‘Not ideal:’ Sellers, Sarah Dubberley on opposite sides of intense volleyball

The past few years have been a learning experience for Sellers and Sarah Dubberley.

The husband and wife volleyball coaches have leaned on each other through the years, while coaching the sport at various levels.

From coaching together at the club level to cheering and supporting one another as each coached their separate teams at the middle school or junior varsity level in the AHSAA or the varsity level in the AISA, the pair enjoyed bouncing ideas off of each other and seeing each other succeed.

They still love to see each other succeed.

But now there is a difference.

Sellers is in his third season as the head coach at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School and Sarah is in her third season as the head coach at Trinity Presbyterian School.

They are not just Class 3A, Area 6 rivals, but also head coaches of the top two teams in Class 3A.

“I don’t know if anyone else in the state has done this. I haven’t heard of anyone else, but if so, I do not envy them. It is tough,” Sellers said. “We have coached together for years, and we have coached separately for years, but the past three seasons have been a new challenge where we not only coach head-to-head, but in the same area with two of the most competitive teams in (Class 3A).”

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The teams already have played three times this season, with top-ranked Catholic winning the first two matches and second-ranked and defending state champion Trinity winning the third match.

“It’s not ideal in any way to coach against your spouse, much less in the same area,” Sarah said. “However, we try and have a positive mindset and remind ourselves that we are blessed to be in a situation where he has a program that is doing well and that I have a program that is doing well. But, ideally, we would like not be in a situation where one of us potentially knocks out the other one from their chance at success.”

Catholic will host the Class 3A, Area 6 Tournament on Thursday. In the first action of the day, Trinity will face third-ranked Prattville Christian in an elimination match at 4 p.m. The winner will then play Catholic for the Area championship. The area champion and runner-up will both advance to the South Super Regional at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex on Oct. 20-23.

As tough as it can be to line up opposite of your significant other, both Sellers and Sarah said they are learning to handle the situation.

Juanita Boddie VB

Montgomery Catholic coach Sellers Dubberley talks to an official during action at the Juanita Boddie volleyball tournament at the Finley Center in Hoover, Ala., on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. (Dennis Victory | preps@al.com)

“A lot of people asked me early on if I was going to be able to handle coaching against my wife and if it was something we were both comfortable with. I said absolutely. Sarah took the same stance,” Sellers said. “But I don’t think anything quite prepares you for that first time you’re standing on the sidelines, looking over at your wife,…

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