Our Values and Beliefs

The ethos of the team is that spirit which inspires athletes to compete. It derives from, and depends upon, the high degrees of commitment, self-sacrifice and mutual trust which together are so essential to the maintenance of morale. To that end here are our Team Values / Covenant.

Our Story

Burning River started in 2005 with a day after Thanksgiving day camp for High School players (mostly because coach Calleri did not want to travel to Buffalo for Thanksgiving). Total attendance at the camp was 11 players including 2 who were driven down from Detroit because their dad did not want to stay at his in-laws all day.

Since that time we have added Leagues (Canadian Box and Field), Camps (Advanced Skills, Introduction to lacrosse), Skills Sessions (Defense, Face-Off, Goalie, and Shooting), Travel Teams (7 teams starting in the 4/5 grade), Coaches Clinics (Youth, Middle School and High School) and College Recruiting Nights (High School players).

Our travel teams have seen phenomenal success qualifying for nationals in each of the last eight years and winning 35 national tournaments (34 field and 1 Box). In addition, 200+ of our travel team players have commit to or are playing for 80+ different college programs.

Since inception 10,000+ players from 85+ area programs have attend at least one of our local/national event offerings.



  • October 2005 - Wildcat Lacrosse (original name) was founded.


  • Thanksgiving 2005 - First event held. It was a 3 hour skills camp at the Dome in Valley View. We had 11 players in attendance including the 2 sons of a work colleague we convinced to drive down from his in laws in Detroit


  • December 2005 - Our name changes to Premier Player Lacrosse (PPL) so as not to be tied to one high school program (St. Ignatius Wildcats).


  • July 2006 - Our first travel team offering. We take 1 team (19 players) to the MVP/Rutgers tournament under the Great Lakes Banner (to show more of a regional approach).


  • November 2006 - Our first league offering a 7 week winter indoor league held in North Olmstead. We had four 7th/8th grade teams (39 players) and 6 High School (75 players)


  • January 2007 - Our name changes to Burning River Lacrosse. This was done for several reasons including 1) there was a Premier Players Lacrosse Academy (too close to our name), a desire to have a more regional name that was linked to the Cleveland/Northern Ohio area (Premier Player had no ties to Cleveland/Northern Ohio), and a sense of humor (we were enjoying a Burning River beverage at the time).


  • September 2007 - Our first fall league offering a 7 week indoor league held at the Cleveland Multiplex. We had four 7th/8th grade teams (49 players) and 10 High School (122 players).


  • June 2008 - Our first summer league offering a 7 week outdoor league held at the Rec Center in Broadview Heights. We had six 6th/8th grade teams (119 players) and 8 High School (180 players).


  • December 2008 - Our High School Winter league moves to Cleveland State to accommodate the growth we are seeing. We now have 16 teams with over 225 players from 20 different area high schools.


  • July 2008 - We partner with Bill Pilat ("The Goalie School") to hold his first non-east coast goalie camp at Baldwin Wallace College. the event attracts over 100 goalies from across the United States.


  • July 2008 - Our travel teams win their first tournament (Elite and Rising Star teams win their divisions at the NDP Midwest Cup). The U15 teams finishes 2nd in their division.


  • November 2008 - Our U15 team wins the Presidents Cup Tournament.


  • June 2009 - We open our summer league to 4th to 6th graders for the first time. We have eight teams at the 4th to 8th grade level and 10 at the High School level (375 players).


  • September 2009 - We move our fall league outside to the Fields Complex in Broadview heights. The first league has 250 players (4th grade to High School) from over 60 area schools.


  • November 2009 - We begin hosting coaches gathering where area coaches can get together to discuss how best to grow the game, develop new coaches and officials and develop players to their full potential.


  • January 2010 - Our 2011/Select travel team makes it to the NDP / Tournament of Champions championship game (a 6-4 loss). At the same event, our U15 team finishes 5th and wins the consolation bracket.


  • June 2010 - We begin offering a Fundamental Skills and Shooting Camp to high school players. The camp quickly sells out and participants refer to it as the best thing we have ever offered.


  • July 2010 - Our 2012 / Select team wins their division of the NDP / Atlantic Cup Tournament. Our U15/2014 team reaches the finals and our 2013/rising team reaches the semifinals in their respective divisions.


  • November 2010 - We introduce a College Recruiting Night to help parents and players better understand the college recruiting process and timelines. Over 120 parents and players attend and hear presentations from our staff, parents and players who have been through the process and the coaching staffs of Robert Morris (Division 1) and St. Vincent (Division 3).


  • November 2010 - We split our 4th to 8th grade winter league offering into a Westside and Eastside offerings because of the growth we are experiencing. The combined leagues have players from over 35 schools.


  • January 2011 - Our U15 travel team makes it to the NDP / Tournament of Champions Semifinals. At the same event, our 2012 / Select team finishes 5th and wins the consolation bracket.


  • March 2011 - We partner with Millon Lacrosse Camps because we believe they provide the best overnight instructional camp available. The camps attract 100s of players from 35 different states and countries as far away as Japan, Australia, Singapore and England.


  • July 2011 - Our Select and U15 teams qualify for the NDP / Tournament of Champions.


  • October 2011 - We hold our first college lacrosse showcase. The event includes 6 college teams and raises money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund For Breast Cancer Research. The event raises over $12,000.


  • November 2011 - We partner with John Schiavone and begin offering our Face-Off Clinics. Over 100 local players attend in the first year to learn faceoff technique from one of the countries best.


  • June 2012 - Our Elite team win the 2012 MVP tournament. The first time a team from Northern Ohio wins a national recruiting event.


  • May 2013 - BR Alum Scott Loy ('10) is drafted in the fourth round by the Ohio Machine.  Scott becomes BR's first professional player.


  • June 2013 - Our Elite team repeats as MVP tournament Champions. The first time a team from Northern Ohio has repeated as champions at a national recruiting event.


  • July 2013 - Our Elite Travel team goes undefeated at the SU Shootout and compiles a 10 game win streak against national opponents.


  • September 2013 - Dick’s Sporting Goods selects BR Lax as A Top Youth Program. The award is given to only five US youth sports organizations. We are selected because of the success of our efforts to grow lacrosse in NE Ohio and due to the work we have done in the community through our Spielman College Lacrosse (raised $49,000+ for Breast Cancer Research) and Fisher House (raised $300,000+ to support the families of severely wounded an/or ill military service members).


  • January 2014 - At the request of college coaches our Travel Teams change to playing by grad year.


  • May 2015 - Jake White (OCCC/D) and his teammates win the NCJAA Championship.  Marking the first college national championship by a BR Alum.


  • June 2017 - Our 2018 travel team wins "King Of The Hill" our first championship at that tournament.


  • June 2017 - Our 2019 travel team wins the MVP tournament our fourth championship at that tournament.


  • June 2017 - Our 2019 travel team wins the MVP tournament our fourth championship at that tournament.


  • June 2017 - Our 2022 travel team completes a perfect 17-0 summer with Championships at Trilogy Gettysburg, Pipe City, Niagara Lacrosse Showcase.


  • September 2017 - We partner with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to host our 'Crosse Out Cancer' event.  For the first time girls lacrosse teams attend.  The event raises $26,500 bringing the overall total to $155,000+


  • August 2017 - BR Alum Mike Perrino (Ohio Machine) wins the NLL Championship.  The first professional championship for a BR Alum.


  • January 2018 - Our Box Travel team wins the Capital Classic.  This marks the first time a team from Northern Ohio wins a national Box Lacrosse Tournament.


  • May 2018 - BR Alum Will Pilat (assistant coach) helps coach Wesleyan to the NCAA D3 Championship.  This marks the first time a BR Alum coach a NCAA champion.


  • June 2018 - Our 2020 travel team wins the Trilogy 24 tournament our first championship at that tournament


  • Sept 2018 - we add BR Girls Lacrosse to expand offerings, travel teams and skills development to area girls.


  • Summer 2019 - BR travel teams win 3 more summer tournaments.