By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/14/19
Penn Charter senior Gavin Tygh has established the all-time mark for faceoff wins by a scholastic player, according to unofficial statistics compiled by LaxRecords.
Tygh, a Virginia signee and 2018 US Lacrosse All-American, won 15 of 21 faceoffs in Saturday’s 11-7 loss at Lawrenceville School. This year he has won 138 of 192 faceoffs and he has 1150 wins and 500 losses (70 percent) in his career.
Penn Charter plays a national schedule (non-league) and competes in the powerful Inter-Ac League. Tygh passed the mark set by current Yale standout TJ Ierlan, who attended Victor High (N.Y.). Ierlan won 1135 faceoffs from 2013-16.
Tygh, a High Honorable Mention Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year choice last year, also is scoring at a rare pace for faceoff players. This year he has 23 goals and 4 assists for the Quakers (4-6). He has also scooped over 125 groundballs.
LaxRecords has become a respected source for compiling scholastic boys’ lacrosse records, however, faceoff statistics are somewhat disputable and not kept by all teams.
Regardless, Tygh’s numbers have been accomplished against elite competition. This year he has faced seven Division I commits and most of his other foes are expected to become D1 players.
“I want to thank my coaches and teammates all throughout high school,” said Tygh. “I started in 8th grade (2015) and I can’t imagine how coach (Pat) McDonough had that kind of faith in me.
“I just tried not to mess up as much as possible because I was the new guy from middle school. I think that class of seniors was really supportive and they treated me like another teammate – not like an 8th grader.
“As I progressed and noticed I was maturing, I found mysef constantly being pushed by coach McDonough and coach (Joey) Sankey as well as (former) coach (Billy) McKinney. Whether I was in the classroom or weightroom or on the field, I am always being pushed at Penn Charter.”
Tygh’s biggest area of growth this year has been taking on extra roles, especially as the team’s top scorer. Few facoff specialists at this level also play offensive roles; he is even on man up and half the time plays on man down situations.
“I always wanted to say I am more than just a FOGO,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in that challenge of staying on the field.
“Mentally, that’s the biggest challenge. I feel a switch on the field. I start with the faceoff mindset and whether I win or lose that automatic switch goes on in my head. If I am on defense I have to see what set we are playing and and what plays we are running in transition. When I get back on ‘O’ it’s a completely new mindset. I am watching a lot more film and spending more time with coach Sankey on offense or coach McDonough on defense.
“It does get a little complicated, but I love the challenge and hopefully I can keep the good mindset.”
Tygh’s biggest concern is helping the Quakers win. Penn Charter is seeking to contend for the Inter-Ac crown and knock off some top foes.
“Our main goal right now as a team is just to believe in each other and put in the work,” he said “We have a lot of young guys and our job as seniors is to give them confidence and make them believe we can win any game.”