At Tales From Sport, we believe in giving athletes the platform to tell their stories first-hand. Of course, fans of any sports will always have their own opinion on what a players greatest moment was, but does that player feel the same? Or is there another, more personal moment that stands above all others?
In this series, we will be asking professional athletes from various sports one simple question, What do you consider the greatest moment of your career?
In the sixth edition of this series, American Football player Jason Selormey joins us to share his answer.
‘My Greatest Moment in Sport’ by Jason Selormey
I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great players in my ten years of playing football. In my first year of organised football, I won a national championship with the London Blitz Flag Football team at just 15 years old. Moving straight up to U19, I won 2 championships in 3 years. I then went on to play for the London Blitz and appear in 2 straight national championship games, losing both.
As I am writing this, I play for the Dresden Monarchs in the GFL 1, and I am currently 5-1 (and a little sore) on the season, hoping to push for a championship. So, it’s fair to say that I have won my fair share of games and played on some terrific teams with some great players. But my best football moment did not come whilst playing for the great London Blitz or the historically dominant Dresden Monarchs (at least so far). Instead, it came on a place far removed from fans, prestige and pressure. My best football moment happened whilst playing for the University of Portsmouth Destroyers. Allow me to explain.
In 2015, I had my reservations about university football in the UK. Just the year before, I spoke to coaches in America about playing over there but ultimately decided it was best for me to stay due to some personal issues. I had spoken to Coach Alex (our HC) about possibly playing, but my mind was still undecided. Ultimately, I asked my good friend Naz, who played for the team and gave pretty good reviews, so I decided to watch. What I saw changed my perception completely. Guys were flying around, being physical and playing solid football. I bought in immediately.
The goal that Coach Alex and Coach Jay (our DC, one of the smartest I have ever had) had set out was to go 8-0, earn promotion and get out of division 2. We went 7-1, won our division and ended up earning promotion behind a defence that only gave up an average of 3 points a game. But there was still a championship game to play for, and in true Britball fashion, it didn’t have a venue, so that game was moved to our home pitch. We played the University of Oxford Lancers (yes, that Oxford), and they had an American QB, WR and RB/LB. They were the best team we played that year. Although we did not need the championship, we wanted it. The team had not won a championship since 2011, were determined to remedy that.
The game was tense, physical and exhausting. It was a hot day, and I had to travel because of their American receiver (follow him wherever he went). So eventually, their offensive coordinator decided to lean more on the run game. In the 4th quarter, they had around a 60-yard run that finished on our 5-yard line. Down a score and a monster at RB, it was going to be tough. On 1st down, they ran it for no yards. Conversely, on 2nd down, they decided to attempt to pass. The ball was tipped into the air. At that moment, everything moved in slow motion. Somehow the tipped ball landed in the hands of our corner, Phil, and the game was sealed.
Emotions from the team ran high. I saw people crying, coaches screaming. Personally, it was very emotional but more a feeling of relief. We had won a championship to top off our historic year. That moment lives with me to this day and is so symbolic because of the following reason; I had nothing to do with it. I did not catch the interception. The intended target was not my man. I had to trust my teammates, and they came through for me in the biggest moment of the game.
Football is like life. Sometimes we can not do everything to achieve an end goal. Sometimes, it is okay to be vulnerable and trust that your people will have your back. And when they do, it is truly an amazing feeling.
Jason Selormey Biography:
Jason Selormey is an English Safety who currently plays for the Dresden Monarchs in the German Football League 1 (GFL1) and represented the Great Brittan Lions on the international stage. The 6ft, 207lbs, 25-year-old is widely recognised as one of the leading defensive backs that Great Britain has to offer.
As Jason mentioned, his American Football journey began at 15 years old, joining the London Blitz flag team. Like many Brits, the Madden video games helped the future Monarch develop a passion for the sport. However, unlike most Brits, he decided to try and play the sport in real life and not just with a controller. Selormey quickly tasted success with the London Blitz, winning the 2011 BAFA U16 Flag National Championship in his rookie year.
After his debut campaign, Selormey became one of the few players in London Blitz history to be promoted directly from the flag football side to the full-contact Under 19s team, skipping the Under 17s contact stage altogether despite only being 16 years old.
Success continued to follow the young prospect. During his three-season spell with the Under 19s, Selormey and the Blitz captured the 2012 and 2014 BAFA U19 Contact National Championship, while remarkably only losing two games during this period. The future GFL player also received his first individual honours while with the Under 19s, being named the Defensive Back of the Year in 2013 and winning the inaugural Spirit of the Eagle Award in 2014.
In 2015, Selormey continued his promising football career while attending the University of Portsmouth. As he previously mentioned, the London Blitz man was initially sceptical of University football in the UK. However, after he became convinced to don the Portsmouth jersey, he became an integral part of the organisation, not just on the field but also behind the scenes.
In 2016, Selormey became the President of the University of Portsmouth American Football Club until his graduation in 2018. This title meant not only was he a key player of the team, but he was now in charge of overseeing the running of the club, which included booking games and travel, amongst other responsibilities. His successful time as President saw him earn Full Colours, an award given to those who have made an exceptional contribution to their club and a significant contribution to university sport.
Selormey enjoyed an accolade-ridden tenure on the field with the Destroyers, with whom he captained for three years. During the young star’s maiden season, the University of Portsmouth qualified for the playoffs with a 9-1 record before winning the 2016 BUCS Division 2 South Championship, securing promotion in the process.
The success continued the following season, with the team winning their second-consecutive Conference title after an 11-1 season. However, unfortunately, they could not capture the BUCS Division 1 National Championship, finishing the season as runners-up. During these two prosperous campaigns, the Destroyers embarked on the longest win streak in British University and College Sports history, spanning an incredible 19 games.
From an individual standpoint, Selormey’s performances during his time on the south coast caught the eye of many within the sport. During his University career, the former Destroyers’ president personal achievements included being named the 2016 Defensive Back of the Year and an EP Sports Elite “U” Player for his 2017/18 season. In addition, Selormey’s contribution to the University of Portsmouth team was so outstanding that, in 2020, he was selected in the Destroyers’ all-time greatest defence.
Alongside his time at University, Selormey continued to play for the London Blitz. The now-GFL star was promoted to the senior team in 2014 and continued to represent the capital city side until September 2019. Unfortunately for the Defensive Back, the team never captured a National Championship during his time in the senior squad, although they came within fingertips from winning it all twice. Selormey and the Blitz endured back-to-back heart-breaking defeats in the Championship Game to the London Warriors in 2016 and the Tamworth Phoenix in 2017.
In his final campaign for the London outfit, the former Portsmouth Destroyer’s tremendous ability was on full display, leading his team in interceptions, pass breakups, and defensive touchdowns.
2020 saw the exciting British Defensive Back reach a new milestone in his Football career. He was announced as one of the select individuals to receive an invite to the first-ever UK based Canadian Football League Global Combine on January 27th. The Combine was a massive opportunity for Selormey to dazzle the scouts from the CFL and the top leagues in Europe. The former Blitz player did not squander his chance, impressing every person in attendance and establishing himself as one of the best in his position that Europe has to offer.
Less than three months after the CFL combine, with Selormey’s stock the highest it had ever been, the German Football League, the premier league of European Football, came calling through Europlayers. The Dresden Monarchs, one of the most revered names in Germany, had contacted the Englishman and offered him a contract. The step-up in competition and the chance to compete against players with NFL and NCAA experience was too enticing to pass up on, so Selormey packed his bags and signed with the Monarchs for the 2020 season on April 1st.
The 2020 GFL season was scheduled to start on April 18th, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign was suspended and later cancelled, leaving Selormey’s future with the team in doubt. Thankfully for the Defensive Back, it was announced on April 13th 2021, that the Monarchs had re-signed him for the upcoming 2021 season.
More than a year later than scheduled, Selormey finally made his Dresden and GFL debut in June 2021. The Brit recorded his first interception in Germany during a 49-19 victory against the Kiel Hurricanes on August 28th. As of this article, the Monarchs currently sit in 1st place in the GFL North Division with an 8-1 record.
An enormous thank you to Jason Selormey for contributing to this article. He has been fantastic to work with and a genuinely great guy. We really appreciate the effort he put into this and for supporting our site.
Please go follow him on Twitter & Instagram.
Jason also has a fantastic podcast which we cannot recommend enough, check it out on Spotify, Youtube and Apple Podcasts.
Selormey will next be in action THIS SUNDAY, as his Dresden Monarchs take on the Potsdam Royals at 1pm BST/2pm CET/8am EST.