenary is a young team with a lot of potential, and Caven and his teammates hope to take some of that relentless mentality and focus it on the season ahead. The team went 14-4 just a season ago and made it to the ECAC tournament semifinals.
“We’re doing our peaks and valleys,” Josh Caven said. “A lot of valleys, but we’re coming up.”
Robert Moran has a good sense of humor. The sophomore goalie for Bryn Anthyn’s second-year lacrosse program knows his team has an uphill battle. But he’s staying positive and taking things in stride.
“Last year we had a tough year, but we brought in a lot of good recruits, some good lacrosse players and should be much more competitive this year,” said Moran, who was named the Nick Colleluori honoree for Bryn Athyn. “Last year we worked on mostly stick skills and stuff, and it’s going to be cool to actually run plays and be able to win games, maybe.”
Moran, an Upper Dublin grad, plans to get the majority of the starts in net.
“I think with improved numbers we certainly think we can get a couple of wins this year,” Bryn Athyn head coach Jesse King said. “Expectations are not ridiculously high. Three or four more wins would be a nice goal for us. And really just doing it the right way is what I’m all about so that more wins come in the future.”
Bryn Athyn went just 1-10 in its inaugural season, but both Moran and King both agree that defense is where the team excels.
“We are a much stronger defensive team than we are attacking goal,” said King. “We have more depth than we had last year so it’s going to be even better. That’s where we got into trouble last year is depth. That allows us to be stronger and fresh defensively throughout the whole game.”