Richard (Rick) Paul Monetti was a junior at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications who was considering a career in journalism, although he had a keen interest in history and political science. Sports, however, were his love. "He was a real Philly sports fan," said his mother, Eileen. When looking for a place to go to college, Rick and his father visited Syracuse. The first thing that Rick wanted to see was the Carrier Dome. That decided where he was going to college.
A 1986 graduate of Cherry Hill East High School in New Jersey, Rick made his mark in high school as a student, athlete, and sports journalist. He received school honors for his special talents in broadcasting and sports casting and also received an award from KYW News Radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his work on their intern program. He wrote for the local newspaper, the school paper, and broadcast regularly on the school's cable TV station. An avid sports fan, he was also a valued member of the school's swim and soccer teams. Rick was involved in Students Against Drunk Driving, and spoke to elementary school students as part of a drug education program. For many years, he was a leading member of his neighborhood swim club team and, in 1988, he was the assistant swim team coach and the pool's assistant manager.
In his journal, recovered from Lockerbie, Scotland, we see that for Rick, much of his life was a sports metaphor. "Rick's Philosophy of Life or What I've Learned in 20 Years," gives us an insight into this delightful young man. "Read the sports section first, the news can wait until later." "A positive attitude is worth 5 points." We can see his humor: "When in the presence of people who are just too serious, act just a bit dumb, eccentric." His faith: "God really is watching and helping me." And finally: "So analytical tonight—feeling old at 20, that lost innocence of youth. Don't sit back, make the most of everything. Do all you can while you can. Life is a one-time deal. You can't ever re-do what you missed the first time. The opportunity is here, stop looking past it. Sure, December 21 is going to be great, but so is October 10. Be aggressive, be fun and go crazy. There is no reason to hold anything back. Nothing to lose."
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