Atlanta, GA – The HEADstrong Foundation™ is proud to announce the creation of HEADstrong Atlanta, a new lacrosse program consisting of U7, U9 and U11 teams, which will proudly wear lime green to promote blood cancer awareness on the playing field. HEADstrong Atlanta will be taking on much more than their opponents this summer as they will be involved with fundraising efforts to help advance the mission of the HEADstrong Foundation™, a 501(c)3 organization well known in the sport, committed to improving quality of life for blood cancer patients and their families.
With the popularity of lacrosse booming in the suburbs of Atlanta, a group of dedicated parents and coaches who were looking for an opportunity to keep their kids playing together during the summer and decided to create a club. The parents and coaches wanted to provide an incredible lacrosse experience for their children; one that would have an everlasting impression on them. The team would exist to be a positive in the community built on instilling values, developing character and teaching life lessons. The group assembled a coaching staff and board and the club began to take shape. But it was a U9 player wearing a HEADstrong lime green chinstrap at their first unofficial practice that inspired the direction of the program and association with the cause.
“During our first practice, we noticed that one of our U9 players, Graham, was wearing a HEADstrong “lime green” chin strap and when asked about it, he suggested that we buy them for the entire team. We thought they looked pretty cool so we did. Having previously known of the amazing work of the HEADstrong Foundation and their impact in the game of lacrosse, Graham and his father John helped educate our players and families on the mission and HEADstrong story. After hearing them talk about the cause, we became inspired to learn more. So we reached out to the Colleluori family to see how we could get involved and help support their efforts.” Brett Ausherman, HEADstrong Georgia Organizer
At the core of this amazing new youth lacrosse program is a dedicated group of former lacrosse players who are committed to seeing the game thrive in Atlanta. Rob Peters, a former player at Georgetown is spearheading the program alongside of several other former Division I players, several whom have transplanted to Atlanta from the Northeast. The key to HEADstrong Atlanta is collaboration with other programs in effort to elevate the level of prospective talent for elite level programs, something that Peters is taking hands-on approach at.
“Rob is very well connected in the lacrosse community and is doing a great job recruiting other former DI players who still want to be involved in the game at some level. In addition, we are fortunate to have several of our families involved who have transplanted from the Northeast and many of our dads grew up playing the game at a high level at schools like Brown and Pittsburgh. We also lean on the area’s top high school players and currently have two of the top players in Charlie Trense from Westminster and Will Russ from Lovett. Charlie Trense is one of the state’s top defensemen and will be taking his talents to Notre Dame to play lacrosse. Will Russ, is one of the state’s top attack man and is still exploring his college options. We have a fantastic staff that continues to grow, that is committed to creating opportunities for these young men, both on and off the field, through the game of lacrosse.” says Ausherman
HEADstrong Atlanta will serve as a feeder program to many of the elite level clubs in the Atlanta suburbs. For players, this is an opportunity to have fun, develop fundamental skills while competing year-round alongside of higher performing lacrosse players. For parents, this is a program that will help to mold and be a positive influence in developing productive young men. HEADstrong Atlanta is an organization that is building a culture that is caring, collaborative, supportive, empathetic and willing to get involved in the local community to make a difference. The team will not represent the 1.5 million Americans living with blood cancers on the playing field, but plans to participate in annual fundraising efforts to support local families that have been financially impacted by the diseases.
“We are very active in the lacrosse community and welcome any opportunity to develop new relationships. Again, our focus is on developing kids, not a league, so we are not territorial. Our goal is to create opportunities that compliment what other organizations are doing, not compete against them. In that spirit, we have already established relationships with other local brands such as Lassiter, Rage and LB3. We are building something that fills in some of the gaps we’ve identified here locally that provides kids simply another opportunity to develop their skills at a high level.” says Ausherman
“We are proud to welcome HEADstrong Atlanta to our family and look forward to furthering our mission through their achievements on the field and in the community. It is so heartwarming to know that our Nick’s vision is taking flight in Atlanta and that both coaches and players felt inspired by our efforts to start a team with a higher purpose. HEADstrong Atlanta will be a positive in the community, promoting blood cancer awareness, assisting families dealing with the harsh realities of cancer and supporting innovative research being conducted at Atlanta based medical centers. We wish to thank Brett Ausherman, Rob Peters and all of the players and families for their relentlessness in getting this new program established. We are so proud to have partners helping to advance our mission in the south.” — Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom