When Coppell alum Gavin Osteen reflects on being named the offensive most valuable player of the Texas High School Lacrosse League Class A state championship game, he thinks back to all of the times that he shot the ball at a goal that was guarded by his older brother, Gunnar.
Gavin always saw Gunnar outside practicing, and Gavin was quick to join his brother. The two siblings spent hours playing lacrosse with Gunnar playing goalie and Gavin shooting the ball at him.
As for any advice that Gunnar had for Gavin, he told Gavin to work on his own.
“That’s how I was able to set myself apart,” Gavin said. “I always tried to outwork everybody as much as I could. No matter the situation or the circumstances that I had, I was always the one that was out there, on the field asking for extra lessons, asking for extra practice, asking for extra reps.”
The mindset that Gavin developed to try and outwork everyone else was instilled at him from a young age by his father, Jerry. Jerry, who was Gavin’s football coach, implored his son to work hard during the offseason and also encouraged him to play as many sports as possible.
Gavin first took up flag football when he was 4 years old, and when he was 7, he began playing guard. And it was around that same time when he first gave lacrosse a try. He did it because of his brother.
“He had more knowledge of what he was getting into than me and I wanted to follow in his shoes,” Gavin said. “That's why I wanted to start playing.”
Gavin was never the fastest or the biggest player or the field. These days, he stands 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 185 pounds. But his love for lacrosse pushed him through any unforeseen obstacles.
Eventually, Gavin was picked up by the Dallas Mustangs club team before earning a spot on the Iron Horse select team, which is coached by Dallas Jesuit head coach Chris Surran, his freshman year in high school.
All the while, Gavin was balancing football with lacrosse. He played on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys, both as a wide receiver and safety.
As a senior, Gavin was hoping to get recruited by a college to play football. However, that plan didn’t work out the way that he had wanted. So, as the start of the lacrosse season neared, Gavin came into practice with the mindset to not only be the hardest worker on the team but also to get recruited to play college lacrosse.
"I wouldn't say that it brought back my love, because I had always loved it,” he said. “But it boosted my love for the sport, and I realized that I wanted to play lacrosse in college. I knew that my coaches and my select coaches would help me out with that. I talked with them and told them that I really want to get recruited for this and I wanted to play this."
With college on his mind, Gavin knew that he couldn’t look that far ahead just yet. His focus was on helping to bring a fourth state title to Coppell.
Prior to this year, the Cowboys hadn’t won a state championship in boys lacrosse since 2011 – the last of three straight titles won by Coppell, which also won first place in 2009 and 2010.
Led by its 12 seniors, Coppell entered the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in Class A. The Cowboys won their first-round matchup against Round Rock, which was forced to forfeit due to COVID-19 concerns within its program.
Coppell made the short drive to Allen to play Houston Strake Jesuit during a Class A Super Regional on May 2. The Cowboys made Allen their home away from home, cruising to a 13-5 victory over Strake Jesuit.
Gavin’s biggest moment in the playoffs came in the state semifinals against St. Mark’s School of Texas. He scored six goals as Coppell rallied from an early two-goal deficit to earn a 10-8 victory over the Dallas-based private school.
In the state championship game, Coppell overcome another deficit to defeat Austin Vandegrift, 5-4. Gavin was named the game’s offensive MVP. During the postgame ceremony, he celebrated with many of the same teammates that he has played with since he was 7 years old.
"It was just awesome,” he said. “It's kind of hard to describe the feeling because it was so built up, and I'm so glad on the last year that I played with Coppell that I was able to win a state championship not only for our team but for the entire city. Getting the award was kind of the cherry on top as far as solidifying one of the best experiences that I've ever had."
With his quest for a state championship complete, Gavin switched his focus to college.
Jacksonville University was the first college to reach out to Gavin. All it took to convince him that Jacksonville was the best fit for him was one conversation with head coach John Galloway.
Gavin said that he was “awe-struck” by how well everyone in the Dolphins’ program carried themselves. He committed to Jacksonville on June 25.
“Coach Galloway, as soon as I met him, I was dead set that this was the coach that I wanted to play for,” he said. “He's extremely respectful, well-spoken, carries himself with this kind of swagger that made you want to play for him.”