If you play ultimate in Montgomery, chances are you have been skyed by Michael Sellers. Standing at 5’9, 160 pounds with a vertical of 30 inches: this kid is a monster on the field. A sophomore at Trinity high school, and one of last year’s Alabama state ultimate champions, this beast of an ultimate player is a major up and comer. Sellers has been playing this sport for almost five years and has quickly become one of the best players in all of Alabama.
But he’s not only an amazing Ultimate player, Sellers is a highly talented wide receiver and a D-1 prospect baseball player. He attends highly regarded baseball and football camps all over the country. Below is my interview with Michael:
Michael Fritz: Where did you hear about ultimate?
Michael Sellers: I first heard about ultimate in the 7th or 8th grade. One day after church, one of my friends invited me out to play with him that afternoon. I said why not and went out and found that it was a group of about 30 people who just liked to have fun and play ultimate, and I’ve been going ever since.
Where do you play Ultimate?
I play ultimate on Sunday afternoons on a field in the middle of my friend’s neighborhood, as well as playing on Thursday nights at a lighted soccer facility. Thursday is a more serious day than Sunday, but Saturday morning is when our team actually practices.
What do you like about the sport?
There are many things I like about ultimate, but if I had to pick one of them I would say the fact that you are always moving and must make decisions fast and on the go. It’s a high speed game unlike most other sports, because you go from offense to defense in a second, with no time to recover. It definitely keeps me on my toes, not to mention in great shape.
What position do you play?
On the adult team, the DreamStars, I’m either a popper or a streaker on offense, depending on who else we have on the field. On the Montgomery high school team I switch from popper to handler when needed. There are too many good handlers on the DreamStars for me ever to be needed to handle, but there aren’t as many on the high school team, so I do my best to pick up the slack.
Where do you want to go in the sport?
I think it would be really cool to play ultimate in college, but I’m not really sure whether or not that would actually be a possibility. If the opportunity ever presents itself, I’ll definitely take it.
Who are some players you admire?
I’ve never really seen any ultimate on TV before, and I don’t follow the leagues very closely, but I have a few people that I look up to that I play with every week. Some of them would be Charles Kohn, Daniel Ingram, Andrew Trent, and John Foeller.
You are one of two high school players to make the Montgomery DreamStars travel team, what is it like playing amongst college kids and adults who have played this sport their whole life?
It’s a challenge, but a good one. It makes me want to get better and work harder. When one of the adults or college kids corrects something I’m doing I can always take it seriously because they all know what they’re talking about.
What are your favorite tournaments you’ve played in and why?
This is a tough one. If I had to rank my top three, third place would be the 2011 CCUT Varsity Challenge here in Montgomery. This is a high school only tournament where the other high schooler on the DreamStars and I put together a team and went up against all the high schools with teams. We ended up going undefeated through the entire weekend, including a close championship victory over a team that was easily supposed to beat us. The best part of this tournament, however, was after our team was presented with the trophy, I was given the MVP award, which was a golden Frisbee. In second place would be Surf N’ Turf 2012 in Destin, FL. This is one of my favorite tournaments of all time because it puts two of my favorite things together: ultimate and the beach. I am extremely competitive, but I can easily accept losing when I can just run about 30 yards and hop into the ocean. My all-time favorite tournament is actually my most recent one, and that would be Huckfest 2012 in Huntsville, AL. This is my top one because this is where I finally got to prove myself to everyone that I could really play. Up to this point, I felt like I didn’t get as much playing time since I was a teenager. However, this time I got a good bit of playing time, and I did really well.
Who is your favorite team to play against in tournaments and why?
We played a team from New York at Surf N’ Turf named the Huckin’ Blowfish, and we knew from the start that they were going to be a fun group. Not only did they give us a great game that came down to universal point, but they won the spirit award for the entire tournament. They gave us playing cards as MVP awards, shared tents with us, and just made the game more fun in general.
You will be competing in the USAU High School Tournament this year, how is playing in high school tournaments different from playing in some of the more competitive adult tournaments you’ve been to?
Though our high school team isn’t as good as the adult team, it is still fun to play on the team. It’s different in lots of ways, but one of the biggest is the lack of experience in ultimate. The team is full of athletes, and that’s the only reason that we’re any good. I believe that if we got together and played in more tournaments as a team, we could be really good as we gain experience. Another big difference is the position I play. As I noted, on the adult team I’m a popper and a cutter, but on the high school team, I’m more of a handler. This is definitely a challenge, but it forces me to work on my handling skills, which in turn leads to me becoming a more well-rounded player that can play anywhere whenever my team needs me.
Here’s a couple Michael Sellers trick shots: