Nov. 7, 2013
By Macaulie Fritz, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
There is nothing that describes fifth year senior, Bryce Dobbins, better than the word independent. Although he loathes the thought of leaving Michigan State, the senior goalkeeper is ready to be off on his own, blazing his on trail.
"This campus is awesome in every way," said Dobbins. "I'll probably miss just the atmosphere. Not as far as it being a college town, but just all of campus. This is Michigan State. Everyone in this area is a supporter of MSU. It's like a big 50,000 person family. You just know wherever you go, you have something in common with everyone else."
The advertising and digital marketing major has always learned new things on his own that make him a distinctive person. The Troy, Mich., native, Dobbins produces videos for the team, his most recent being the "Join the Chain." It was something he and assistant coach Kylie Stannard worked on over the summer and during preseason. When asked if it was something he'd like to do for his career he simply said no, although he hopes it will help when it comes to interviewing for jobs and he has something like those videos to highlight his skills off the field.
"I'm not trying to make movies for the rest of my life, but it's fun," said Dobbins. "It's a hobby. It's just something I enjoy doing lately. I don't consider it work; it relaxes me. It was just something to bring everyone who supports our team together. It was a lot of fun."
He doesn't stop there. Dobbins also expanded his creative side as he recently has delved into photography. He was asked to take some pictures of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on campus. Dobbins explains that doing things like that doesn't feel like a homework assignment, but it's actually something he enjoys doing.
"It comes from my dad," said Dobbins. "He has big, fancy cameras. I just put on the `GoPro' that I have that does video and at the same time takes really high quality pictures."
Dobbins' influence to play soccer also stems from his father, who always had his son and daughter playing sports. A huge athlete himself when he was younger, Dobbins' father wanted his children to take what they learned in sports and apply it to their daily lives.
"He wanted to make sure we were always playing sports to mold our character," explains Dobbins. "When we're done with practice he wasn't just like `how was practice? Okay, that's good.' It was, `what'd you learn today? how can you get better?' I've taken life values away from that and that's my dad's touch."
Michigan State, who recently reached No. 1 in the RPI poll for the first time in school history, still has goals to accomplish for the rest of the season. The main one being to win the Big Ten Championship title and Dobbins is dedicated to helping in any way that he can.
"I just want to do whatever I can to make the team successful," Dobbins said.
Head coach Damon Rensing agrees that Dobbins is fully committed to the team and whatever it takes to contribute.
"He is a guy who brings a lot of energy and a lot of fun to the team," said Rensing. "He is willing to do whatever it takes to help. Anytime you put the team first, that says a lot about somebody's character. To me, Bryce has got great character."
The team is like a brotherhood to Dobbins. He knows he will always have their backs and at the same time he knows they have his. To him, he enjoys the long hours spent together. Even though they are with each other almost all day every day, especially in season, they don't get sick of each other.
Dobbins believes he brings and element to the team similar to that of Michigan State soccer alum Joe Gregus. A fifth-year senior and goalkeeper himself, Gregus contributed the extra little bit of motivation for the team.
"I don't know how to explain it, but I'm kind of that hype up guy," said Dobbins.
When asked why he believes he's so independent, Dobbins explains that he doesn't want people to think he's a loner. He still loves being around people, he just appreciates doing things his way and having his own space. He's not really sure why he's so independent, but he likes being different and doing stuff on his own.
"That's kind of like my character; independent. I'm just an independent woman," said Dobbins.