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June 20, 2013

Lax Lowdown: Faceoff specialist earns high praise

Faceoff specialist Osbahr draws high praise from Roy

John Roy has coached his fair share of standout faceoff specialists during his tenure with the St. John’s Prep lacrosse team.

Now that Derek Osbahr has officially graduated and concluded his time with the Eagles, Roy can say it: Osbahr is at the top of his faceoff list.

“For that particular task, he’s the best I’ve coached and one of the best I’ve seen in high school,” Roy said.

Roy made the statement that Osbahr is the best faceoff specialist that he’s coached, but by no means does he believe it’s a landslide victory.

The veteran St. John’s coach doesn’t have to go back too far to find two other greats. Mark Macdonald dominated at the faceoff X for a couple of years, including the Prep’s state title season of 2010, and Ryan Harding was a workhorse at the position for the Eagles the two years before Macdonald took over.

Each player had a different style.

Harding, who is headed into his senior year as a wrestler at Division 1 Duke University, used his background in wrestling to out-tough his opponent at the faceoff X, grinding out wins there as much as possible.

Macdonald seemed to be the most technically sound, out-maneuvering and out-thinking his opponent on most occasions. He’s still taking faceoffs in college, heading into his junior year at Division 1 Sacred Heart University.

Osbahr, meanwhile, was like a combination of both star specialists.

“What amazed me about Derek was that there were faceoffs I didn’t think he was going to be coming up with. There’d be a scrum and you’re saying to yourself, ‘There’s no way he’s getting it.’ Then, all of a sudden, he’s flipping the ball and running to offense,” Roy said. “The techniques he developed were amazing. He didn’t rely on one move. He’d rake it back, sometimes pop it in the air, and times where he would, instead of clamping it and pushing it forward, just push it forward and go and get it.”

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