Lacrosse Team Honors Newtown Victim With Decal
By Florida Tech // February 8, 2013
Player's Cousin Perished In Tragedy
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The tragic event in Newtown, Conn. at Sandy Hook Elementary School shook families all across the country on Dec. 14, but none more than those families who lost their loved ones.
Sophomore attacker Andrew Conley and his family lost a cousin and a niece that Friday morning.
In memory of Conley’s cousin Allison Wyatt and her family, the Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team will dedicate their 2013 season to the Wyatt family. Allison was one of 20 first grade students to lose her life. She was just 6-years-old.
“Andrew [Conley] came to me and told me about his cousin,” head coach Ryan McAleavey said. “He wanted to do something to help honor [Allison], and I was all for it. One of the things I preach to my team is that family is most important. Our team is a family.”
The gesture is heartwarming for Conley.
“It means a lot,” Conley said. “Our team is very family oriented and it really means a lot to me and my family to do this for her.”
Queens University of Charlotte also had players and families of the men’s lacrosse program affected by the event and will be dedicating their season to those who were lost in the tragedy.
“Jim Fritz, the head coach at Queens University, contacted all of the Division II coaches with a similar situation—having players affected by the event,” McAleavey said. “We are going to honor the Wyatt family and the Newtown community in a similar fashion as Queens, by wearing decals on our helmets and shooting shirts.”
The Panthers will wear two different decals on their helmets this season.
The first decal will be the “Town of Newtown” seal with a black ribbon which will be placed on the side of the helmet. The second decal will have the initials “A.W.” to honor Allison Wyatt, Conley’s cousin, and will be placed on the back of the helmet. The players will also wear a black ribbon logo on their shooting shirts.
FIT begins its 2013 campaign on the road at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 against Saint Leo.
The Panthers will open their season at their home field Melbourne Central Catholic’s Hustler Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 against Rollins.