Salt Lake City, UT – The HEADstrong Foundation is proud to announce the addition of a newly assembled Team HEADstrong playing out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Team HEADstrong Utah has become the 12th team to assemble over the past three years under the HEADstrong Team model, helping spread the positive message and mission of the HEADstrong Foundation across the country.
While many coaches have contributed to furthering the game of lacrosse in new areas Mark Dempsey is a coach who believes in empowering his players and the importance of being a positive role model, sharing life lessons and making a difference within the community through the sport. Coach Dempsey will play a key role in the development of the newly formed HEADstrong program in Utah. Over the past decade Coach Dempsey has been instrumental in developing the game at the youth level in the Mountain West and currently serves as the Director for RMB Lax Academy in Draper, UT. In addition Coach Dempsey has assembled a core group of coaches who embody the same dedication and commitment to the sport and the cause that drives the HEADstrong Foundation.
“The inspiration for starting a Team HEADstrong in Utah came from the positive work that the HEADstrong Foundation is doing to improve the lives of patients and families dealing with cancer. My grandfather died when I was very young and I never knew him. He was an amazing man of great character. As I learned more about the disease that took his life I learned that while the diagnosis was not labeled as Lymphoma, the symptoms were very similar to Nick’s symptoms. Cancer hit very close to home for me when last December my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I spent the last two months of my mom’s life watching this terrible disease take its toll on her.” Says Coach Dempsey
Team HEADstrong Utah boasts an energized staff and there is a positive buzz within the local lacrosse community of a new team wearing Lime Green that is committed to being engaged in their community and playing in support of blood cancer awareness.
“Regarding the outlook for our team, we will have teams in the U13, U15 and U18 age divisions. As we approach our inaugural season there is much excitement amongst our coaches and our board. We realize we are beginning much more than a competitive lacrosse program. Our tryouts will be on July 14th and July 19th. We are also planning our tournament schedule and are planning on attending a 3d lacrosse tournament in October in Denver. We also hope to host our own tournament this November. In the spring and summer we plan on attending tournaments in Nevada, Colorado and a highlight tournament for us will be our trip next summer to the Long Island Classic at Hofstra University. This will be an exciting trip for our players as they will be able to see where Nick Colleluori played.” Coach Dempsey
Team HEADstrong Utah is committed 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 are proud to welcome Team HEADstrong Utah to our family and look forward to furthering the vision of our founder Nicholas Colleluori through their achievements on the field and in their community. It is an exciting time to be apart of the HEADstrong Foundation. We take great pride in knowing that Nick’s life truly meant something and that players are finding inspiration in his fight. Our Nick faced tremendous odds with his diagnosis, despite those odds Nicholas battled for 14 months. He was so motivated by the thought of teams from around the country assembling to face-off against blood cancer, it kept him fighting. The irony is that our very first team formally assembled on the day of Nick’s passing on November 28, 2006. It is amazing to think that almost six years later that we would have over 12 teams and more coming. We wish to thank Mark Dempsey for his relentlessness in getting this program started and best of luck to the newest players of Team HEADstrong Utah.
– 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. Over the past five years 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.