Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
The Berry men’s lacrosse team is hosting their 4th annual Face-Off For A Cause event on Saturday, Oct. 13 to raise donations for the nonprofit organization the HEADstrong Foundation.
The HEADstrong foundation was founded by Nick “HEAD” Colleluori, a lacrosse player from Hofstra University, located in Long Island, N.Y.. Nick was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer that affected the lymphatic system in 2005.
He created the foundation once he became aware of the lack of resources for patients and their families with cancer. In doing so, the goal was to raise awareness about the cause and funds to help support those cancer patients.
It will be held in Valhalla Stadium, and Berry will host men’s lacrosse teams from Birmingham-Southern College, Emmanuel College, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Kennesaw State University, Reinhardt University, Shorter University, and Sewanee: the University of the South.
There will be no gate admission, but donations to the HEADstrong foundation are encouraged. A youth lacrosse clinic will also be conducted in addition to the scrimmages.
Head lacrosse coach Curtis Gilbert gave his thoughts on what the event means to the team. He said the fundraiser is more than just scrimmages and an opportunity to play lacrosse, but also the ability to support the cause and awareness of the event.
“The cause is important and it’s how you give back to the community,” Gilbert said. “It’s about playing something that’s bigger than you. This event is a great opportunity to host some competitive teams and choose who we get to play.”
The seniors are coming into their last Face-Off For A Cause and want to give the other teams a chance to show what Berry men’s lacrosse is capable of. They have a chance to observe conference teams throughout the tournament, with Birmingham-Southern and Sewanee attending.
“Whether we win or lose doesn’t matter in terms of conference play, but it gives us a chance to play teams from different divisions,” senior Kyle Rouleau said. “We can test ourselves against an unfamiliar opponent who runs an unfamiliar system, it allows us to work on adjusting on the fly. This is the senior class’ last Face Off For A Cause, and we will show everyone we are the best team there.”
Rouleau describes how important the offseason is in terms of team chemistry and being able to play at the highest level for when the regular season comes. He said that the games give the incoming freshmen a taste of the college level and gives the returners a chance to get back into the groove of things.
Gilbert explained how the new 80-second shot clock and these unaccounted games will be a good chance to get in-game experience and see the role changes for this group of men this season.
The freshmen are preparing for the fundraiser to help with the transition into the high intensity of college lacrosse and be ready to compete once the regular season comes.
“We are playing the game we love, for a fundraiser to help others,” freshman Jake Sheerin said. “Practice has made my feet wet, but when you buckle your helmet up to play another team, it is much different. These games are meant to show us where we need to get to, and what we need to work on.”
Gilbert said the team is fortunate to be able to host such a great event and to show support for such a great cause.
The team plays against Shorter at 8:30 a.m., and the University of Alabama at Huntsville at 11a.m..
The team’s regular season is in the spring, with games starting in February.