Clarissa Clarke, whose lacrosse achievements include captaining the Yale University lacrosse team that took qualified for the 2003 NCAA tournament and winning US Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 2016, will serve as WPLL Futures Director for New England. Clarke and a team of WPLL players will hold a regional tryout on Sunday, March 4th at the Mill Works in Westfield, MA for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade players interested in taking part in the New England branch of the WPLL Futures Program. A character and leadership intensive program, Futures is not intended to replace or interfere with a player’s high school or club commitments.
“Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have a long tradition of lacrosse excellence,” explained WPLL Founder Michele DeJuliis. “We are excited to bring the Futures Program to New England and empower the next generation of female lacrosse players from the region. In the inaugural year, we will offer one regional team to represent New England. However, we plan to offer more teams in the years to come.”
Central to the WPLL’s mission is helping the next generation of female lacrosse talent grow into strong, confident leaders. With the help of partners Victory Academy and Brave Enterprises, the WPLL’s Futures Program is designed to expose high school players across the country to lacrosse and leadership experiences that will prepare them for any challenges they may face. Players selected for the Futures Program will receive a mix of lacrosse and life skills that will help them for life. Futures players will also have the opportunity to play in a national tournament this summer, competing against top-talent from across the country.
The tryout consists of a variety of lacrosse and fitness drills that will be run by Clarke and a team of WPLL players. In addition to meeting and learning from WPLL pros, all players that attend the March 4th tryout will be given access to online curriculum designed to test and improve their leadership and bravery skills. After the evaluations are completed, 60 players will be named to the three New England Futures teams, 20 players from each grade.
Clarke has been on the lacrosse scene since 2004 and her relationships and connections with college and high school coaches run deep. As a player Clarke graduated from Yale in 2003 with 114 goals, placing her seventh on Yale’s career goal list. Since graduation Clarke has taken on a variety of coaching roles, including serving returning to Yale as an Assistant Coach from 2004-2008, coaching youth lacrosse in 2004, a Head Coach position at Loomis Chaffee High School from 2014-2016, volunteering as an Assistant Coach at Fairfield University, and co-founding the Nor’easter Lacrosse Club in 2005. Clarke is also certified in leadership training and led the design and implementation of the Mashantucket Pequot Academy Emotionally Intelligent Leader Program
“There has never been a moment in my life where the lessons I learned on the lacrosse playing fields have not proved invaluable. From the classroom to the boardroom, I firmly believe that the leadership skills I learned on the field and working with my teammates have allowed me to succeed in all facets of my life,” explained Clarke. “As the mother of two young girls and as someone who coaches over 300 female lacrosse players through my club annually, I know the future is in their hands and I am excited to be a part of a program that strives to develop strong leadership for all young women. The WPLL Futures Program is exactly the platform necessary to cultivate the natural lessons of leadership and character development through lacrosse. I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity. “
“We are very lucky to have Clarissa Clarke on board as Regional Director for New England,” explained DeJuliis. “From her work at the youth, college, high school, and club level, Clarissa has wealth of lacrosse experience. We are excited to welcome Clarissa to the WPLL, and look forward to connecting her with players across New England.”
Players interested in the Futures tryout can register here.