An E-Leader

Dofflemyer Does It All For Trailblazers

Posted: January 22, 2014

HARRISONBURG – Last season, shortly before a big Spotswood High School girls’ basketball games at Fort Defiance, Elizabeth Dofflemyer put herself in a locker, closed it and got stuck.

Teammate Tayler Dodson said the Trailblazers stalled coach Chris Dodson by pretending they weren’t dressed yet as others tried to free Dofflemyer, whose jersey was caught in the locker’s door. She got out, and the Blazers won 59-39 – their sixth victory in a 14-game winning streak en route to a Division 3 state championship.

It was the slightest of snags for Dofflemyer, but a perfect example of the behind-the-scenes “mischief” that the outgoing 16-year-old gets herself into.

Similarly, on the court, she’s a sneaky 5-foot-7 junior guard who has shown the ability to quietly take over a game by scheming on defense.

“I don’t think anybody is ever safe around her,” Dodson said. “The thing she does best is she’s learned to play solid defense with her hands off of people and allows them to make mistakes and capitalizes on them. She’s not overly aggressive.”

Dofflemyer has raised her steals-per-game average each year – from 3.8 as a freshman to 3.9 as a sophomore – and already has 72 steals this season for a Blazers team that is 14-1 overall and 7-0 in the Valley District. That’s an average of 4.8. And Dofflemyer, who also averages six rebounds, is turning those thefts into points more often than not, fueling Spotswood’s transition game while scoring 13.6 points per game.

Known simply as “E” by her teammates, Dofflemyer doesn’t quite fit a label on the hardwood. She’s too versatile. Calling her an elite on-ball defender isn’t enough, because the Port Republic native has earned a reputation of lurking in passing lanes to create turnovers off the ball.

Add in her uncanny ability to rebound out of nowhere – even on the offensive end against taller players – and it’s easy to see how Dofflemyer is able to churn out double-doubles and near triple-doubles seemingly on a nightly basis.

“E has been like our hidden gem for years, you know?” said Dodson. “E has been lucky to play with people who have drawn so much attention that her little Charlie Brown, Plain Jane looks a lot of times – she’s not flashy, she doesn’t amaze you on the floor until at the end of the night [when] you look at her stats.”

She can be sneaky off the court, too.

Take Sunday night for example. During a team sleepover at sophomore forward Taylor Bronaugh’s house, Dofflemyer and fellow junior guard McKenzie Jenkins – basketball teammates since they were 5 years old – spotted squirt-gun pistols on a shelf. After sneaking off to the bathroom to fill them up, the duo attacked unsuspecting seniors Tayler Dodson and Rachel Lindsay in the living room.

“We always get really hyper,” Dofflemyer said of her personality when paired with Jenkins. “… Stuff like that. We tend to be really hyper and happy.”

Coach Dodson said Dofflemyer has blossomed into a do-it-all guard with a short-term memory, quickly forgetting past plays whether they’re good or bad. Meanwhile, she’s also naturally become the good cop to Tayler Dodson’s bad cop.

“Tayler’s more the come-down-on-you leader and E is the pick-me-up girl,” Chris Dodson said.

Living on a mountain, Dofflemyer said she enjoys outdoor activities such as four-wheeling and sledding. The daughter of Tim and Annette Dofflemyer hopes to find a “hands-on” career in the science field. Her favorite subject right now is chemistry.

“I just like how we do a lot of labs in the class,” said Dofflemyer, who turned glass Christmas tree ornaments silver by mixing chemicals for a recent project. “So we do a lot of experiments and get to [work with] chemicals and new things. You’re not always sitting behind a desk.”

Perhaps influenced by her love for science, Dofflemyer is also a bit of a germaphobe who avoids sharing drinks and washes her hands often.

“I’m actually really superstitious,” said Dofflemyer, whose brother, Matt, recently graduated from SHS and is currently in boot camp with the Army. “I have a sweat towel that I always take that I have to have at every game. And if I don’t have it, I always think I’m going to play bad. I’ve had that since AAU. I believe my aunt gave it to me, because we had team towels and I never liked using other people’s towels. So my aunt gave me my own towel and I’ve had it ever since.”

Meanwhile, she’s developed a pretty good game on the court, learning to anticipate and pounce on unsuspecting ball-handlers.

“I watch their eyes and read their eyes to see where they’re passing it,” Dofflemyer said. “And if they’re dribbling and off guard – just relaxing kind of – it’s easier to just take the ball.”

That’s how the steals keep adding up for the endlessly energetic Dofflemyer. She currently has 287 career steals, and while she may not catch former teammate Bailey Williams – a freshman at Division I North Carolina-Greensboro who is Spotswood’s all-time leader with 506 steals – Dofflemyer will surely continue to climb the all-time list and stuff the stat sheet in other categories.

“That’s why she stands out so much. She’s so versatile,” Dodson said. “She has a mid-range game. She can go right and left. There’s not a lot of flaws to her skill set, and she plays at 100 mph all the time.”

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