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The sports world, especially youth soccer in Washington Township, mourns the passing of promising young coach Cole Patrick Fitzgerald. After an arduous 18-month battle with cancer, Fitzgerald quietly passed away at his home on December 15, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Born into a sports-loving family, Cole Fitzgerald is someone who shines both on and off the field. Graduating with honors from Washington Township High School in 2022, he devoted most of his life to the sport he loved – football. He was known for his resilience, infectious smile, and ability to inspire those around him.
Cole began his football career as an assistant coach at Washington Township High School (WTHS) while still studying there. For four years, he served as a student assistant coach for the Washington Township Youth Soccer Team. His commitment and dedication led to the establishment of the Cole Fitzgerald Most Inspirational Player Award, presented annually at both the youth and high school soccer levels. In June 2022, immediately after graduation, Cole joined the Temple Owls Equipment Staff as a freshman. He held this position until August when he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatoblastoma. Despite his diagnosis, Cole maintained his academic goals at Temple, achieving an impressive 3.5 GPA while undergoing treatment.
Since he was six years old, Cole and his family have proudly served as Student Leadership Ambassadors for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research into new treatments and cures for Children are fighting cancer. For the past nine years, Cole and his family have participated in CBS3 Alex’s Lemonade Telethon, sharing their personal journey and encouraging others to donate to this worthy cause.
Cole’s battle with cancer is a testament to his fighting spirit. In August 2022, he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatoblastoma, a rare type of cancer that mainly affects children. Despite treatment, Cole lost the match on December 15, 2023.
Coach Monica Avery
Cole Fitzgerald is a hero. My hero. He spent years telling everyone who would listen about childhood cancer and the need for better treatments and cures. He and his family raised a lot of money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. That’s how we met. Cole is one of “my Alex’s children.” Ukee Washington and I are honored to tell his story. After 15 years of survival, cancer returned with a vengeance and we lost our hero last night. Cole… we love you so much and will miss that megawatt smile and personality. Keren, Bill, Maggie & Maeve… you are family and always will be. We are here for you. As Cole would say LFG!
Cole Patrick “Fightin” Fitzgerald leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire young athletes and cancer fighters. His courage, positivity and unwavering dedication to the causes he believed in will forever be remembered. He aspired to become a full-time professional coach, believing he knew more about football strategy than any NFL coach. As the world remembers him, his dream lives on in the hearts of those he inspired.