Founding director Michael Desmond, a former elementary school PE teacher and athletic director moved to Charlotte in 1998 from Long Island, NY. After two seasons as a varsity lacrosse assistant at Charlotte Latin School, then one season at Providence Day School, Desmond started Mecklenburg Youth Lacrosse in the spring of 2001. That year 83 third, fourth & fifth-grade boys, participated in a “skill development” camp-like atmosphere. He launched StickWithUs.org the next year – with the help of dedicated Charlotte area high school lacrosse coaches and numerous parent volunteers he grows the organization into year-round programs for boys and girls from first grade through high school. His staff of professionals & volunteers built StickWithUs & the CLA into one of the most respected youth programs in the Carolinas, and bring Team Carolina to national recognition as one of the best programs in the Country.
By 2008 more than 2,500 families participated in one of twenty-plus StickWithUs & CLA lacrosse programs.
By 2020 more than 250 Team Carolina/Team Charlotte athletes go on to play college lacrosse at the D1, D2, and D3 level. Our players are on starting rosters in National Championship games at every level, and include a Tewaaraton finalist in Mike Sawyer (Charlotte Catholic/Loyola 2012) and a D3 National “defensive player of the Year” by Tommy DeLuca (Apex HS/Cabrini University 2021).
After spending one season as a varsity assistant at Charlotte Catholic in 2019, Desmond was named the 4th head coach at Fort Mill High School in 2020, where he still leads the program today.
For his contributions to the growth of lacrosse in the Carolinas, Coach Desmond was named the US Lacrosse-NC Chapter “Man of the Year” in both 2009 & 2015.
Michael is a 1985 graduate of Niagara University, NY with a degree in Business Management then completed his Masters in Education at Stony Brook University, NY in 1998. He lives in South Charlotte with his wife Suzanne where they raised their two sons, Andrew, a graduate of The Ohio State University; and Ethan a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder.