Travel Team Parent Testimonials

Our travel team players and their parents can depend on us to provide them with coaching, guidance, encouragement and support during the entire college recruiting process.  Unlike some other Travel Team Club programs Burning River Lacrosse has a proven track record when it comes to helping players reach their college lacrosse goals (see player commitments).  This is because we provide:

  • top level instruction including individual, small group & team practices designed in conjunction w/top college coaches & programs,
  • honest feedback on your son’s progress and ability both academically and athletically,
  • knowledge of the complicated recruiting process inc. GPA & ACT/SAT requirements, timelines, coaches preference, & college fit,
  • personal relationships & access to college coaches that allow us to speak w/coaches, who trust our judgment, about your son,
  • personal and individual help including 1 on 1 meetings, calls to college coaches, and video work,
  • college recruiting night with college coaches,
  • college selection night with a panel of former players and  parents who have been through the process,
  • access to hundreds of Burning River Alumni who are at or have attend 85+ different college programs.
  • highlight video review, feedback and posting, and
  • college recruiting booklet with detailed information on the process, timelines, and examples of letters, calls, and questions.


Here is what lacrosse influencers, coaches, travel team players/their parents have to say about us.


  • Major Publisher Of Lacrosse News - To the members of Burning River Lacrosse, I was so proud to watch you play at the IL Recruiting Invitational last week. As a Westlake native who went to Ignatius, I was introduced to Lacrosse by my older brother when I was in second grade. However, there was no youth lacrosse in 1993, so I wasn’t able to play on a team until my freshman year of high school — and even then, it was 40 practices and 15 games in the spring; there were no additional opportunities to play. Needless to say, I’m so envious of your chances to play, to have fun, to compete, to get to know passionate lacrosse players from all over the region and to improve. And all that benefit shows itself on the field. Coach Calleri has brought teams to our events for several years, and the ways in and degrees to which Burning River has improved are obvious. From the OT win over Booth to fighting tooth and nail vs. Express North, I watched your games and thought “This is the best of what I imagined a team of Cleveland’s best players looking like” when I would think about it 15 years ago. Tough, cohesive, athletic. I hope you enjoyed yourselves, had a good experience and got some good looks from college coaches and good footage to send to them. Thanks again, and best of luck getting ready for senior/junior year and continuing with the college selection process.


  • "There are plenty of programs that only think about the money but BR is one of the good ones. They actually care about the kids & their development. Their coaches are some of the few that actually proactively call coaches. They also work hard in support of their players during their college careers.  Top 10 D3 coach.


  • To quote a local high school coach “I have never seen anyone work as hard to get my players into college as Coach Calleri has. He has called numerous college coaches, provided the players and their families with feedback, laid out a timeline of things the player needs to do and helped guide them through the process. My kids would not be where they are today if Burning River Lacrosse wasn’t as proactive as they are.”


  • To quote a local high school coach “I have never seen anyone work as hard to get my players into college as Coach Calleri has. He has called numerous college coaches, provided the players and their families with feedback, laid out a timeline of things the player needs to do and helped guide them through the process. My kids would not be where they are today if Burning River Lacrosse wasn’t as proactive as they are.”


  • "I loved the individual attention, small group sizes, & lots & lots of touches. Super encouraging for my son, who lacked a little confidence. What a HUGE difference I have seen already just starting the spring season with his local team." C. Ploskuniak - (Skills Sessions)


  • "Our son Michael has had a great experience playing for the Burning River Lacrosse Club.  His lacrosse skills and understanding have increased markedly and are a direct result of playing in the BR program for five years. Michael will have the opportunity to play lacrosse at Siena College upon graduation from high school.  The BR coaches have made a significant contribution to Michael reaching this goal by teaching the basics and the fine points of the game, by pressing him to get better and challenging him to exceed his expectations.  And finally, the support and tireless efforts of Coach Calleri were critical to Michael finding the right collegiate program. Most impressively, Coach Calleri and the BR staff emphasize sportsmanship and service.  The BR efforts supporting the Fisher House Program for wounded warriors are to be applauded and set a great example for the young men in their charge. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the Burning River Lacrosse program." Mark Vitale


  • Burning River Lacrosse has had a positive impact on my son's lacrosse career.  We have been involved with other lacrosse organizations, activities and leagues throughout Northeast Ohio.  There is nothing that can prepare your son for High School or College level lacrosse more effectively than Burning River Lacrosse.  Woody Calleri and his staff are knowledgeable and professional.  They lead by example and not only teach skills but also help build the character they will need to become leaders on the field. Woody is a "straight shooter" who will honestly tell you and your son where he is at as a lacrosse player and what he needs to do to become a better athlete.   There is absolutely no way my son would have had the opportunity to play at the next level without Burning River Lacrosse. Bryan Hartong


  • As a parent of a son who just verbally committed to a D1 level lacrosse college, I wanted to share with other parents what a huge part Burning River Lacrosse and Woody Calleri played in my son’s success as a Lacrosse Goalie.  As a 4th grader, Liam began to play lacrosse for a local team. In 5th grade he attended tryouts for a travel team called Burning River Lacrosse.  By this time he had been playing for a year and had recently changed position from attack to Goalie. With Burning River and the coaching expertise of Wood Calleri and his staff, Liam was able to advance over the years to his full potential as a Lacrosse goalie now in his senior year of high school.  Burning River provided the ideal combinations of challenges and rewards to him. With hard work and expert feedback and coaching, Liam and his team each year realized many successes, and even when not successful, the team learned from its mistakes.  They were taught professionalism in success and defeat, and how to demonstrate great sportsmanship. Burning River Lacrosse makes you a great lacrosse player! This was always stressed, and has been proven true.  “You are capable of winning this tournament, but that’s not what we’re here for.” “We’re here to play some great lacrosse against some other great teams!”  (Woody Calleri), before the start of the MVP tournament, which Burning River Elite went on to win as the first team from Ohio to accomplish this!   They then defended and won the title again the next year. I as a parent have always been impressed with the way each boy is pushed to reach his full potential at whatever position he plays, and also has a great time doing it!  Liam’s success and character today has been in part shaped by his many years with Burning River and Woody Calleri.  I could not be more proud of him, or of the program that helped him reach his ultimate goal of playing Lacrosse at a D1 College level! Kristen Ganzhorn


  • I want to express our sincere gratitude for the time, energy, insight and coaching you have provided to our son Steven since middle school.  Steven expressed a strong desire to play college lacrosse at a high level and your program is a large reason for his ability to achieve that goal.  The Burning River program has markedly increased his lacrosse IQ.  He has developed long term friendships with the best players in northeast Ohio through Burning River.  For anyone in northern Ohio who wants to develop into a high level lacrosse player this program is a must.  If not for Burning River Steven would not have had the opportunity to play Division I lacrosse at the collegiate level. I am extremely grateful for the BR emphasis on giving back to the younger players.  Steven coaches and instructs the younger players which builds leadership skills that will most certainly transfer off the lacrosse field. Finally, your advice during the recruiting process was extremely valuable.  From developing video, to promoting players to coaches, to acting as a liaison with specific coaches your advice was sound.  Following and reporting on college highlights of alumni indicates to me an interest in these young men beyond their time with BR.  I wish your program and coaches continued success in promoting lacrosse in Northern Ohio.   Thanks for all you do. The Coss Family


  • "BR came highly recommended, & we’re happy to report that the program lived up to the billing. The teams were well run & competitive in even the most challenging tournaments.  In addition, the staff was consistent in not only seeking improvement from the players’ games- but also in mentoring the boys & families toward their future aspirations." Outcalt Family


  • "Coach Calleri has been a great lacrosse resource all throughout high school for Connor. Connor has battled 3 different injuries during summer lacrosse, but Coach Calleri never forgot about him. He made just as many phone calls (if not more) to college coaches for Connor. Coach Calleri truly cares about his players and is running Burning River for the common good of all lacrosse players in NE Ohio. Most importantly, Coach Calleri made sure to contact schools that were excellent academic fits and not just great lacrosse schools that he could boast about sending a kid to. We are extremely thankful for all the hard work Coach Calleri has done for our family and could not have pushed Connor to the next level without him. Mark and Patti Sims


  • Burning River Lacrosse was an extremely valuable experience for my son.  Of course, he was playing with the very best lacrosse talent in Ohio and all aspects of his game improved dramatically year by year, culminating in All State selections in both his Junior and Senior seasons.  Burning River players play with skill, intensity, discipline, and team work or they don’t play for Burning River. From a father’s prospective, there was equally great value off the field.  The rules and discipline required on road trips were clearly communicated and strictly enforced.  Respect and cooperation were required.  Within these parameters, all of the boys had a blast and played extremely competitively against national talent.  Lifelong friendships were formed and great character was built. Finally, Woody Calleri and his staff made a huge difference in my son’s college acceptance process.  Woody spent substantial one on one time with my son establishing target schools, appropriate both for their lacrosse and their education.  He and the coaches promoted my son aggressively to a number of college lacrosse coaches and followed up diligently.  My son got to his top priority school where he is performing extremely well on the field and in the classroom.    He loves where he is and he would not be there without the thorough and caring effort that Woody Calleri and his staff invested in him. Northeast Ohio is lucky to have a vibrant and extremely well executed program like Burning River.  Our family is very grateful. Andy Rayburn


  • The BR program is exceptional. We are so impressed with the dedication and commitment of the BR staff.  It is clear that your goal is to make the boys better players.  We would definitely recommend this program to friends and family.  We couldn't ask for a more positive experience.  Great coaches, great parents, great boys!  By far, BR is the way to go in Northeast Ohio.  No other programs like BR! On another note, the BR program really forces the boys to mature and become responsible young men.  We like the fact that they are in charge of their equipment and that they have the opportunity to stay in dorms and connect with the other players.  They definitely grow up a bit and realize how to take care of themselves and behave appropriately.  BR not only improves players, but the program helps to build character in these young men--on and off the field.  Thanks for a great summer of lacrosse.  You run an amazing program, and we are proud to be part of the BR family. Rich & Jeannie Malloy


  • "Last night’s shooting session was awesome. I’ve tried many other of these clinics before & I would say that this one was the BEST I have done yet. I loved the constant movement & how we were never standing around for that long. Thanks again and looking forward to next already!" BR Skills Player


  • Charlie has played for a few different travel programs all with their own merits but without a doubt Charlie would not have had the same opportunities to play college lacrosse had he not played for Burning River last year.   Coach Calleri and his staff worked very hard with Charlie during the season to improve his skills as well as to get him exposure at the right tournaments in front of the right coaches.   One thing that really struck me is that Coach Calleri has a network of college coaches that look to him to deliver players.  Recruiting is hard for college coaches; its almost impossible for them to get around to see all the players so in addition to to doing their own evaluation coaches count getting the inside scoop from Woody and the Burning River team.  It's almost like having your own agent looking out for your son's best interest.  Going into the summer of 2014 Charlie had not been directly contacted by any colleges.  Coming out of nearly every tournament that we played in Charlie was contacted by schools or Coach Calleri was calling Charlie to tell him of yet another school that was interested in having him out for a visit.   Heck, Charlie even got contacted after tryouts and making the Elite team.  He had not even played a minute during a summer tournament and was already getting requests for college visits.   The BR brand is that trusted by coaches. In the end, your son has to be a high quality player but if the skills, desire and work ethic are there then your son will most likely get lots of opportunities to keep playing in college after a summer of playing for Burning River. John Zimmerman


  • This is a letter of thanks to Woody and the Burning River staff for all the effort the program put into developing my son, both as a player and a person over the past six years. We started at Burning River when Whit was in sixth grade after playing on another local travel team. The personal attention the players received to develop their skills and build their competitive athletic abilities convinced me that Burning River was the best travel lacrosse program in Northeast Ohio. When he joined the program, I knew that my son would thrive and reach his goal of playing at the highest level of lacrosse. During Whit's freshman year, the coaching staff at BR assisted with his acceptance to the Maverik Showtime camp.  This camp to many people is considered the top recruiting camp in the country.  Whit not only had no problem competing, but stood out at the tournament, and was selected as an all star.  This is when the recruiting process began for our family.  Woody answered every phone call, question or concern we had during this time. He gave us full support and spoke to all of the recruiting coaches interested in Whit on a daily basis.  It is amazing that he does this for every player that has an interest in playing college lacrosse, and still runs a first class organization. Woody truly is an advocate for his players and families.  After Whit committed to Hofstra University, Woody continued to act as a liaison between the coaches and our family.  He also reminded Whit that he needed to continue to maintain his grades and to continue to work on his lacrosse skills. His coaching reaches beyond the sport, and   building character, discipline, and leadership. To expand, the players have learned the importance of doing what is right when no one is looking. They learn that their level of success is determined by their level of discipline to give their all consistently, not just when they feel like it. Finally, leadership is about, making others better as a result of your example and influence.  Woody's dedication expands beyond his players. He generously holds annual charity tournaments for breast cancer, Cross Out Cancer, as well as the Fisher House tournament which contributes to raising money for a network of military comfort homes where families can stay at no cost while their loved one is receiving medical treatment. Woody also supports the community through sponsorship of school lacrosse programs in the Northeast Ohio region. He never stops working for the families in the program and the community around him. He is a role model for loyalty and dedication. Burning River is the top tier program in NEO and its results speak for themselves.  Woody started out only as a lacrosse coach for my son and now he is a family friend. Thanks.  Jeff & Jeannie Stopak


  • The importance of your Club Lacrosse team is immeasurable, especially in the NCAA recruiting process. When we talked to parents about our move back to Cleveland everyone in the lacrosse community was familiar with Burning River, the calibre of the teams they put together and the quality of events BR attended.  As our son went through the process, sometimes playing with other local clubs that were closer to where we lived, it was clear that the Woody and his team drew coaches from some of the best schools and exposed all the players to the some of the best tournaments in the country—that other clubs were not doing.   Our son loves playing for BR lacrosse.  The friends he made and the enjoyment he received from playing on a talented team against talented competitors fueled his desire to play college lacrosse. I am particularly grateful for the support from the BR team off the field. The knowledge that was shared with us as we continue to go through the recruiting process is invaluable.  Elizabeth Morris


  • Thank you for all the support over the past few years and helping Grayson become the player he is today. He was elected as a team captain for Hoover this year and is very excited about that. I believe he gained the confidence and leadership abilities from being in your program. You and your staff do an extraordinary job of developing players and help them realize how good they are and how to become better. Thank you once again for all of your hard work and dedication to lacrosse players. Jeff and Robin Geller


  • Thank you for all the guidance and support that you have given Mario in this process of securing a collegiate lacrosse experience. I'm sure you're well aware that from the very start Mario has had his heart set on playing lacrosse in college. His drive to take his own skills to a competitive level has been amazing to watch. His determination and follow-through in the recruiting process has been impressive and his father and I are very proud of him. There is no way he could have accomplished this without your guidance and support. Our family appreciates all that you have done and especially your high level of engagement over the past few months as Mario's goals were starting to become  reality. Your involvement clearly helped to build the road that Mario needed to take right to the front door of  Division One Lacrosse. Thank you. The Caito Family


  • I wanted to thank you for everything you and your coaches do for the boys of Burning River Lacrosse. Your commitment, leadership, patience and ability to provide positive reinforcement is appreciated. Without the BR LAX program, Cameron would be playing decent lacrosse for a young and underdeveloped high school program. Instead, he had the opportunity to take his game to the next level, playing highly competitive games in front of some of the best colleges in the country.  Thanks to your counseling on the level of program that would be the right fit, we were able to focus on a great assortment of D2 and D3 programs that also provided a great educational opportunity. With our school visits concluding, Cameron has received 8 firm D2 and D3 offers with a couple more expected. He has narrowed his choice down to 3 schools, with overnight visits taking place over the next 3 weeks. Whatever choice he makes, we all know the choices would not have been possible without the Burning River experience and your personal support. Next summer will be tough without a BR travel team schedule, but I know Cameron wants to stay involved with your program in whatever capacity possible throughout college, helping to provide others the same opportunity he so appreciated. Jim Marous


  • Opportunity. Burning River Lacrosse provides the opportunity for your son to play against top competition from traditional hotbeds, to receive constructive instruction to improve as an individual and as a teammate, endless chances to hone skills and game performance, and the environment to enhance his love of the game. Coach Calleri and his staff give honest feedback, guidance, and persistent support and energy whether your son wants to play at the next level or just contribute more for his school team. Coach Calleri’s guidance during the recruiting process was invaluable. His experience, relationships, and professionalism give Northeast Ohio lacrosse legitimacy. Lastly, Kyle’s Elite team experience included genuine camaraderie with players and coaches from numerous programs and memories that will last a lifetime. We highly recommend Burning River Lacrosse. The Weber Family


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