When Matt Gill first started playing lacrosse at age seven he often played in and out of the goal. “Early on while I was playing in the youth league, I didn’t like to run and I knew that if I played goalie, I wouldn’t have to. At that age, everyone wanted to try goalie, but as we got higher up through the years, I solidified myself more as a permanent goalie,” he said. Now Gill will be playing goalie for NCAA Division II lacrosse at the College of St. Rose.
Gill, a senior at Horseheads High School, captains their boys’ lacrosse team who was the 2015 Section IV Champions with Gill at the goal. He was also named to the Section IV All-tournament Team, and made the FLG in 3D All-Star Game twice.
For Gill, playing for FCA the past seven years is something that he helped him grow in his sport and as a person. “The coaches always took pride in what they were doing and focused on the same goal that created a solid team atmosphere: to be the best lacrosse player and the best person and play a nice fair, clean game and have fun. And, everyone was always pushing each other to play to the best of their ability,” he said.
Tom Gill, Matt’s father, is often on pins and needles as he has watched his son play goalie through the years, and admits that he hopes when someone takes a shot, that Matt is able to get it with his stick instead of with his body. He has nothing but positive things to say about what FCA has done for his son:
“FCA has helped Matt incredibly – not just from a lacrosse perspective, but the training camps and the huddles which help instill values in the players, have helped him become more of a leader. I’d like to personally thank Sean and Sol, and Coaches Kelly, Arnold and Scott for all they’ve done to help Matt over the years with college recruiting, his lacrosse, his spiritual life and his becoming a young man.
“The program is second to none, which is one of the reasons we’ve stayed with FCA for as long as we have. We have two other children who are also with the program, and for our family FCA is far and away the best thing for Matt and our other two sons Zach and Lucas, who play for FCA’s 2019 and 2022 teams. Yes, we have driven an hour and 45 minutes to practices, each way, from Horseheads the last seven years, and there have been some times we’ve thought it was a bit far, but we have continued. You just have to look at what you’re going to get out of it,” Gill said.
Matt would like to give a shout out to Sean McNamara for his support during his FCA years: “Throughout my whole FCA career ever since I started when training camps were held at the Golden Goal in the Adirondacks, Sean took me under his wing and has shown me a lot of techniques for playing goalie that have helped me tremendously and really improved my game, and he’s talked to me about more than just lacrosse, but personal things that I need to have to be successful. I can’t thank that guy enough!”
And he is also grateful to the entire FCA organizations: “Playing for FCA has allowed me to develop a relationship with God which has allowed me to grow in positive ways. I’d like to also thank Coaches Cook and Neubauer and my family for always believing in me and pushing me to accomplish my goals and be the best person I can be.”
Gill is looking forward to taking his game to the next level at St. Rose where he will have the opportunity to play for Coach Jim Morrissey at St. Rose. “Coach Morrissey played with Sol Bliss in the pros, and Morrissey has completely turned the atmosphere around there during his time there the past two years.”
For Gill, playing at St. Rose is a dream realized: “All the hard work that I’ve done throughout my FCA years — the off season workouts and the training camps, and playing with my high school team – they all have gone into my now being able to get to a skill level where I can play college lacrosse, which is something I have dreamed of since I first picked up a stick.”
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.