What is now known as Echelon Sports Network was initially conceived as the Fire Lacrosse Club. Founded in the Fall of 2004, the club selected its first competitive team in Spring 2006 and competed as the Tampa Bay Fire. Since its very inception, the objective was to provide elite-level West Florida area high school and middle school lacrosse players an opportunity to compete during the off-season months and maximize the development of their individual skills, knowledge, and attitudes. During this period, the club experienced unprecedented success in teaching lacrosse players through its Player Development System, and expanded geographically and programatically in Florida and beyond.
Because of the club's success and reputation, the organization expanded into Sarasota and, in 2011 expanded further with the start-up of the Rochester Fire in Rochester, NY.
The "Fire" name was selected because of the unique relationship between the sport of lacrosse, the Tampa Bay area, and the rich history and lore of the Native American Indian in the sport and, specifically, in this part of the State. The Calusa Indian tribe, indigenous to the region, used the word "Tampa", meaning "sticks of fire" in their native tongue, to describe the high concentration of lightning strikes that the region historically received every year. The Calusa term was also interpreted by other historians to mean "the place to gather sticks".
In 2015, Fire Sports Management refined and re-focused its' player development model to reflect the current state of lacrosse player development and recruitment by establishing Echelon Lacrosse and the Echelon Rise and Echelon Force programs.
The definition of "echelon" reflects a unit or group that is acting in a disciplined and organized manner. Echelon Rise is intended for the most motivated players committed to high-level advancement and college recruitment. Echelon Force is focused on the lacrosse player who wants to experience the excitement of playing the fastest game on two feet without the intense 12-month commitment that college-focused players must embrace.
The Fire Lacrosse Club (now called Echelon Lacrosse as part of Echelon Sports Network) was created expressly for those players dedicated to accelerating their skill development, game knowledge, field sense, and behavior and attitudes through intensive training and intense competition at the highest levels. These objectives are achieved through multi-disciplinary knowledge transfer for individual skill development and team dynamics through a variey of training inputs including tournaments, practices, indoor (box) lacrosse cross-training and performance training. We use carefully selected tournaments and national college recruiting venues to measure player development and to showcase our player’s talents.
The structure and emphasis of our program is based on individual player development. Throughout the competitive season, Echelon teams perform extremely well against other programs including winning games and tournaments, which are not programmatic priorities. "Winning" occurs as a secondary consequence of our emphasis on player growth, development, and improvement - not because of an emphasis on "W's and L's".
Athletes interested in playing for the Echelon are invited to participate in the program. Our roster selections are based on a variety of interdependent factors including demonstrated skill; projected ability to compete at elite levels; potential for future growth and development; expressed desire to play collegiately; parental commitment; and support of, and commitment to our mission. Our families - players and parents alike - recognize that competing for the Echelon Lacrosse is an honor and a privilege, and subsequently are focused and committed to optimizing their athletic and academic growth and development through the Fire's programs and services.
As one of only a few "Player Development Systems" in the U.S., the Echelon platform exposes players to a comprehensive range of training and development inputs, concepts, principles, and opportunites to enhance their skills, athleticism, and academic competencies. The information provided herein comprises the complete system and should be reveiwed in detail. You will note the extensive breadth and depth of the program and the unmatched possibilities the program creates for each player in our system.
Understanding the power, dynamics, and structure of our system will enable each player to optimize their development while enabling parents to orchestrate the support essential to sustaining consistent and coordinated engagement with our various training and development programs and services.
Players that choose to compete for Echelon Lacrosse display and embrace a set of characteristics that are consistent with the focus, emphasis, and requirements of elite lacrosse including: