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CSU to Induct Five into 2010 Hall of Fame Class

FORT COLLINS, Colorado— The Colorado State University men’s lacrosse program is proud to announce five inductees into the CSU Lacrosse Alumni Association Hall of Fame Class of 2010. The current Hall of Fame class includes players whose time at CSU span nearly five decades. Inducted players for 2010 are Wally Pollack, Rick Parietti, Will Smitham, Mike Napolilli and long-time head coach Flip Naumburg.

This Saturday night, the CSULAA will honor the inductees at a halftime ceremony during the game between #3 Colorado State and #4 Brigham Young University at French Field in Fort Collins, CO. The Hall of Fame Game between CSU and BYU will be the capstone of a lacrosse-filled day at French Field, which is located at Rocky Mountain High School. Perennial Colorado high school lacrosse powers Fort Collins and Regis Jesuit will be the undercard to Rams and Cougars main event at 7:00pm.

WALLY POLLOCK – 1965-1969: Considered a founding father of the program that exists today, Pollock was part of a group that played teams such as the University of Denver, Colorado College, Air Force and others and was instrumental to the development of lacrosse at CSU both on and off the field. Wally was a very talented offensive player at the attack position and a leader for his teammates who was targeted by opposing teams defensively. He was able to score seemingly at will and continually provided a positive influence on his teammates. Off the field, he recruited new members and helped develop their games, also working with the school to obtain financial support. The program is what it is today because of the influence and efforts of Wally and his teammates in the late 1960s.

RICK PARIETTI – 1981-1985: Considered by many to be the best player ever to play at Colorado State, Parietti, was a league leading scorer and dominant attackman who led the team during the early 1980s. He was the first professional lacrosse player from CSU when he suited up for the Denver Rifles from 1986-1988 and was a member of the prestigious Team Colorado for many years. In addition, Parietti continued his playing days with the Denver Shots lacrosse club, helping the team win five club championships. He was a key member of the CSU team that fostered the winning tradition still living on today. Parietti currently coaches at the youth level with the Panthers in suburban Denver and was an assistant coach at Arapahoe High School.

WILL SMITHAM – 1994-1997: Will Smitham was an outstanding midfielder and inspirational leader on and off the field. He faced-off, played man-up and man-down and loved the big hit, but is perhaps better known for being one of the best ambassadors for CSU lacrosse. As an officer of the team during his playing days, Smitham was instrumental in bringing Hall of Fame coach Flip Naumburg to Fort Collins in 1997. He was one of the founding members of the CSU Lacrosse Alumni Association, which includes the financial responsibility of the association as well as helping organize the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown. Will Smitham represents much of what it means to be part of the CSU lacrosse family and has been instrumental to the success of the program since the mid 1990s.

MIKE NAPOLILLI – 1999-2002: As a freshman, Mike Napolilli instantly became one of the premiere players in the (then) USLIA. A left-handed sniper from Heritage High School, Napolilli rounded out an attack unit that was one of the best in league history. During his tenure at CSU, the player affectionately known as “Napi” racked up 170 goals and 160 assists, good for second all-time and over 100 points more than the next player on the list. Napolilli played for the USA West team in 2002 that competed against Team USA and others and was drafted by the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL. He played in four national championship games during his career, winning two in 1999 and 2001. Napolilli was a national player of the year in 2001 and a first-team All-American in both 2001 and 2002.

FLIP NAUMBURG – 1996-Present: Last, but certainly not least, Flip Naumburg rounds out the Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Arriving in the fall of 1996, Naumburg took a good lacrosse team and turned them into a great program during his 14 years as head coach. During the stretch of years from 1999-2004, Naumburg led his team to the national championship game in each season, winning three in 1999, 2001 and 2003. He won his fourth national championship with CSU in 2006, becoming the only coach in league history to have done so and still tops on the all-time list. Naumburg won over 150 games during his 14 year career, coaching numerous All-Americans and winning the National Coach of the Year award in 1999. As leader of the CSU program, Naumburg is by far and away the greatest financial contributor of the program and helped establish the CSU Lacrosse Alumni Association. He spearheaded the CSU Lacrosse Ram Camp, which is now in its eighth year as the primary fundraising device for the program. Naumburg is also famous for having invented the Rock-it Pocket and being the co-founder of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. He was inducted to the Colorado Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2006.

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