Get to Know All-American DJ Rickels

DJ Rickels- Lacrosse

Being named first-team All-Centennial Conference, voted player of the week two times and named honorable mention All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association last season, is par for the course for DJ Rickels.

The Green Terror lacrosse team began its seasons by playing the 3rd ranked team in the nation, Salisbury University, on March 2 and lost 2-12. There may have been a large difference in the score, but the junior Rickels states, “Salisbury was a test for us, if we can perform well with a top rank team, we will do well. And now we know what to work on.”

Rickels hails from Forest Hill, Maryland and attended Boys Latin School of Maryland, where lacrosse is the one and only religion. He picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time when he was six years old. From that point on lacrosse has been favorite sport, even over hockey and soccer, which he also played before coming to McDaniel College.

Playing in lots of recreational leagues and tournaments, Rickels was mostly inspired by his older cousin, Patrick Cairns, who played lacrosse at Princeton University. “Growing up Iwanted to go to Princeton to play with him; He would bring home all kinds of Princeton gear,and I would walk around all Princetoned-out,” Rickels said.

Boys Latin is the number one high school in the nation for lacrosse. Rickels played junior varsity for two years and varsity for two years. Growing up with such an impressive lacrosse program, Rickels looked at many Division 1 schools as he got older.  Many of Rickels’ friends were also interested in top level lacrosse schools and went to Division 1 schools like Ohio State University and Saint Mary’s College. McDaniel was the only Division 3 school he looked into.

When Rickels was younger, he and his parents came to a soccer tournament inWestminster and saw the campus. His parents fell in love; Rickels was too young to think twice about college. However, he did remember the impression it had on his parents, and Rickels subsequently looked into McDaniel. Two of his high school friends were attending McDaniel at the time, and Rickels got positive input about the school. He decided he wanted to play lacrosse as much as possible on a small campus.

The Green Terror had a rocky start this year, with a record of 0-2 so far. “We are off to a slow start, but we’ve got good team chemistry, and play well together when playing to our standards. We should be in the Centennial Conference, and hopefully on to NCAA’s,” Rickels predicts of the season this year.

As a Communications major, Rickels aspires to work for the public relations department in NASCAR. Knowing that he does not want to sit behind a desk, Rickels is looking to move to Charlotte, North Carolina to be a P.R. employee or even part of a pit crew.
With so many options for Communications majors, Rickels decided on P.R. work because of his connection with NASCAR. “A friend is involved and asked if I was interested in working for him,” Rickels said.

Aside from Rickels’ interest in NASCAR, he is looking forward to the lacrosse season. “I have high hopes for this team; we just need to turn it around and we will be successful,” Rickels stated confidently.