By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
A key force in Holland Hall’s defense is Owen Ostroski.
If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because his father Jerry Ostroski was a standout offensive lineman at the University of Tulsa and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in the 1990s and was recently a talk show host on local sports radio before taking a position with his alma mater.
Having his dad play the game of football has been of benefit for the younger Ostroski.
“It’s been pretty awesome,” said Ostroski, a 6’2″, 245-pound senior). “It’s great to have someone in my family who knows football better than almost everybody else in the world, basically. He’s an expert for sure. He knows everything on and off the field. He’s been through the recruiting stuff, along with my older brother (Jackson Ostroski, now at Drake). We’ll watch game film together, he’ll critique my play and tell me what I need to do better.
“Friday nights after games, when I get home, no matter how late it is, he’ll set up the dinner table and talk about the game,” Ostroski said. “It’s pretty cool because there’s not many people who have a resource like him. I’m just pretty fortunate to have him.”
Of course, Owen Ostroski plays on the other side of the line from where his father played. Owen had played offensive line in the past like his father did, but now rotates between tight end and fullback for the Dutchmen.
Ostroski committed to Army with an announcement on Twitter back on Sept. 15.
He chose the Black Knights over Navy, Hawaii, New Mexico and several other schools in the northeast. Ostroski also had offers from Drake, where his brother Jackson plays, Central Arkansas, Abilene Christian, Kent State, Washburn, Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma.
Ostroski has played offensive line in the past, but now plays the line primarily on defense while alternating between tight end and fullback on offense. He also throws the shot put in track and field.
“I never really thought of it as a responsibility,” he said. “It’s just more fun that you get to play football. It’s fun to do different stuff and not specializing. Playing a bunch of positions makes it a little more fun, a little more interesting, a little more challenging and everything, too.”
In the 2020 VYPE Oklahoma Pigskin Preview, Ostroski is listed as a top 100 player and refers to him as the current day “Big O.” His father is known by that name in sports media.
The publication also said that he is “proving he has the skills to be a dominant force on the defensive line, but with the mobility and durability to go both ways for the Dutch.”
“I wouldn’t say the modern day ‘Big O.’ My dad is still the ‘Big O,’” Ostroski said. “But I don’t disagree with any of that. I think it’s all true.”
Last season, Ostroski led the team in tackles with 119 stops, 40 for loss and 10 sacks. He also had three blocked punts.
In the season opener at Cascia Hall, he forced nine solo tackles. 6 ½ for loss, two sacks, two assisted stops, four quarterback hurries and one forced fumble in Holland Hall’s 49-0 rout of the Commandos.
What Ostroski likes most about the game of football is “hitting people,” he said. “There is nothing more fun than smashing heads with somebody. Throwing the quarterback down is fun.”
Tory Carter of LSU is Ostroski’s favorite NCAA D-I player, a tight end/fullback for LSU. “I like him as much as I do because of his attitude, how he carries himself. Just watching him on kickoffs, running down the field and murder people off the bat, it’s pretty fun. He is awesome to watch. I’d say we’re identical with the way we play. He’s awesome.”
Ostroski believes that this year’s version of the Dutchmen is “something special.”
“We have an amazing group of guys,” Ostroski said. “The coaches are an amazing group of coaches. Everybody needs to buy into what we’re doing and everything. When that happens, something amazing will happen.”
Holland Hall hosted Metro Christian and Mannford down the latter stretch of last month. Their schedule in October has games at Central (Oct. 2), at home against Vinita (Oct. 9) and Berryhill (Oct. 15), on the road Jay (Oct. 23), at home vs. Verdigris (Oct. 30) and the regular season finale at Inola (Nov. 6).