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Male Student-Athlete: Ridley’s Harshaw uses smarts to play defense

Saturday, 12th April 2008

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/12/08

Ridley defender John Harshaw believes that playing good defense means playing smart defense.

“I study the opponents and pay attention to what they do,” he said. “It takes a lot of knowledge to be in the right position.”

Harshaw, a junior, is the backbone of a Ridley defense that has helped the Green Raiders to an 8-1 start and a ranking of fifth by He also boasts a 3.7 GPA, has been serving as secretary in the school’s senate for three years and is considering majoring in mechanical engineering when he goes to college.

This has earned Harshaw the Laxzilla/ Male Student-Athlete of the Week.

Thanks to Harshaw and the Raiders’ defense, Ridley is allowing fewer than five goals a game. On Tuesday the Raiders earned their biggest victory, a 6-4 triumph over two-time defending Central league champion Conestoga.

Harshaw said the Raiders’ defense works together in front of goalie Scott Kellett.

“You have to know how to rotate,” Harshaw said. “We play good team defense; we always back each other up.”

Harshaw also must overcome the fact he is not tall. “I need to play positionally well and body up my man,” he said.

Ridley coach Kevin Ellers said Harshaw is the consummate team player.

“He is just a relentless and tireless worker,” Ellers said. “He is the prototypical team player.

“He never shies away from a challenge, he is just an outstanding person. You don’t notice him because he does all the little things. But when you look back he always has a good game.”

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