A senior post player on Carroll County’s girls’ basketball team, Rachel Sellers helped guide the Lady Cavaliers near the top of the mountain in both her seasons on the varsity team.
The team’s leading rebounder and shot blocker during the 2012-13 campaign, Sellers helped Carroll County finish with 16 wins as the Cavs won another Southwest District Tournament championship and advanced to the Region IV semifinals. As a junior a year ago, she was also a key part of the team that swept through the Southwest District, won the Region IV championship and beat Staunton River in the Group AA quarterfinals, earning a trip to Richmond for the state’s Final Four. This week, we catch with Rachel as she reflects on her high school career.
Rachel, you were the team’s defensive leader this season, leading the team in rebounds and shot blocks. Which are you most proud of? I’d say the shots I blocked, because not only does it get the crowd excited but it’s an awesome feeling to reject somebody’s shot.
Did you ever feel undersized playing center at 5-7? Yes, especially regarding my height. I never felt weaker than another player, but when girls that were guarding me were close to 6 foot it was definitely hard to be an offensive threat.
What was it like backing up Shyann Dalton last year as a junior, and what did you learn from her? It was a great learning experience for me. I was challenged everyday in practice last year and ultimately I think it made me better. She became one of my best friends on the team and she was a great role model.
Coach Motley says you “giggle about everything.” What does he mean exactly, and how do you feel about that? Anybody that knows me would say that I’m always either smiling or laughing. It doesn’t take much at all to get me to grin. I’d rather be known for giggling and smiling all the time than frowning or complaining.
Why do your fellow teammates call you the “mom of the basketball team?” I’m always the sensible one and most of them time I can stay calm in high-stress situations. I think analytically and I have a motherly, caring personality I guess you could say.
Coach says you hit the floor harder than any player he’s ever had. Where does that come from, and do you have a lot of battle scars for your efforts? I’ve always had a “give it everything” mentality when I’ve played. It’s hard for me not to fight someone for a loose ball and to just let them have it easily. I find it bothersome when someone doesn’t get after it on the court because you never know what that extra dive on the floor could do. As far as battle scars go, I always used to joke around and say that I was going to need knee replacements before it was all said and done.
Coach Motley says you can be a little clumsy at times, and some of your teammates want to know if you’ve ever stunt doubled for Scooby Doo because of the way you run. Help us understand what they are talking about, Rachel. Lets just say that I’m really, really good at embarrassing myself. Last year we were watching film and everyone noticed/commented on how funny I looked when I changed directions while I was playing. Apparently, I run in place for a second and move my arms real fast and then take off. It was really embarrassing to watch myself on film and everyone got a good laugh out of it.
What are your thoughts on this past basketball season that ended with another Southwest District Tournament championship and a trip to the Region IV semifinals? I’m proud of what we accomplished, because everything we earned this year we had to work extremely hard for. It’s one of the best feelings too, knowing that we got the last say in the SouthWest District by winning the tournament.
What was the experience like for you going to the State Semifinals in Richmond and helping the program get their first-ever win in the state tournament? It was something I’ll always be grateful for. I was beyond blessed to be a part of it. Today, I still look back on it and think about what a great, and once in a lifetime experience it was. The support from the community was incredible and it was really special to me to be a part of school history.
We are told you have college plans with Cassidi McCann? We’re not quite sure what this means. Well, Cassidi and I visited Washington D.C. last summer and we toured George Mason University and ever since then we’ve said that we want to go to college together. Hopefully we won’t kill each other and we’ll be able to maintain our friendship for four more years.
Is it true your favorite kind of candy is Reese’s, and why? Tell Chris Martin for me that he thinks he’s really funny. (Editor’s Note: We will Rachel, but we think this will just reinforce Chris’s thoughts).
How much did you enjoy being a senior leader on this year’s girls’ basketball team? It was such a rewarding experience. I love my teammates and I wouldn’t have traded this season for anything. We laughed a lot and cried some too. We had some really great memories this season and I’ll never forget them.
Who is your favorite sports team, favorite athlete and why? My favorite sports team would have to be the Cincinnati Bengals, because I follow them with my Dad and football is my favorite sport to watch. My favorite athlete is Missy Franklin, a swimmer for the U.S. Olympic team. She is a high school Senior like myself, and she competed in her first Olympics this summer. She was always smiling and seemed to have a great attitude, not to mention how successful of a swimmer she is.
Who is the toughest player, including a teammate, you have ever had to guard? It’s a tie between Shyann Dalton and Hayden Caldwell. Shyann always had really good post moves and had a size advantage which made it difficult to guard her. Hayden is just a really quick, aggressive player and you have to be on your toes when you’re guarding her.
What kind of music would we find on your iPod? You’d definitely find songs from every decade since the 60’s. My Dad brought me up listening to the good tunes as he would say. I have anything from Maroon 5 to The Beatles to Blake Shelton.
What are your plans for the future? I hope to attend George Mason University this fall, and work to become a Medical Family Therapist and to just have a simple, yet successful life and career.