Friends Rally to Preserve the Memory of Their Classmate
27-year-old Nicholas Potts— a graduate of Wallkill High School— LOVED soccer. He played offensive from youth team travel, through high school, and on to Ulster Community College. Nick eventually landed at Barry University in Miami where he joined the men's soccer team. After graduating in 2010 he became a math teacher and a soccer coach himself in the Miami area.
Childhood friends say that Nick, a fun loving and trustworthy friend, lived life to the fullest and knew how to have the best time. The free-spirited young man had just been to the World Cup in Brazil with his brother Dylan and a group of close friends.
When tragedy took his life July 13th, his friends decided to rally to preserve his memory and pay tribute to Nick and his family. Nick’s family and close friends decided to kick-start a scholarship fund that could be gifted in his name to his alma mater Wallkill High School.
Event organizer, Nicole Rivera (center-photo above) called on friends and acquaintances to join her on the soccer field at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh on August 23rd for a tournament in Nick's honor. The 1st Annual Nick Potts Memorial Soccer Tournament brought in over $6,000 in donations, of which 100% will go directly to the scholarship fund.
Beginning in 2015 a graduating senior with a winning essay and a knack for Nick's favorite sport will be awarded prize money towards higher education.
Photo by Jenny Fontes
Sponsors of the event included 50 Front Street, Alexis Diner, Amanda Carfora-LMT Massage, Billy Joe's Ribworks, Bonura's Little Sicily, Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, Captain Jake's, CDT Travel, Coca Cola, The Dr. Oz Show, Dutchess Golf Club, Frank's Village Market & Deli, Iris Petrillo-Scentsy Basket, La Deliziosa Italian Pastry Shoppe, Pizza Shop, Sandy Maier-Kiss My Face, The River Grill, Tomato Cafe, Torches on the Hudson, Tutus by Toni, Loren-Latham (Dj Plathamix), Pearl Pool & Spa LLC, Pepsi, Pioneer Water Bottle, Poland Springs and Petrillo Catering.
Event organizers were blown away by the amount raised and they made it clear that they wanted to thank participants, volunteers, sponsors, donors, Mount Saint Mary College (for use of their beautiful Kaplan soccer field), and Color Cube for their amazing shirt designs.
Out of tragedy comes a beautiful gift thanks to the efforts of all of those involved.
"If we made $2 it would have been worth it. It was amazing to see everyone come out and have fun. That's the way Nick would have wanted it. The Nick Potts Memorial Soccer Tournament couldn't have been such a success without EVERYONE'S help. IT WAS TRULY A GROUP EFFORT! Nick is an amazing person who has touched the lives of so many, he will forever be missed. Nick's passion for soccer and love of life was the inspiration for the tournament and soccer scholarship. The success of the tournament and the turnout is a reflection of how special and important Nick is to all of us. The goal is to continue this as an annual tournament in Nick's memory and to honor him.”- Nicole Rivera