D espite being a first-year head coach, Duane Dodge touts his seven years in the program along with what he learned from departed basketball head coach Matt Usher and his time with baseball Coach Marc Lambert.
“They taught me a lot, both of them,” Dodge said last week.
“It’s very exciting – nervous, you get nervous because it’s all new to you, but I think Coach Usher’s taught me a lot and working with Coach Lambert helped a lot – I think I’m ready,” Dodge said. The new boys basketball coach said he plans to carry a 12-man roster for the season.
Because of his several years in the program, Dodge said, he has had some coaching interaction with every player on his roster at some level, something that will help him as head coach.
“It helps a lot. I’m familiar with them; they’re familiar with me. They know what to expect from me, which, I think is going to help them in practice and it has,” Dodge said. That familiarity is going to help cut down on the getting-to-know-a-new-coach learning curve, Dodge said, because he isn’t a new coach.
“I think that’s going to be an asset for us,” he said.
Although the team had less than a handful of practices before the preview interview, Dodge said he is certain his players will have to be strong on defense to compete in the always tough Wasaren League.
“We’re going to have to be a defensive team, but it’s hard to say when I don’t even know my starters; will they be offensive starters or defensive starters?” Dodge said.
As the season and preparations move along, Dodge said, he expects to have a better sense of the team and its capabilities, but he said he can’t picture the team being a high-powered offensive group so it will need to limit other team’s scoring to win.
Dodge said a defensive outlook and mindset fit his outlook nicely. He said the work right now is trying to put players into positions where they can be successful at what they’re good at, not trying to be something they’re not.
“We’re going to be deep with the 12-man roster,” he said. This team will feature fewer standout athletes or stars, but should offer up a consistent level of performance across the board from player to player.
Dodge said this facet is another plus when it comes to running a competitive, challenging practice to help hone the team’s skills as the players start the season.
“That’s what we’re going to have to do to be successful,” he said.
Although he expects to know more following the league meeting, after talking to the other coaches, Dodge said, he has heard of some players moving around but can’t really say how the league shapes up.
Granville opened up the regular season on the road at Tamarac on Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. winning 52-33.