By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/14/14
Ryan O’Kane could have been disappointed, demoralized or even angry.
His Neumann University team struggled in two lopsided defeats Sunday in the Division II-III day at the 8th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic at Ridley High.
But O’Kane, a senior midfielder from Ridley, preferred to take the positives out of the day.
He felt that his team, with only eight reserves, held tough in the second half in its second loss to Marymount. O’Kane was also happy to compete at home for Nick for the fourth straight year and was honored to be named the Neumann recipient of the Nick Colleluori Award for always displaying the relentless attitude Nick displayed while playing lacrosse and fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“It’s a good feeling coming back to Ridley, and being relentless,” said O’Kane, who scored 20 goals as a junior. “That’s biggest message they taught us at Ridley from Day 1. It’s great to come back and play on that field for Nick.
“They instilled in me being relentless and playing hard. That’s what our team is trying to do; we have a lot of young kids and we’re trying to spread that message by finishing out the games.”
O’Kane said every time he competed in the Nick Colleluori Classic was a special event.
“We worked hard and did the best we could for the people we have,” said O’Kane. “Getting that Nick Colleluori award means so much to me. Being a Ridley grad, there’s a lot of pride.”
Rosemont also looked to covercome tough competition Sunday in games vs. Merchant Marine and Division II power Dowling. The Raven’s senior face-off specialist, senior Dean Grisoff (Eastern High in South Jersey) was named the team’s Nick Colleluori winner.
“It’s an honor to be here and I want to thank everybody who allowed us to come,” said Grisoff. “In the past two weeks I lost my Great Grandmom and my Grandmom; she died of lung cancer. Today is for them. I feel for the families that have to deal with this. But I am very thankful for everything and I want to make the best of everything.”
Grisoff said he is determined to help Rosemont continue to improve as a young program. The Ravens went 4-11 last year after winning just once in their first two seasons under Brian Zusi.
“We have had four years and I want to show how far we have come,” said Grisoff, who contributed nine goals and six assists and won 91 of 175 face-offs last year. “It’s been a challenge, but it’s been a learning experience.
“You have to make the best of everything. That’s the motto in my life. I have been dealing with a rough month, but I am lucky to be able to play on a college team. I am going to be a special education teacher so I always want to look at the bright side of things for me, and my students.”