Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
|The Hofstra women's lacrosse team with the Colleluori family.|
The fourth annual Nick Colleluori Classic at Ridley High School in suburban Philadelphia, which featured 20 men’s lacrosse teams including Hofstra, is estimated to have raised around $250,000. The second annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic held on Sept. 25 at Hofstra raised over $42,000. Both of these charity events are aimed at raising money for blood cancer research and to keep alive the memory alive of Colleluori, a former Hofstra men’s lacrosse defenseman who passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Nov. 28, 2006 at the age of 21 after a courageous 14-month battle with the disease.
“It is great for our players to see what they can do and how lacrosse can change things outside of just the lacrosse world,” said Hofstra women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan.
“It was a wonderfully run event and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Hofstra men's lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney. “The Colleluori family has taken this to an unbelievable level and I am so proud of what they have done.”
None of the current Hofstra men’s lacrosse players had the chance to be teammates with Colleluori when he played as a freshman in 2005, but what he meant to the program is still very much instilled in everyone on the roster. On the morning of the fundraiser the team went to the cemetery where Colleluori was laid to rest to rest with every player and coach placing a rose on his headstone. Emotional remarks on Colleluori at the cemetery were also delivered by Hofstra assistant coach Joe Amplo and a movie tribute was also played on the bus to Ridley High School.
“After we went to the cemetery and listened to Coach Amplo and watched a video on the bus and played in his honor I think that everybody feels that Nick was his teammate,” said Tierney.
A new tradition was also started last year where one Hofstra player who best exemplified Colleluori’s character on and off the field would wear his number 27. Last year defenseman Adam Swarsen had the honor of wearing Colleluori’s number and for the 2011 season it will be senior short-stick defensive midfielder Steven DeNapoli.
“Steven most exemplifies the relentless effort on the field that Nick showcased whenever he played in any sport,” said Tierney.