Memphis, TN – The HEADstrong Foundation is proud to announce the creation of a newly formed Team HEADstrong playing out of Memphis, Tennessee. It is both a coincidence and a fitting tribute that Team HEADstrong Memphis will be taking the field in their signature lime green for the first time on the 27th of July at the Southern Exposure Lax Clash at Limestone College in South Carolina. The number 27 holds significance to the HEADstrong Foundation because it was the number worn by Founder Nicholas Colleluori.
In their inaugural year, Coach Ron Ansley of Stickhead Lacrosse selected a group of (26) U-15 players to be apart of this first HEADstrong Memphis team. Each player will wear a #27 patch on their uniforms in remembrance of Nicholas Colleluori. Initially, only one team will play this summer but Coach Ron Ansley has visions of expanding the program to include U-16, U-17 and U-18 teams in the future.
Ron Ansley is no stranger to the game of lacrosse, having played and coached at all levels of the sport. Ansley brings a wealth of knowledge and hopes to mentor future athletes through Team HEADstrong Memphis. Ron has spent the past 12 years instructing athletes and has played an instrumental role in the development of the sport in Tennessee. Ron is actively the Owner of Stickhead Lacrosse and currently coaches at Rhodes College.
“After learning of the HEADstrong Foundation, speaking with the Colleluori family and hearing how passionate they are about making a difference in the game and honoring Nick’s legacy, I was inspired to get involved. There has been a lot of synergies and excitement around introducing this very special team. We take great pride and are honored to be apart of introducing the HEADstrong Foundation to the city of Memphis, Tennessee and hope that we will have a bright future here. Personally, my family and I have always been committed to servicing the community through supporting other local organizations but to know that the HEADstrong Foundation is doing such wonderful things for others through the game that I grew up playing and love so much, it was a no brainer to get involved.”
Ron Ansley, Team HEADstrong Memphis Coach
The coaching staff in Memphis is committed to catering attention to developing the highest caliber athletes while teaching players the importance of sportsmanship, community service and giving back to the community and to the game. An emphasis will be placed on making a difference in the local blood cancer community through service and generating of funds to support the HEADstrong Foundation’s service mission.
“We hope to instill qualities and life skills in our players that last a lifetime. We are committed to teaching selflessness and team building on and off the playing field. Our goal with Team HEADstrong is to promote an experience unlike any other, sharing the importance of family, brotherhood and fun within the sport. Our hope is that players that come up through our system will reflect on their time with HEADstrong and feel compelled to get involved, give back and continue to grow Nick’s vision after their playing days are through.”- Ron Ansley
“We are incredibly grateful to Ron Ansley and the lacrosse community of Memphis, Tennessee for believing in our mission and joining our fight. To know that Nick’s vision is being felt by players from around the country is so fulfilling and encouraging. During treatment Nick was so consumed and motivated by the thought of teams from around the country assembling to face-off against blood cancer with him. It is so incredible to see his vision realized. We welcome Team HEADstrong Memphis to our family and look forward to working together. We wish to thank Ron Ansley for his relentlessness in getting this program started and best of luck to the newest players of Team HEADstrong.
– Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom
About HEADstrong Lacrosse Club
The HEADstrong Lacrosse Club operates as a division of the HEADstrong Foundation. While promoting blood cancer awareness on the playing field, players for Team HEADstrong are also committed to providing service to their local communities.
The lacrosse club has established itself as a preeminent lacrosse organization that has grown nationally to provide an unmatched standard of excellence both athletically and academically.
HEADstrong Lacrosse Club identifies, recruits, trains, teaches and coaches players capable of, but more importantly committed to playing the sport of lacrosse at its highest level.
Both players and coaches serve as ambassadors for the sport, always ready to pass along knowledge that we have learned from our experience. They are committed to generating funds for players who through illness are no longer able to join them on the field. The actions taken in attaining these goals are consistent with the highest levels of citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play.
The goal of Team HEADstrong is to promote excellence within the game and create an unparalleled experience, sharing the importance of family, brotherhood and service within the sport of lacrosse.
About the HEADstrong Foundation:
HEADstrong Foundation works to advocate, raise funds for and to support those affected by blood cancer or working to eliminate it. HEADstrong Foundation generates funds for blood cancer research, distributes grants and provides assistance to patients and survivors of blood cancer. In addition, HEADstrong Foundation awards scholarships and grants for students with ambitions of entering the medical field. Founder Nick “Head” Colleluori” attended Hofstra University where he played lacrosse. While at Hofstra Nick was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While sick he began counseling other patients and began laying the framework for what would become the HEADstrong Foundation, in an effort to raise cancer awareness and help others and future patients that found themselves in a similar situation. In August of 2006 he even found the strength to play in one last lacrosse game. Nick passed away on November 28, 2006 at the age of 21. Even though he is gone, his memory and relentless determination lives on through the HEADstrong Foundation.