Verified Spotlight: Firehawks Lacrosse Club
By Josh Barrow | Apr 14, 2021
From 'Fire Starters' to Firehawks
“Our mission is to invite new kids to learn about the game of lacrosse. Then, as you get better, you work your way up,” said Brian Silcott who shares responsibilities with his wife, Karen Silcott, as the Boys and Girls Directors at Firehawks of San Francisco. “These young lacrosse players start in our ‘Fire Starter’ program and work their way to ‘Firehawks.’”
The Silcott’s goal is to introduce both genders to the game, allowing each player to mature at their own pace of development. Their mission breeds success with about 400 players -- 60% boys and 40% girls. A key figure in the rise of Firehawks LC is founder Doug Appleton, a lawyer by trade and a former lacrosse player at Brown, “Doug just wanted a good place for his kids to play lacrosse, and so he founded the Firehawks,” shared Brian.
Notably, this program invites all to play each season until they are 14, where they enter high school and get more selective in choosing programs -- whether it’s a high school or club lacrosse team. I asked further about their philosophy.
“We found if we kept our Firehawks program seasonal, it keeps the kids fresh in lacrosse while they grow in other activities during the year. In fact, many of the young players will go play with a travel club after their Firehawk regular season -- as each league's style of play compliments each other. We do not interfere with the travel season, and the travel teams are grateful we build a funnel of players for them for the future. It works well together.”
As we talk with our Verified partners around the world, it’s really difficult to find a formula that integrates new players gradually, at all ages, for both genders. It’s also rare to hear of seasoned players who stay within a program with guys of less experience. When asked about fielding their various teams, Brian said “after a few practices, our coaches will seed the level of talent into various teams at their age levels. In fact, our U-14’s are ranked as some of the best in the US travel team tournaments.” It speaks volumes to keeping lacrosse exciting to the players, while they grow into their body types and physical capabilities.
Recently, on March 27 in San Mateo, CA, the Firehawks sponsored a PLL Clinic. True to their own mission, they invited a broader range of teams in the community - gathering about 45 players. As Romar Dennis and Callum Robinson, both PLL Pros led this fun day clinic, Brian exclaimed “those guys are both monsters in stature and star examples to our players - they made our kids feel part of the brotherhood of lacrosse!”
Enjoy the photos submitted by Brett & Jenn Lessing at the Firehawks Verified Clinic! Even the High Schoolers (former Firehawks) come back to mentor the younger ‘Fire-Starters’.