Sellers taking the lead

Posted 11/20/09

Air Force junior defenseman Brad Sellers is adjusting just fine to his change in roles this season. A year ago, the Centennial product was the …

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Sellers taking the lead


Air Force junior defenseman Brad Sellers is adjusting just fine to his change in roles this season.

A year ago, the Centennial product was the youngest of four returning defenders. Yet with the graduation of All-American Greg Flynn and fellow senior Michael Mayra, Sellers has been cast into a leadership role on the blue line.

Having a player like Flynn to look up to and learn from definitely helped Sellers to mature as a player though.

“I think the main thing I learned from him was just to play with intensity every play, because that was his whole game,” Sellers said. “It was never backing down, just getting your nose dirty and always going 100 percent. That’s what I took from him.”

Now, Sellers is sharing that with this year’s Air Force team, one which has just two upperclassmen — Sellers and senior Brett Nylander — rotating through the three defensive lines.

“It’s different,” he said. “Before I had all these other defensemen I was looking at and looking up to, and now I’m switching the role to where I have to set the good example and try to help coach the younger players on the defense, pointing subtle stuff out for them to work on.”

According to head coach Frank Serratore, Sellers, who is more of a lead-by-example kind of guy, is adapting just fine to his role as a leader.

“He’s not a big talker,” Serratore said. “But he just gets it done and guys see that he brings his game every day to practice, and because of it he’s got a lot of respect from his teammates.”

It’s a game that Serratore has not had to spend a lot of time polishing either.

“Sellers is one of the most low-maintenance players on the team,” he said. “His strength as a player is that he doesn’t have a weakness. He’s a very good all-around player, and he’s a guy that I hardly have to coach, because his habits as a player are so good. He came from junior hockey with very good habits and is able to play in all types of situations for us.”

The Cherry Creek graduate spent two years with the Springfield Junior Blues of the North American Hockey League before returning to his home state to play for the Falcons, a decision that was made partially due to the strong academics the academy has and partially due to the growing strength of the hockey program.

The team won its first of three consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association tournament championships the year before Sellers arrived, and he is hoping that the blue and white will be able to accomplish two more while he is here.

“If there is a legacy I’d want to leave it’s four championships in my four years here,” he said, adding that no moment has meant more to him thus far than beating Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year.

“Michigan is just one of those schools growing up, you are like ‘oh, I’d love to play there,’” he said. “It’s got all the tradition and history behind it, and to be able to beat them in the NCAA tournament and then to go on and just come within a couple seconds of going to the Frozen Four that’s got to be the highlight so far.”

With the ship now righted after a rough start, the sky is the limit for this future pilot and the rest of the Falcons.

Sellers, one of three Colorado players on Air Force’s roster, along with Colorado Springs’ Kyle De Laurell and Woodland Park’s Sean Bertsch, is part of what appears to be a wave of homegrown talent coming into the Air Force program.

“Air Force has three Colorado players on their future commit list, so you are going to see even more of a Colorado flavor in this program in the years to come,” Serratore said.

NCAA regulations won’t allow Serratore to disclose who those commits are at this point in time.


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