— by Taylor Kennedy
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — It has been more than 100 days since Fairmont Senior’s Zycheus Dobbs hit a floater at the buzzer, clinching the Polar Bears’ Class AAA championship and third state title since 2016 in the process by virtue of a 60-59 victory against Shady Spring.
Dobbs has remained busy following his late-game heroics in March. He jumped right into the AAU realm and has not taken his foot off the gas, especially during the recent three-week period for the Polar Bears.
“Since March, I have gotten stronger overall,” Dobbs said. “I have also become more consistent with my jump shots.”
Despite his continuous focus on getting stronger, Dobbs is not yet where he wants to be, especially when factoring in his aspiration of being a future college basketball player.
“I just need to continue getting stronger and gaining better knowledge on the game,” Dobbs said. “I feel like a huge part of making it to the next level is how you handle certain situations on the court.”
Dobbs is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign. The guard averaged 15 points per game and was a major asset defensively, which helped to earn him first-team all-state honors.
Dobbs has received help in various ways throughout his basketball career, including from older brother Zyon Dobbs, who was an all-state selection at Fairmont Senior, before going on to play at James Madison and presently Fairmont State.
However, nobody has been quite as influential to Zycheus Dobbs as his father Deon Dobbs, who helps coach his AAU team ESF Elite.
A former Polar Bear standout, Deon Dobbs was tabbed as a 1995 Class AAA first-team all-state selection. He averaged 20 points his senior season, which helped Fairmont Senior to the state semifinals in Charleston. Following high school, Deon played three seasons at Marshall.
“My dad has been the biggest part in the growth my game has made because we are constantly in the gym getting better,” Zycheus noted. “He knows my game better than I do, so he knows what I must work on to improve. He plays a huge part in my game.”
Dobbs has gone on several unofficial visits to Division I programs — Central Florida, Miami Ohio and Stetson.
“It’s been a wonderful experience just to see the different things the schools have to offer,” Dobbs said. “Seeing how the players workout and how hard they work guides me on what it takes to get to the next level.”
The Polar Bears lost various critical components from last season’s team, including center Eric Smith, a 6-foot-6 post presence who made major strides before moving on to Miami Ohio to begin his football career.
“I feel like with the team we have this year, I will have to improve on my rebounding,” Dobbs said. “We are a smaller team with losing Eric, so I will have to work on rebounding.”
Fairmont Senior will, however, return Class AAA all-tournament honoree DeSean Goode for one more season.
The 6-foot-6 Goode and Dobbs will be the team’s unquestioned leaders.
“I want to lead my peers by example,” Dobbs noted. “I’m not the most vocal guy, but I want to go hard every play and give everything 100 percent in practice. I believe my teammates will feed off my energy if I do that.”