The Firehawks Lacrosse Club was started in 2005 by Doug Appleton, who wanted to build a very special club that taught the love of the game and gave back to the sport. Several other passionate lacrosse playing dads joined Doug, including Hilleary Hoskinson, Ed Hattler, Jim White and Mark diTargiani. That first year there were 40 players on two teams - the “pups” and the “juniors”. Mark diTargiani was the very first coach of the Juniors, and Doug, Ed Hattler and Hilleary Hoskinson coached the Pups. Those first players have just now graduated from college, and included players such as Charlie Ford (LSM, Georgetown ’17, First Team All Big East, team captain), Willy Osborne (Attack, Dartmouth ‘17, All Ivy, team captain), Andrew Eifert (Attack, Univ. Dayton ‘17, national championship D2 MCLA), and Matt McGloin (Attack, Mount St. Mary’s ‘17). The Pups included Sean Mayle (LSM, Denver ‘18, First Team All Big East, NCAA D1 national champions 2015), Frankie Hattler (Attack, Tufts ’18, NCAA D3 national champions 2015) and Duncan Hoskinson (Middie, Colgate ’19).
In the second year, the club grew from 40 to 125 players. In the third year, we added a girls team and grew to 250 players. By the 4th year we had over 300 players and a wait list of 100. At that point we decided to help start another club in the area to help meet the growing demand. A Firehawk parent agreed to start the Menlo-Atherton Grizzlies with the support of the Firehawks. The Grizzlies club has since grown to over 250 players. By 2017, the Firehawks had grown to 400 players on 22 teams and 60 coaches. In total, between the Firehawks and the Grizzlies, there are nearly 750 youth lacrosse players in the Menlo Park - San Carlos area.
The Firehawks have always believed in giving back to the sport and the community. In the early days we would do a 5K fun run to raise money for charity. At first we ran around the Shutterfly parking lot, and later hosted the event on the track at Sequoia High School. In the past few years we changed from a fun run to a "Fun-raiser” at the Sports House, where we’ve had mini-tournaments, fastest shot competitions and guest appearances from pro athletes including Casey Powell and Brian Silcott. Each year we would raise approximately $10,000 and give it all away to charities including Native Vision, Lacrosse for LIFE, the Todd French Foundation, and the Oakland Lacrosse Club. We have also done environmental clean ups, planted a Redwood tree at Sequoia HS, and provided gifts to the homeless during the holidays.
Once the Firehawks players started to graduate from the youth program, the club helped start lacrosse programs at several local high schools, including Sacred Heart Prep, Sequoia HS and Carlmont HS. On average, the Firehawks feed into 15-20 high schools around the country.
We love bringing professional players to visit our program as guest coaches, offering our kids unique insights into the game at the highest level. Among those we have had visit us are Matt Rambo, Connor Kelly, Sergio Salcido, Megan Whittle, Casey Powell, Mike Powell, Kyle Harrison, BJ Grill, Jules Heningburg, all four Thompson brothers, Paul Rabil, and Joe Walters. We’ve helped support visiting college teams, and were the first club to offer co-ed programs to players as young as 3 years old
We are extremely excited about the future of the Firehawks!