Jul 10, 2020
Easily recognizable standing tall at 6 feet 6 inches along the Cleveland Monsters blue line, defenseman Doyle Somerby’s reputation preceded him when head coach Mike Eaves joined the team at the start of the 2019-20 season.
“I knew a little about Doyle before I took the job from his time at Boston University and being captain. I could see he was a big lad and heard some things about him as far as his work ethic,” said Eaves. “Coming into camp, watching him firsthand and then having him through the season, [I really saw that] he is a big guy that moves well.”
Eaves had a front row seat as Somerby continued to advance his game in his third season with the Monsters. Avoiding complacency, Somerby approached every day with a proactive attitude looking to always work on what he could improve and keeping his game in top form.
“No matter what happened in the last game, Doyle was always coming in ready to work. He does a lot of these unsung things like blocking shots and it is phenomenal,” said Eaves. “You need to have defensemen who are up for it and willing to do that. He is hard to play against in terms of his physicality, and I think he is finding that fine line between taking penalties and being physical.”
Monsters fans have been able to see Somerby’s growth over the last three years since the defenseman has spent the entirety of his professional career with the organization. Somerby completed the most recent season appearing his 165th game putting him in sixth place in franchise history for games played among defenseman.
Outside of the rink, the Marblehead, MA, native spent the 2019-20 season continuing his community outreach across Northeast Ohio. A cornerstone of Somerby’s work involved participating in the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.
Much like his desire to constantly improve on the ice, Somerby had a similar mindset when it came to expanding the second year of his Real Men Wear Pink movement. The defenseman found ways to keep his fundraising fresh with new ideas, including meeting with people who had personally been affected by breast cancer at local events.
As a result of his many community efforts, Somerby was named the Cleveland Monsters’ IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for the second time in his career. Between his work in the community and improving his game, Somerby’s focus during the season was clear, concise and recognized by those around him.
“Doyle always came with a mindset of, ‘I want to control what I can control. I want to work on things that I can improve at and I want to match to work at the best of my ability,’” said Eaves. “That is why I think he has a chance to continue to grow and get to where he wants to because he has that kind of attitude.”