Player Profile – Jimmy Mickle, Colorado Mamabird

by | January 18, 2011, 8:00am 0

Jimmy skying at the Junior Worlds Showcase Game in Amherst, MA

College Championships. World Championships. Club Championships. Not many college freshmen can say they have been to three of the most prestigious Ultimate tournaments in the world at the ripe age of 19. Jimmy Mickle can. Home grown talent in Colorado, Jimmy Mickle plays on University of Colorado Mamabird, and this past Summer played on the USA Junior Worlds team that brought home the gold. After winning gold, he helped Denver’s Johnny Bravo claim a Southwest Regional title as they marched on to Sarasota. Named 1st Team Freshmen of the Year only added to the young baller’s resume. Skyd catches up with Jimmy as he rests during his Winter break and prepares for an exciting Spring season of Ultimate.

How did you first get involved in Ultimate?

Jimmy Mickle: I first got involved in Ultimate because my brother played his senior year in high school, when I was in 8th grade. I would go to the park and throw with him and started playing pick-up going into freshman year of high school.

Did you play any other sports in High School? What is your favorite sport other than Ultimate?

JM: My favorite sport aside from ultimate is soccer. I played soccer all 4 years in high school, which is another reason I got involved in Ultimate; my freshman and sophomore year the Ultimate team was almost all soccer players.

Does anyone else in your family play Ultimate?

JM: I have a twin sister who plays ultimate for the University of Colorado Women’s team, Kali. many Regional Titles is that? Jimmy gets up over UCSB at Southwest Regionals.

Who are your heroes in Ultimate? Who do you strive to be like?

JM: My three favorite ultimate players are all former Mamabird players. Mac Taylor, Jolian Dahl, and Josh “Riktor”Ackley. I admire Mac’s composure on the field, he keeps his head up even after mistakes which is an important quality. Jolian’s intensity and fire are inspirational and make him a great player. Riktor, more than anyone I have ever met, knows how to play big in important games, and is so competitive he always does what it takes to will his team to victory.

Tell us about the Ultimate culture in Colorado? Why are there so many good players/teams from Colorado?

JM: I think it has a lot to do with the established program at the University of Colorado and the willingness for Ultimate players in Colorado to give back to the Ultimate community. Because of people like Jeff Berget, my high school coach, who find time to coach high school ultimate, manage youth leagues and tournaments, but also have careers, families and play on Bravo, the youth scene in the denver area is very developed. This established youth scene feeds players into the Colorado colleges and eventually into Colorado club teams. The established Mamabird program brings in players from across the nation and some of those players end up staying around.

What made you decide to play for Mamabird?

JM: Mamabird would play showcase games against Johnny Bravo at youth tournaments and to see that high level of play while I was still in high school made a big impact on me. After seeing what high caliber Ultimate looked like I wanted to develop my game and eventually get to that level. Also Mamabird players I knew from high school, such as Hylke Snieder, were very encouraging, and supportive, and gave me the advice I needed to be successful.

This past year you were on the USA Ultimate Junior World Championships Team. What was your favorite part of that experience? Which team was the most fun to play against?

JM: My favorite part of the experience was just getting to know – and bonding with – my teammates. The two weeks we had together to get to know one another and become a team was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  My favorite team to play against was Germany. We were the top teams out of our pool, the matchup we had was much anticipated and the crowd was huge and enthusiastic.

Last year you were awarded the FOTY in the Southwest Region. What positions did you play last year? Do you expect to play the same position again?

JM: Last year I played mostly as a d-line handler and I expect to do the same this year, but hopefully I will begin to develop as a downfield player also.

In 2009, Mamabird was in the Championship. Last year, Mamabird exited early in the pre-quarters to the UNCW Seamen. What have you and your team been doing to prepare for your 2010 run at the National Championship?

Junior Worlds: Gold

JM: I think everyone is more focused on both individual and team goals. The biggest team goal is to become more cohesive. We aren’t taking anything for granted and every player is working hard to become both a more physically and mentally dominant player.

This past year, you not only played at College Championships and Junior World Championships, but also the Club Championships with Johnny Bravo. Talk about the experience matching up against some of the best players in the country.

JM: It was an experience I will never forget. The club level is so different than college because everyone on the field has throws and vision. It took a while to get used to the fast level of play but it’s tremendous to stand on the line and mark up against some of the best players in the world. I can’t wait for next year.

What is your favorite college team to play against?

JM: I love playing against Carleton, we always seem to have close, fair games with them. Playing against some junior worlds teammates only adds to the fun.

There has been a restructure in the College Regions. In your opinion, who is your biggest rival in securing a bid to the College Championships?

JM: I don’t know much about the new region but I know Texas always puts together a strong team. But watch out for dark horse Air Force Academy .

Mamabird, Junior Worlds, and... Johnny Bravo. Colorado Club Sectionals

Favorite Cleat?

JM: Nike Speed TD.

Patagonia, 5, VC, Breakmark, Spin or Lookfly?

JM: Patagonia

Tebow or Orton?

JM: Tebow

What team is going to win the AFC West next year?

JM: Broncos

What are your goals for Ultimate? Championships?

JM: I want to become a dominant and respected player. I would also love at some point to coach and give back to the Ultimate community. There is nothing wrong with some championships.

What’s your favorite tournament to play in?

JM: The atmosphere at college nationals was more exciting than any other I have experienced. It had significantly more spectators than any other tournament I have attended, and I’m looking forward to it being in Boulder this year.

Check out Jimmy and the rest of the Junior World Championship team in a showcase game:

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