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DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit)

Established 2007

Original 2007 Team Picture


AAU CLUB NAME: DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit)




DOGS will not be back in 2019 ... Foot surgeries (wife) have prevented me from scouting

February 14, 2019






 DOGS Basketball

 Mike Stephens: Head coach and founder of DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit). I am the father of 4 boys, the youngest recently graduated from Avon Lake High School and is currently a Sophomore at Ohio State. I moved with my family back in 2001 to Avon Lake, from Richmond, Virginia. I have been married to my wife Leslie, for 32 years. I work for M&T Bank and call on Boat and RV dealerships. I travel quite a bit and handle OH, IN, KY, IA, WI, and MN. I created DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit) because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the other clubs that were in the area.

 DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit): This is an AAU registered club that was started in 2007. It started as a single team of 7th grade boys that grew together, up until they graduated and then it started all over again with another group of 7th graders. The second group actually expanded to as many as 25 players. This allowed us to include more boys and we would break up into 2-3 teams and enter different tournaments each weekend. I do not believe in the “A” and “B” team concept. We all knew what we wanted and that was to get better and have fun doing it. 

 Beliefs behind the Club: FAMILY & SCHOOL come before basketball. I am “Old School” and feel that the boys should be able to participate in other sports while in school and not just basketball. If you have a family event, school event, church event, or your son needs to study for a test, that is where he should be, or studying… NOT at basketball practice, or games. My policy is that as long as I am notified in advance, it will not affect your son’s playing time. If he is playing a school sport, that should be his first priority. You will not find many cubs that allow for such flexibility. Over the years it has made DOGS very successful, because we get a great group of athletes and we all understand, just because you miss something, you are still responsible for finding out what was covered. This helps to build relationships among the players and responsibility. I am looking to help you build great young men that also enjoy basketball.

 Club Goal: DOGS (Defense Or Go Sit) provides boys with the opportunity to build their life skills, enhance their basketball skills and establish new friendships, while playing competitive basketball at a reasonable price.

 Plans for 2019 Club: Unlike most clubs, I don’t plan on having tryouts. I like to scout players (and parents) at school games and CYO games. I believe that seeing your son play in actual games is the best way to see what his strengths and weaknesses are and how he will fit into my program. I also like to see and speak with parents. There needs to be a positive relationship with parents, just as much as with the boys. I need to convince you, just as much as your son, that DOGS and myself will be a good experience for everyone involved. I have no problem supplying references for you to contact, to learn more about me and DOGS. I am planning on inviting 11-12 players to join DOGS. I will go to tournaments with 10 players. This enables 1-2 players per tournament to have a bye weekend. This works out very well when other obligations fall on tournament weekends, or if someone gets injured. This also should always give us at least 10 to practice (a couple may miss practice because of school sports, church, school, etc.). We will start practices in March and try to be done by mid May. This allows boys to play baseball, or parents to plan vacations. We will play in 7-8 tournaments and we will practice 2 times a week for 90 minutes each. Towards the end of the season, we may cut back to 1 practice a week. While winning is important, we play to get better and learn. I play everyone and try to keep playing time fairly even within the tournaments, not always games. If we need to win by a certain number of points to make the playoffs and play additional games, I may cut a rotation short, or make an additional substitution in a game, to enable us to play additional games that weekend. I will be trying to once again to get LCCC for our practices.

 Club Cost: I do my best to minimize the cost to play with DOGS. I bought reversible uniforms a few years ago, that I will supply and pick up at the end of the season. I will also provide a reversible jersey to be worn at all practices. I will divide the following by 12 to get your cost:

 ·        Tournaments entered (7-8) ………………..… approximately $285 per tournament … $2,280

 ·        Practice time at LCCC   (17 practices) approximately $60-$75 per practice ………...$1,020

 ·        Player registration fee for AAU … $16 per player …………………………………………….…. $192

 o   Total Cost per Player: $291

 The following players were my most recent DOGS…

 ·        AVON LAKE: Christian Stephens / David Marsh / Mark Pappas / Carson Toy

 ·        WESTLAKE: Noah Meek / Dylan Cole

 ·        BEREA-MIDPARK: Chad Elliott / John Russo / Jeff Petkac

 ·        NORTH OLMSTED: Josh Hufstetler / Andrew Bussman

 ·        BRECKSVILLE: Jared Bazil

 ·        ST. IGNATIOUS: Chris Yacobucci / Colin Nieberding / Sean Coyne

 ·        ST. EDWARDS: Bennett Sulen / Jon Politowski

 ·        AMHERST: Hunter Gibson / Dom Zappa

 ·        FIRELANDS: Colin Myers / Brad Soltis

 ·        BUCKEYE: Braeden Stauffer

 ·        MENTOR: Matt Bohanon

 ·        WELLINGTON: Trey Bealer

 ·        FIRST BAPTIST: Jovon Jones

 ·        STRONGSVILLE: Garrett D’Abato


I look forward to hearing from you.

 Coach Stephens



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