Jacob Alexander A Key FOGO Component of FHS LAX Success

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Franklin High senior Jacob Alexander, the team’s “FOGO,” has won over 1,200 face-offs and is an integral part of the team.
Issue Date: 
July, 2019
Article Body: 

Lacrosse basically has four general position groups: goaltenders, defenders, midfielders, and attackers. And while these all sound familiar, some lacrosse teams can also have a FOGO. The term is relatively new in the sport. It stands for Face Off Get Off. It’s used to categorize a player whose job is extremely specific: win the face off, give the ball to a teammate, and then get off the field.
For years, the player who took face-offs for a team could be any midfielder or attacker. They’d stay on the field and contribute to the rest of the game. But when coaches realized what can happen when your face off taker is dominant instead of just serviceable, they started looking for specialists.
Franklin High School has one such athlete on its lacrosse team in Jacob Alexander.
“Outside the goalie, the FOGO is the second most important position on the field,” Franklin Coach Lou Verrochi said. “Jacob is a tough kid who works his butt off and understands the importance of the position; win the face off then get off the field to be fresh for the next one.”
Although a FOGO for the Panthers Alexander can continue to stay on the field if needed. According to his Coach, he’s a very good midfielder who can help the team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Despite being on the field for short amounts of time the Franklin senior takes his position very seriously.
“I’m on the field for about 15-45 seconds at a time, but I take about 25 face-offs during a typical game,” Alexander said. “It was during the seventh grade when I was thrown into the position and when I continued to win face-offs, I stuck with it and began to practice more. It’s a game within a game.”
At 5’7’’ and 170 lbs. Alexander is not a very big individual, but is very powerful on face-offs.
“I believe that I have had success because of my reaction and hand speed, but my low center of gravity gives me a really big edge,” Alexander said. “I’m going up against much bigger athletes but I feel that I can win face-offs with my strength. My 170 pounds is mostly muscle and despite my lack of height my strength is my greatest asset.”
The Panther Coach believes that why this is true there is more to it.
“His repertoire of moves earns him a lot of face-off wins,” Verrochi said. “He is a very important key to our success, as he gets us many more positions due to his ability to get us the ball.”
Alexander got hooked on lacrosse when his friend’s father, who was a lacrosse coach, told him to check the sport out. The then third grader gave it a try and although he was not 100% behind it back then he continued to play the sport.
“I couldn’t get behind the sport at first as I really wasn’t that good, but the more I played, I began to feel the sport was for me,” he said. “Eventually, I realized that I could go somewhere with lacrosse.”
One year after finding lacrosse, he gave up on baseball to play his new sport and has never looked back. After playing football during his first two years of high school, he gave that up as well to concentrate fully on his lacrosse career. With no other sports on his plate, he began playing club lacrosse for the Central Mass Kings during the summer and fall seasons to work on his game.
The improvement in his game has given the Franklin resident an opportunity to take his game to the next level.
“I really enjoyed the sport and wanted to make something of it. When I realized that I not only had a passion for the game, but I was good at it, I had a feeling that I might be able to do something with this,” he said. “I was hoping that I could go on and play Division 1 lacrosse on the collegiate level although I strongly felt that I would play Division 2 or 3 instead of 1.”
As Alexander continued to win face-offs and the Panthers continued to win, the Franklin athlete would soon be finding out that his ultimate dreams were about to come true.
“I play an important part on the team, but the success is not mine. There is a great team around me both on offense and defense as well as out goalie,” Alexander said. “We’re not a one-dimensional team, and I am just a small part of it getting us in position to get the ball.”
Come the conclusion of this year’s season, the FOGO will be taking his skills to nearby Bryant University in Smithfield, RI.
Although it has not been verified, it is believed that the Franklin lacrosse player holds the National face-off record. The coaching staff had read online that the national record during a high school career was 1,151 wins, Alexander has well over 1,200.
“If it’s true, it would be cool and all, but I’m still playing and am focused on that,” the Franklin senior said. “Our end goal is to win the State Championship, once we complete that then I’ll worry about the realization of the record.”
Franklin completed the regular season with a 16-2 record earning themselves a two seed in the Division 1 South Tournament, which had yet to get underway at the time of this writing.
When Franklin’s season does eventually come to an end, Alexander will off to the Faceoff Factory in Natick as well as an overnight camp with the Bryant Lacrosse Program to get ready for the next part of his career.