For a majority of us, October 19th is just a normal day on the calendar. But for the Colleluori family this was the day that Nicholas “Head” Colleluori was born, and on this day Nick would be 28. Nick was the third of four brothers raised in Holmes, Pa (Delaware County).
A 2004 graduate of Ridley High School, Nick earned 12 varsity letters as a three-sport star, Nicholas played collegiate lacrosse at Hofstra University. Nick was considered to be an undersized athlete, but was noted for his never-give-up mental toughness, determination and aggressiveness, Nick played nose guard for the Ridley “Green Raider” High School Football team and at 185 pounds went up against some of the biggest players in the Central League. Nick was also a technician on the wrestling mat. At Hofstra, Nicholas took the field in all 16 games as a freshman, cracking the Pride’s lineup and seeing significant minutes on their man-down unit.
On November 28, 2006 Nick lost his 14 month battle with this deadly disease at the young age of 21. So it was only fitting that this event be held be held on the fields whose backdrop is the Penn Medicine Similow Research Center where Nick was treated.
So on this October 19th at Penn Park at the University of Pennsylvania four teams came together for the Inaugural University City Classic. Penn Quakers (D-1 Ivy League), Drexel Dragons (D-1 CAA), Bellarmine Knights (D-1 ECAC) , and Hobart College (D-1 ECAC) to play some fall lacrosse, work on some things for the upcoming season, but to also raise awareness of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a vicious blood cancer.
The games were played over two fields.
Dunning-Cohen Champions Field had Hobart v Penn at 11am, followed at 1pm by Bellarmine v Hobart. On this field the teams agreed not to keep score, but by the reaction of the players it seemed that Hobart topped Penn and Bellarmine topped Hobart.
On the James “Ace” Adams Field we had Bellarmine v Drexel at 11am, followed by what I called the Battle of Market St. as Penn matched up against Drexel. The first game was the only one the score was kept as Drexel won 14-7.
All four of these games the fans saw some fantastic lacrosse action on the offensive and defensive end, as well as fantastic goaltending. The 1pm game that had Penn v Drexel drew a lot of fans as these two schools separated by only a half mile at the most played this game like it was the title game on Memorial Day weekend. I had the chance to talk to Assistant Coach Chris Collins and he stated how he like to see this game back on the regular season schedule as the teams only play against each other in pre-season scrimmages.
It was a beautiful day, cool breeze, sun was shining, and no doubt so was Nick.
Per their facebook page, just over $20,000 was raised at the event.
The Colleluori family presented a player from each team with a medal that best showed Nick’s never give up mental toughness, determination and aggressiveness on the playing field. Below are the recipients of the award.
University of Penn….Maxx Meyer (D- SR)
Drexel University……Brendan Glynn
Hobart College………Cam Stone (A-SR)
Bellarmine Univ……..Brogan Hill (M-JR)
For more information about Nicholas “Head” Colleluori and his battle, please visit:
Also visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HEADstrongFoundation