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Baylee Adkins with the UNCW women's soccer team

Hofstra's Colleluori, UNCW Women's Soccer Earn Randolph Award

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 04/24/2013
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RICHMOND, Va. (April 24, 2013) – Nick Colleluori of Hofstra University and the UNCW women’s soccer team have been selected as winners of the 2013 John H. Randolph Inspiration Award by the Colonial Athletic Association.

The award recognizes individuals who through strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success. It is named after former William & Mary athletic director John Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995.

Colleluori played all 16 games for the nationally ranked Hofstra men’s lacrosse team as a freshman in 2005, where he helped the Pride achieve an 8-8 record that included notable wins over #15 North Carolina and #11 Princeton. Unfortunately, that season would be his last as he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September of 2005. The disease would take his life in November of 2006.

Between hospital visits and operations over a 14-month period, Colleluori developed plans for the HEADstrong Foundation to raise awareness about blood cancer and to provide support for those who suffer from the disease. Prior to his passing, he outlined the foundation’s logistics, drew the foundation’s logo and asked his family to fulfill his mission.

The HEADstrong Foundation has become a rallying point for the lacrosse community and continues to grow and expand to various parts of the country. Since its inception in 2006, HEADstrong has raised over $3.1 million to support those affected by blood cancer and those who are working to eliminate it. The Colleluori family has dedicated their lives to assisting other families and providing essential services to those in need.

The Nicholas Colleluori Classic is a collegiate men’s lacrosse tournament held each fall at Ridley High School in Pennsylvania. Over 20 different universities have participated since the inaugural event in 2006 and $1.5 million has been raised. Hofstra University became the first host site for the women’s collegiate lacrosse Nicholas Colleluori Classic, which has garnered over $100,000. The foundation also started the Lime Light Gala, which brings together friends, families and supporters of those affected by cancer. It has generated enough funds to support more than 870 people who are battling cancer. On September 27, 2011, the HEADstrong foundation opened the doors to Nick’s House, which is a residence house that doubles as the HEADstrong headquarters and a complimentary living facility for families of loved ones battling the disease.

The UNCW women’s soccer team is honored for its work with 7-year old Baylee Adkins and the Friends of Jaclyn Organization. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation was started in 2005 to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams.

Baylee was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2012, and a few months later, was “adopted” by the UNCW women’s soccer team. She attended and sat on the bench during all of the Seahawks’ home games and also traveled with the team to the conference tournament.

The UNCW players made numerous trips to Baylee’s home in Jacksonville, N.C. to take her to the movies or out to eat and also surprised her at a birthday party. A “Pray for Baylee” facebook page was set up that includes videos, photos and messages from the girls. They also visited her bedside during hospital stays and did numerous webcams to cheer her on during difficult chemotherapy periods.

The relationship has inspired Baylee to fight hard against the brain cancer and keep a positive attitude. It has also provided the UNCW women’s soccer team with a valuable learning experience and an appreciation of what is really important in life.

CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager will present the Randolph Award to both institutions later this spring.

Past Recipients of the John H. Randolph Inspiration Award

 

2012       Shelia Moorman               James Madison coach and administrator who served as a mentor

                                                                and tireless advocate for the student-athlete experience.

2011       Steven Vincent                 Delaware track and cross country runner who battled epileptic

                                                                seizures throughout his collegiate career.

2010       Dawn Evans                        JMU women’s basketball player who overcame a debilitating

                                                                kidney disease to lead her team to the conference championship.

 

2009       Meghan Bain                     JMU field hockey player who was hit by a car suffering massive

                                                                injuries.  Through intensive rehabilitation she returned to play the

                                                                next fall.

2008       T.J. Carter                            UNCW men’s basketball player who returned for his senior season

after undergoing 3 surgeries and missing an entire season due to sports hernia surgery.

2007       Nicole Hester                     Drexel women’s basketball player who battled cancer without

interruption to her basketball career.

2006       Kevin DuPrey                     Delaware track and cross country runner who overcame the

debilitating effects of Lyme Disease to resume competition.

2005       Julia Shapiro                       Delaware tennis player who overcame the effects of Multiple

                                                                Sclerosis to serve as team co-captain.

2004       Beth Childs                         Drexel women’s tennis player who lost part of her foot in an

                                                                automobile accident but returned to play her senior year.

                Alan Lindsey                       James Madison baseball player who underwent two open-heart

                                                                surgeries after suffering a serious bacterial infection, returning to

                                                                play the final weeks of his senior season.

                Brannon Thomas              William & Mary men’s soccer player who had surgery to remove a

                                                                tumor from his brain, but returned to action late in the same season.

2003       Ricky Beecher                    Towson men’s lacrosse player who donated a liver to his uncle in

                                                                order to save his uncle’s life.

2002       Paul Tuohey                       Drexel men’s lacrosse player with Cerebral Palsy who’s positive

attitude earned the team MVP award without scoring a goal or

assist.

2001       Mandy Welch                    Delaware softball player who overcame an 80% hearing loss to

become a 1st team all conference player.

2000       Laura Kenney &                                George Mason women’s lacrosse players who were seriously

Liz Paoli                                                injured when they were struck by a car on a team trip.  Laura was

in a coma for 2 months, yet graduated from GMU with a 4.00 gpa.

Through intensive rehabilitation, Liz was able to return to

competition for her senior year.

1999       Maria Elena-Calle             VCU track athlete who recovered from serious injuries after being

                                                                struck by a car while on a training run to achieve CAA Athlete of

                                                                the Year and All-America status.

1998       Felicia Allen                        Old Dominion women’s basketball team manager who

courageously battled a rare form of cancer while attending school

and serving as the team manager.

1997       Scott Pearson                    American University men’s soccer player who overcame the death

                                                                of his mother and became very active in the Big Brothers program

                                                                in Washington.

1996       Barbara Blosser                 William & Mary associate athletic director who served as interim

                                                                athletic director during John Randolph’s illness.

                John Welbourn                 East Carolina cross country coach who successfully battled cancer

while coaching at ECU.

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