TOP FRESH­MAN: Al­y­see Dobbs

The Covington News - - SPORTS - TAYLOR ROBINS sports@cov­

When one thinks of a leader in a high school sport, one would au­to­mat­i­cally place an up­per­class­men in that cat­e­gory.

How­ever, East­side’s Al­y­see Dobbs shows a fresh­man player can lead as well. This was enough to place her as The Cov

in­g­ton News’ Fresh­man Bas­ket­ball Player of the Year.

“I con­sider her as a leader,” said East­side girls’ bas­ket­ball coach Gla­dys King. “And some­times you don’t have to name your cap­tains. Some­times peo­ple just fol­low your lead and you lead by ex­am­ple. And (Dobbs) did a re­ally good job of lead­ing by ex­am­ple this year. Lead­ers are not al­ways vo­cal. They just get the job done. And when I tell you Al­y­see works hard at prac­tice, she works hard at prac­tice. She’s go­ing to give you 100 per­cent.”

For Dobbs, it was grat­i­fy­ing for her to see her tal­ents and ef­fort rec­og­nized in

her first year of high school.

“I feel hon­ored,” Dobbs said.

As a ninth grader, Dobbs started at guard for a young and re­build­ing girls squad.

The 5-foot-9 15-year-old could eas­ily just be a de­fen­sive threat, but Dobbs pushes her­self to be an of­fen­sive dou­ble threat as well. After the lead­ing scorer for the Lady Ea­gles grad­u­ated last year, Dobbs did not shy away from fill­ing that spot, tal­ly­ing 20 points a game.

“She is able to score,” said King. “She wanted to score. She re­al­ized that we didn’t have that and that some­one had to shoot the ball. She wasn’t afraid to do that. In or­der to win games you have to play de­fense but you also have to put the ball up. She re­al­ized that.”

Dobbs has been play­ing bas­ket­ball since she was seven years old. A twosport stand­out at East­side, she splits her tal­ents be­tween bas­ket­ball and soft­ball. Dobbs plans to con­tinue sports for the rest of her time in high school and when she gets to col­lege.

The young pow­er­house credits her first year suc­cess to hard work, East­side’s coach­ing staff and her fel­low team­mates. Bond­ing with the coaches and her team­mates is Dobbs’ fa­vorite part about play­ing sports.

“Meet­ing Coach King was great for me,” said Dobbs. “She had a lot of great point­ers for my shot, my de­fense and every­thing. She helped me out through my whole sea­son. She al­ways had a good at­ti­tude. She never let us down.

“With the coaches and team­mates I had, we pushed to­gether and we played harder, they taught me more and we just kind of bonded through bas­ket­ball. The more we played to­gether and the more heart we give in the game, we can all play to­gether bet­ter on the court.”

Al­though Dobbs’ is one of the many key com­po­nents to the Lady Ea­gles’ bas­ket­ball pro­gram, she feels that there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment – specif­i­cally in her drib­bling, shoot­ing and pass­ing.

But de­vel­op­ment aside, King said she doesn’t have to think too hard to talk about the good she al­ready sees in her fresh­man star.

“There’s a lot that I can say about Al­y­see,” said King. “I mean, as a fresh­man com­ing in, I’m re­ally im­pressed with her drive to work hard. Com­ing in the gym and want­ing to get bet­ter. Not only just in the gym but at home. She works on shoot­ing and get­ting her shots up at home in the drive way. That tells me how com­mit­ted she is to the pro­gram.”

Dobbs de­scribes East­side’s game with the Lady Semi­noles as her fa­vorite game from this sea­son. In that game, Dobbs sank 18 points, help­ing the Lady Ea­gles to a 47-41 win. East­side ended its 2016-17 cam­paign with a 5-19 record and a 3-9 Re­gion 4-AAAA mark.

But with Dobbs, and other promis­ing play­ers around her, King be­lieves the fu­ture for Dobbs – and the pro­gram – is bright.

“She al­ways leads the way pretty much on of­fense,” said King. “The only thing she can do is el­e­vate know­ing what to ex­pect from the var­sity level. I’m very ex­cited for her. I hope she uses this award as a tool to get bet­ter and bet­ter each year.”

An­thony Banks | The Cov­ing­ton News

East­side fresh­man Al­y­see Dobbs was a model leader for the Lady Ea­gles dur­ing this sea­son.

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