By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/4/14
For Marple Newtown, competing in the HEADstrong Foundation’s 5th Annual Rivalry Games at Avon Grove High School has extra meaning.
Eight members of the Tigers play for HEADstrong’s club team, and head coach Mike Miller is a HEADstrong UI15 coach. So when the players learned they would be playing Unionville (11 a.m.) and had to sell t-shirts to raise money and spread the word about Nick Collelluori, there was extra motivation.
The Rivalry Games features 12 teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Each squad raises money for the fight against blood cancer by selling t-shirts and raises awareness by educating others on the relentless pursuit of the Foundation to cure blood cancer in Nick’s name.
Marple Newtown 2015 midfielder T.J. Reiley, who plays for HEADstrong club, said the event has great meaning to him and his teammates.
“I think the event means you are always going to give 100 percent no matter what the cost,” said Reiley. “I think it brings us closer in the sense that it’s not just about the game, it’s about raising money and awareness.
“When I tell someone who doesn’t know about it, I tell them it’s about a college kid who started a foundation that grew into something way bigger and helped a lot more people because of how much he cared for the sport and how much he cared for the community.”
Each member of the Tigers’ varsity and JV teams will be wearing their shirts (under their uniforms) and lime green laces during the game.
The HF Rivalry Games will showcase six highly anticipated high school varsity boys’ lacrosse matchups, JV and youth games in an all-day event supporting cancer patients and their families.
“I think it’s really good for our team to be involved,” said 2015 LSM Eric McKelvie, who will enter his third year on HEADstrong this summer. “It brings us together. A lot of players on the team play for the organization and everything we do helps us get better as a team and builds chemistry. Through the organization we give back to the community and that helps our team as well.”
“Obviously, playing for HEADstrong we feel like we are playing for Nick Colleluori,” added 2015 attackman Billy Morgan, who also will be playing his third year for HEADstrong. “The whole event is organized for all to play for him and to play relentless, like every game is your last. It’s also about spreading the word all around and beyond.”
The Rivalry Games is a day centered on philanthropy, with each participating team involved in assisting the HF mission by fundraising for the cause and helping to spread awareness in their respected schools and communities.
5th Annual Rivalry Games High School Varsity Schedule
9 M Perkiomen Valley (PA) vs. Pope John Paul II (PA)
11 AM Marple Newtown (PA) vs. Unionville (PA)
1 PM Avon Grove (PA) vs. Ridley (PA)
3 PM Shipley School (PA) vs. Bayard Rustin (PA)
5 PM Ocean City (NJ) vs. Egg Harbor Township (NJ)
7 PM Kennett (PA) vs. St. Andrews School (DE)
9 AM Perkiomen Valley JV vs. Pope John Paul II JV
11 AM Marple Newtown JV vs. Unionville JV
1 PM Avon Grove JV vs. Ridley JV
3 PM Kennett Square JV vs. West Chester Rustin JV
5 PM Avon Grove U15A vs. Abington U15A
9 AM Uprising U9 vs. Abington U9
11 AM Uprising U11 vs. Abington U11
1 PM Uprising U13 vs. Abington U13
3 PM Conestoga U15A vs. Kennett/Unionville U15A
5 PM BYC U15A vs. Coventry U15A
Admission for spectators is $5.00 with children under the age of 5 being free.
The latest in HEADstrong’s arsenal of awareness products will be available to purchase at the event and guests are encouraged to wear lime green. The HF Rivalry Games have been an overwhelming success, attended annually by over 4,000 supporters and generating over $200,000 since its inception.
Tags: Marple Newtown