August 2016 Partner SportsDog Award: Ultimate Lacrosse Club
SportsDog Value: Difference Maker
Award Winner: Michele “D.J.” DeJuliis
Previous Winner: Hesperia National Little League Board
The Ultimate Goal Lacrosse Club is based out of Philadelphia and New Jersey and is dedicated to the development of individual and team skills in young female athletes who want to take their game to the next level. Specifically, Ultimate creates and supports teams and clinics ranging from fifth through eleventh grade.
Ultimate was founded in January of 2001 by Michele DeJuliis. “Lacrosse has been a part of my life for the past 25 years. I started in 9th grade and never looked back,” Michelle said.
‘Never looked back’ is an understatement for Michele, who goes by D.J. A short look at D.J.’s lacrosse resume shows that she is, without a doubt, a difference maker in the sport of lacrosse.
D.J. was a four-time All American at Penn State, captain of the USA National Team that won a gold medal, assistant coach at Princeton, a 2013 National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee, and the first commissioner of the United Women’s Lacrosse League.
But if you ask D.J., it’s her work with Ultimate Lacrosse that is her passion. “I am so proud that we have provided a stage for all of these players to develop, learn, compete, create life long friendships and have fun.”
One of Ultimate’s goals is to help female athletes continue to develop their game after high school. D.J. has made it a point to make the recruiting process as easy as possible.
“A huge challenge is battling the recruiting process and the timelines that are placed on kids. We do our best to educate players and their families so they don’t get stressed about college selections and being recruited.”
Of the 85,000 high school female lacrosse players nationwide, only 14% continue to compete at the college level. Under D.J.’s leadership, Ultimate Goal Lacrosse was able to help nearly 50 female athletes from the class of 2016 commit to NCAA lacrosse. That’s over 60% of the Ultimate class and well over the national average.
Ultimate has been an official partner of LeagueApps for two years. Their class of 2015 saw 30 high school players commit to college. Already, Ultimate’s class of 2017 has 46 young women committed to NCAA schools. Since joining LeagueApps, Ultimate has been able to commit roughly 54% more high school female lacrosse players to college.
With the sports management platform provided by LeagueApps, D.J. has been able to spend more time helping young athletes develop their game on and off the field. Clearly, this has greatly helped in the recruiting process for her players. D.J. can focus on her passion teaching the importance of communication, leadership, determination, work ethic and sportsmanship.
“One specific example that we do on a consistent basis is provide feedback for every player that comes to our tryouts. I have physically shown, talked through, written and communicated by phone with any player that requests information.”
Regardless of the player’s status with or without the Ultimate Goal Lacrosse Club, D.J. will always answer the phone and give some tips and pointers to young female lacrosse athletes.
“As the owner of Ultimate Lacrosse, Commissioner of the first women’s professional league (UWLX) and a former USA captain- I have committed my adult life to this great game and will continue to work hard to grow it, by growing it in the hands of our next generation. Providing an opportunity to help prepare these young athletes for the next level is just another part of our mission.”
D.J.’s hard work is making a huge difference in lacrosse and women’s athletics. Because of her and the Ultimate Lacrosse Club, more and more young female athletes are able to compete after high school, leading to an increase in participation in women’s sports.
Thank you to D.J. and all the hard-working organizers of Ultimate Goal Lacrosse Club. LeagueApps is proud to be working with such a difference making organization.