Hofstra’s 2014 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award Recipients

The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award was established in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of a male and female student-athlete who helped their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not always be measured by statistics.  The award seeks to acknowledge those student-athlete’s who have not been adequately recognized during their careers, yet have always been exceptional representatives of the Hofstra Athletics program.  The award is named after the former Pride lacrosse player, who waged a courageous 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, before passing away in November 2006 at age 21.

“Nick will always be an inspiration to the Hofstra University community,” commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway.  “While fighting this terrible disease, it’s amazing what Nick accomplished in developing the business plan for the HEADstrong Foundation and for having the foresight to know the future benefits that would be provided to the thousands afflicted with the same disease.  Hofstra University thanks Cheryl and Pat Colleluori and their two sons for carrying on Nick’s work with the HEADstrong Foundation.  We will continue to assist the HEADstrong Foundation in the fight against blood cancer.  We congratulate this year’s honorees for being the unsung stars of their teams.”

Cythia Cheng, a senior on the Pride women’s golf team, is a recipient of the 2014 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

Cynthia is the first women’s golfer to earn the award. A four-year starter on the team, Cynthia competed in all 38 events during her career.  During her 83 career rounds, she posted and 84.3 scoring average, five top 10 finishes and two top five finishes.

As on of two seniors on this season’s squad, Cynthia provided leadership to a lineup that usually started three freshmen.  Off the course, she was a standout student who compiled a 3.85 grade point average as a dual major in computer sciences and mathematics.  She was a National Golf Coaches Association Scholar-All-America selection and a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

Cynthia, a Sayville, New York, native, has been an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has taken part in numerous community service endeavors with the organization.

David D’Errico, senior pitcher of the baseball team is a recipient of the 2014 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.  He is the first baseball player to receive the award.

A fifth-year senior on the Pride, David as been one of the teams top pitchers during his tenure and battle back from Tommy John surgery to help anchor the pitching staff in 2014.

David has won 15 games during his Hofstra tenure and is 2-2 this season with a stellar 2.52 earned run average.  The 15 victories rank third all-time in program history.  He began his career with three consecutive wins as a freshman and then led the team as a sophomore with five wins and 46 strikeouts.  On of those wins was the biggest win in program history, as he allowed five hits and struck out four in a 5-0 win ad 14th-ranked Miami.  Coming back as the undisputed ace of the staff in 2012, David was sidelined by an elbow injury after five appearances and missed the rest of the Pride’s school record-setting campaign.

After more than a year of rehabilitation, David made his return in 2013 and won three games.  He was forced to reinvent himself as a pitcher due to his injury, becoming more a finesse pitcher who relied on his defense than a strikeout pitcher.  But at the same time, he maintained the same bulldog mentality that epitomizes the Pride program.

David started opening night this season, but was forced to leave with an arm injury.  He missed five weeks, but has returned to the starting rotation and has pitched well in his three starts since the injury, picking up wins at preseason favorite UNCW and at William & Mary, allowing just tow earned runs against the nation’s top scoring offense.

A native of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, David is majoring in psychology.

The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award
2013 – Taylor Albright, Lacrosse
2012 – Brittany Butts, Soccer & Courtney Crews, Softball
2011 – Krista Thorn, Softball/Soccer & Rachel August, Volleyball
2010 – Sam Brigham, Basketball
2009 – Carolann Lubach, Softball & Lauren Whitcomb, Lacrosse
2008 – Joanna Kralowetz, Softball & Krystal Robens, Soccer
2007 – Lana Harshaw, Basketball

The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award
2013 – Stevie Mejia, Basketball
2012 – Ben Clymer, Wrestling & Nathaniel Lester, Basketball
2011 – Steven DeNapoli, Lacrosse & Mike Skudin, Lacrosse
2010 – Ray McDonough, Football
2009 – Michael Colleluori, Lacrosse
2008 – Kareem Huggins, Football & Michael Unterstein, Lacrosse
2007 – Gary Flood, Soccer