Euclid, Ohio – The Euclid Panthers under Head Coach Tom Parker finished their season 7-16. Euclid and Parker have parted ways and now Justin Dobbins has taken over. Coach Dobbins thinks that his player/coach perspective on the game can have a positive impact on the group.
I got the chance to ask coach Dobbins what he thinks he can bring to the table.
“I come from a player and coaching standpoint…I trust my players with the ball, I trust them to make good decisions and the right decisions,” said Dobbins.
He has coached at Gilmour and even at the college level at Bard athletics. He has a high amount of playing experience as well playing collegiately at Eastern Michigan University. He also has played professionally in England, Kosovo and Switzerland.
Euclid is trying to move in a new direction as a whole. They will be missing several key pieces who have graduated. Pieces like all GCC guard Xavier Vann, another starter in Michael Moore, and Akil Wilkes who is another key rotational guy. Several players will have to take increased roles and step up, one of those players is Anthony Moore. He will be key for Euclid’s 2023-2024 campaign and he is fully aware of that. I asked Moore about a possible bigger role this season.
“I do have a pretty big role on the team," said Moore. "Trying to be a leader doing what I could do for the team. Hustling, playing defense, giving my all on offense.”
He also expressed the desire to score more offensively this season.
Another player who will have to step up is senior guard Malachi Spikes. I asked him what he will be able to bring to the table.
“I can help distribute the ball and play defense, that's what’s needed," said Spikes. "I say I can lead better than most people.”
Euclid’s season was ended by Canton McKinely last season in the 65-50 loss. They have the chance to make an early statement opening against Garfield. They struggled to get a win in conference play last season finishing 0-10 in the GCC. They also have the opportunity to make a statement early in the conference. Three of their first five games will be conference play games. The team has the right mindset to flip the switch and turn things around. With this surge of confidence combined with a fresh start I’m excited to see what’s in store for the Euclid Panthers.