Colgate Men’s Soccer Honors Its Own on the Anniversary of 9/11

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Colgate University men’s soccer alumni dedicate three lockers to the memory of their teammates.

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Colgate University men’s soccer alumni gathered to dedicate three team lockers to the memory of former players who died in attacks on the World Trade Center. 

“I want to thank all of the alumni and friends of the Colgate men’s soccer program for your commitment to being here this weekend to honor the lives of our fallen brothers: Todd Pelino ’89, David Retik ’90, and Scott Coleman ’94,” said Erik Ronning ’97, John W. Beyer Head Coach of men’s soccer. “This commitment is truly symbolic of how special the Colgate soccer family is.”

More than a year ago, the phones of men’s soccer alumni lit up with texts and calls. Planning began for an anniversary tribute to the players who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks — men who, in Ronning’s words, “paved the way for this brotherhood that exists and the success that the program has achieved.”

The team decided to raise $130,000 for the men’s soccer program that was, and continues to be, such a strong source of camaraderie. The goal was set, and through the leadership of Pete Sheinbaum ’92, Tom Murphy ’90, and David Cappillo ’94, it was met through gifts and commitments. The University marked their collective achievement with the dedication of lockers for Pelino, Retik, and Coleman — lockers that will be assigned each year by the coaching staff to players who embody the spirit and tradition of Colgate men’s soccer.

“The dedication of these three lockers will serve as a lasting and permanent tribute to these three beloved members of the program,” Ronning said. “We will always remember.”

Keeping memories alive on 9/11/21, teammates and family members shared stories and emotions. Pelino was remembered as the Def Leppard fan, the defender who had your back. Retik was the one recruited away from Cornell, who found family on the team and then built one of his own with the wife he met at Colgate. Coleman was the magnetic personality, a man of many friendships.

“Sometimes September 11, 2001, feels like a very long time ago; sometimes it feels like yesterday,” Sheinbaum said. “But what is most important is that we all continue to remember. While no one day of remembrance is more important than another, personally, this day is more special to me because all of you have come together to share it with your Colgate community and the families of Todd, David, and Scott.”