Wrapping Up Sunday’s GFW Elite 60 Showcase in New Jersey

CrEpB2vWcAAEaNGMiles Tillman was the last addition to the Go Fight Win Elite 60 Showcase on Sunday. So much so, actually, that Tillman was nowhere to be found on the rosters handed out to college coaches.

After the first time he touched the ball, Tillman had everyone scrambling to find out who he was. He scooped up a ground ball on the defensive end and effortlessly sprinted past everyone else, making those chasing him look like they were stuck in quicksand.

Later, Tillman showed off his offensive flair, undressing a defenseman with a one-hand toe drag and scoring on a bouncer. In the second game, he showed off more flashy handles on his way to another highlight-reel goal, and from there, it was obvious that Tillman had set himself apart from his peers.

“I’ve just always loved doing stick tricks since I was a little kid,” Tillman said. “I’ve been playing hockey for longer than lacrosse and I think a lot of my skills come from hockey. I also try to watch as much lacrosse as I possibly can and when you see some of the big players do something on TV, it makes you want to try it.”

A lefty midfielder from White Plains (N.Y.) and Team 91 Tri-State & Orange as well as the Long Island Sting, Tillman showcased a little bit of everything at GFW as he collected 2018 MVP honors. He isn’t shy about shooting, but he’s more than willing to take care of business on the defensive end. His speed is almost unrivaled, and when you package that with his excellent hands and shot, you’ve got yourself a potential big-time future college player.

“I’ve heard from a few college coaches since the event,” Tillman said. “I thought it was a very strong event and a perfect way to start the summer. I’m most likely thinking about upper D-III and mid to high D-I schools. I want to go to a school with good academics and athletics, plus I want a school where the team functions well together. I’m looking for options.”

After his performance at GFW, he won’t be lacking for them.

________________________________________________________

Chase Mendyk ’18, A, Lower Cape May Regional (N.J.) / South Jersey Shamrocks
If Mendyk winds up, just move out of the way. No, seriously, for your health, move. He can let it fly with the best of ‘em and isn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere. He’s a big body with a bull-in-a-china-shop mentality. It’s tough to body him up, and if he can get his hands free, it’s over.

Zachery Taylor ’18, A, Milbrook School (N.Y.) / CNY Roadhawks
Taylor had his offensive moments where he showcased a slick handle in-tight, but you really have to admire the way he plays when his team doesn’t have the ball. He rode all the way to the restraining line and was twice rewarded for it, once when he delivered a big hit and another where he caused a turnover at midfield.

Ryan Kellett ’18, FO/M, Wall (N.J.) / Team United
Kellett initially struggled to win face-offs, but he adapted and found a way to make himself valuable even when he lost. He absolutely rocked a kid in transition and was more than adequate as a defensive midfielder. At the face-off X, he didn’t win a ton of clean face-offs, but he’s tough to beat on ground balls.

Jake Pasacreta ’19, M, Iona Prep (N.Y.) / Predators
Pasacreta had a good day, particularly as a passer up top. He sees the field well and anticipates when his teammates will find open space. He also did a nice job on defense, rarely allowing his man to get his hands free.

Matthew Fermo ’19, FO/M, James Caldwell (N.J.) / Jersey Thunder Elite
It’s hard to not notice that is Fermo is quick, well, everywhere. He’s got good hand speed that allows him to get the clamp, and when he pulls the ball out, he’s got the fluidity and speed to run away from his opponent and jumpstart the fast break. He had a good day off the ground.

Charlie Barski ’20, M, West Morris Central (N.J.) / Patriot
Barski brings a ton of shake and bake to the table out of the midfield. He’s elusive and a tough matchup for poles, let alone shorties. He looked effortless in his dodges and created a lot of separation, and if the ball hits the ground around him, he does a good job of running through ground balls.

Colby Raber ’20, LSM, Archbishop Spalding (Md.) / Annapolis Hawks
No player got better as the day went on than Raber did. By the All-Star Game, he had put it all together and walked away with 2020 MVP honors. He managed to cause a pair of turnovers in a 30-second span, later knocked down a pass on a fast break and got up and down the field effortlessly. He also earned a lot of praise from his coaches for his off-ball defense.

Zachary Dudley ’20, FO/M, Boys’ Latin (Md.) / Annapolis Hawks
Dudley was a force to be reckoned with from start to finish. He probably won around 70 percent of his faceoffs, most of them thanks to his hand speed, which allowed him to routinely win the clamp. He wasn’t a finesse faceoff guy, though. When things got tough and he had to battle for a ground ball, he showcased his athleticism, quickness and toughness to secure extra possessions for his team.

Robbie Booth ’20, D, Chaminade (N.Y.) / FLG
A big, tall, rangy defenseman, Booth made life tough early on his assignment and never relented. He’s physical, is an asset in the clearing game and ran up and down the field with ease, even taking some runs at LSM.

Connor Hapward ’20, G, James Caldwell (N.J.) / STEPS
Hapward started talking from the opening face-off and never stopped after that. He did an excellent job of communicating with his defense and guiding them every step of the way. Hapward was very aggressive in challenging shooters and he dropped early to take away the low part of the net without leaving himself vulnerable to high shots.

Trey Sacus ’21, A, Patriot
Sacus was the most entertaining player of the morning session by a healthy margin. He’s clearly got a box lacrosse background with the way he holds his stick, his array of fakes and moves, his in-tight handle and some of his passes. There isn’t a spot on the field that he won’t let it fly from, but he also later showed off some excellent vision with a draw-and-dump to 2020 Owen Tarnowski (Roxbury, N.J./Patriot) in the All-Star Game. Sacus doesn’t short change you on effort as he showed with a big hit as well as a yard sale wrap check on a ride in the All-Star Game. He garnered the 2021 MVP nod.

Drew Togno ’21, A, Lenape Valley (N.J.) / Building Blocks
If you need a feeder from the wing, Togno is your guy. He sees the field very well and does a great job of identifying cutters to the middle. He’s the type of attackman who can make anyone around him a threat to score.

Donald “Trey” Digby III ’21, D, Valor Christian (Colo.) / Denver Elite
For my money, Digby was the best 2021 defenseman at the event by a solid margin. He knocked down a couple of passes with ease, but he really shined when his man had the ball. Digby is aggressive on the ball and gets up in his attackman’s gloves with constant pressure. He managed to take the ball away a couple of times, too.

HONORABLE MENTION
Joseph DeMonte ’19, D, Lynbrook (N.Y.), FLG
Ren LaMotte ’19, M, Barrington (R.I.) / 3D
Kieran Krause ’19, D, Delbarton (N.J.) / BBL Elite
Max Brie ’18, LSM, Christ School (N.C.) / Ottawa Capitals
Justin Gibb ’18, LSM, Webster Schroeder (N.Y.)
Luke Roth ’18, D, Central Bucks West (Pa.) / Black Bear
Mason Guida ’20, A, Morrisville Beard (N.J.) / Patriot
Michael Beil ’20, M, Schreiber (N.Y.), FLG
Matthew LaRosa ’20, M, West Morris Mendham (N.J.) / Patriot
Henry Meiselman ’20, D, Westfield (N.J.) / Tri-State
Maximilian Dunar ’20, G, Central Bucks West (Pa.) / Bucks Select
Thomas Robertozzi ’21, A, Pingry (N.J.) / Building Blocks
Tanner Wadovick ’21, A, North Kingstown (R.I.) / 3d New England
Carter Wilmot ’21, M, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) / NJ Riot
Trey Fleece ’21, M/FO, Glenelg (Md.) / MD Roughriders
Declan Maseker ’21, G, Delbarton (N.J.) / Patriot

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