FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11th, 2021
Queens City Stars Joins Forces with Ultimate Lacrosse
Charlotte, N.C. – Effective today, we are pleased to announce that Queen City Stars and Ultimate Lacrosse will join forces to operate club teams, academies, clinics, camps, leagues, tournaments and showcases in the greater Charlotte area.
Since 2005, under the visionary leadership of Directors Catherine LeBlanc and Kristy Boyles, Queen City Stars (QCS) has established itself as the premier girls lacrosse club in Charlotte. QCS earned it’s national reputation by consistently and intentionally developing players, for fielding elite level teams, and by doing things the right way with players at the forefront of every decision.
With a long term vision for the players in the Charlotte area to be consistently competitive with players all over the country, Boyles and LeBlanc have deliberately sought out ways to level up their teams and programming. With an introduction to Michele DeJuliis (DJ) via the way of Katy O’Mara from Carolina Fever a little over a year ago, the seed was planted to create a stronger, more visible North Carolina market together. With the idea of a statewide and national presence, the decision to collaborate with Ultimate began. The relationship between LeBlanc, Boyles, and DeJuliis grew as common values and visions for players were discussed. All parties could not be more confident that the decision to work together is the right one, and there will be careful planning and attention to detail as QCS moves forward operating as Ultimate CLT under the Ultimate Lacrosse umbrella.
LeBlanc and Boyles, along with Brittany Philip (MS+Youth Director), Nikki Williams (Academy Director), Amber Zimmerlink (Recruiting Director) and their coaching staff will continue to offer the best lacrosse opportunities for players in the greater Charlotte area. LeBlanc and Boyles will continue to manage programming as the Ultimate Lacrosse Charlotte Regional Directors, overseeing team practices, skill development, coaching, mentoring and working hand in hand with DJ on recruitment and player development.
DJ is the founder of Ultimate Lacrosse, originally based in PA/NJ, and has contributed extensively to the sport of lacrosse for the past 25 years. She has contributed at the grass roots level as a club director, at the collegiate level as a student-athlete (Penn State ‘97, 4x All-American), coach (Princeton, 2004-2012), and at the World Cup level, where she won Gold as a player and captain in 2009, won Gold as a coach in 2013 and Silver with the U-19 Team in 2015. She has represented the United States as a player and coach for over 20 years. For her contribution to the sport, DJ was inducted into the US National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2013 along with an induction into the Baltimore and Philadelphia Hall of Fame. DJ was the Founder and CEO of the Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL), which just recently merged into Athletes Unlimited Pro Sports. DJ, who recently relocated to North Carolina, will be active in the Charlotte area. She looks forward to contributing on the field with coaches and players, while also supporting our recruiting director at a national level.
Ultimate Lacrosse, established in January of 2001, has been a highly reputable club committed to developing players. Its national exposure will deepen the relationships with the college coaches and the connections that are provided to players in North Carolina. DJ is highly involved in the development of college lists and communication during the process to ensure that all players find the right fit, both academically and athletically. Ultimate has helped develop thousands of lacrosse players, and has placed almost one thousand players in the collegiate game. The Ultimate umbrella will also provide our area with increased skill development resources and opportunities, benefitting both coaches and players.
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What is being said...
“It has been our goal since the inception of Queen City Stars in 2005 to grow lacrosse for girls in Charlotte and the greater Carolina regions we serve. We have always been intentional and deliberate about our instruction, growth and strategic partnerships in order to offer our families the absolute best for their daughters. We are so excited to join forces with DJ and the Ultimate organization to take our players to the next level developmentally, and in their quest for college play. We know that DJ and her organization are the right fit for the girls in our area because, like QCS, they are grounded in quality instruction, moral decision making and professionalism.”
-Catherine LeBlanc, Founder & Co-Director, QCS
“Queen City Stars values innovation, relationships and forward-thinking. We have always focused intently on providing next-step opportunities for all players from our Academy to our Elite Teams. The creation of Carolina United in 2019 was exactly that - bridging players from the top two North Carolina girls programs in the very first formal elite girls collaboration in the southeast. We did this to increase opportunities, competition and visibility. And now I’m thrilled that an idea two years in the making is being formalized one step further by merging with Ultimate Lacrosse. Ultimate is a national leader in development and advancement, consistently fielding some of the best teams in the country led by an individual with exceptional ties to this game’s growth at all levels. The merger provides our players with more access to exclusive events and showcases and enhanced development resources. Most importantly, our staff, values and approach will remain as we continue to change North Carolina lacrosse.”
-Kristy Boyles, Co-Director, QCS
“This merger is a win-win. I’ve watched the work of Kristy and Catherine closely over the past 2 years and have been inspired by their vision and execution. They have high standards for the sport of lacrosse and work tirelessly to deliver to their players. As a club owner for 20 years, I’ve seen lacrosse explode and know that North Carolina is a blossoming opportunity. Our collective passion is to develop our talent, and to create the best opportunities for our players. In joining together, we will also ensure that our players get the national exposure they need to be seen, and recruited by the top universities and colleges.”
-Michele DeJuliis, Founder, Ultimate Lacrosse
“QCS has always been grounded in development and has worked hard establishing itself as the premier program in Charlotte, starting at the youngest of ages, providing a pathway to ensure player development. Care for and belief in the mastering of fundamentals, and an emphasis on work ethic, resiliency, versatility, accountability, and relentlessness are all values we instill to empower and provide even our youngest of players the tools it takes to be successful athletes, lacrosse players and people. It is clear that DJ also believes in building from the ground up, investing in the next generation, and I am so excited to continue growing our young players, and the game with DJ’s insight and experience. Having had an immense impact on the game from development to elite performance, and having successfully led Ultimate over the past 20 years, our coaches and players are going to benefit greatly from what DJ, and Ultimate bring to the field along with us.”
-Brittany Philip, Youth & MS Director, QCS
“Knowing the Ultimate program well, and their commitment to the development of young athletes makes this a perfect fit. I knew that QCS would continue to look for opportunities that would give our players more opportunity to be showcased on a national level. This merger will do just that. I look forward to working closely with the Ultimate leadership and staff to continue to grow girls lacrosse here in Charlotte. Ultimate’s philosophies and values on how to support all levels of players line up with QCS’s beliefs and standards. Ultimate and DJ’s resources and knowledge base will be a great benefit to all our club members and academy players.”
-Nikki Williams, Academy Director, QCS
“I’m very excited for this partnership! As lacrosse continues to grow nationally and competition across the country elevates, we need to ensure we are giving our athletes the best possible opportunities. This includes increasing our footprint on the national stage in partnership with Ultimate to allow our athletes to maximize their exposure across all divisions of lacrosse.”
-Britt Brown, Goalie Coach, QCS
“It is an extremely exciting time for the lacrosse community in the Greater Charlotte area. QCS has done an incredible job thus far and joining up with Ultimate lacrosse is an unbelievable opportunity. The future looks bright and I can not wait to begin this journey.”
-Amber Zimmerlink, Recruiting Director, QCS