HERMOSA BEACH, California — Seain Prepare dinner is an fool.
“What’s my model?” he puzzled aloud on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “An fool who performs seaside volleyball? That’s good.”
Prepare dinner is the one who as soon as competed in a Santa outfit — sleeves reduce off, mullet superb, mustache good — on the AVP Central Florida Professional Sequence in 2022. For nearly a full 12 months, he and Logan Webber may very well be simply recognized.
They have been the crew who performed in shirts snipped on the midriff with tassels dangling to their waists.
In Chicago, throughout an incredible three-set battle with wunderkinds Andy Benesh and Miles Partain, Cody Caldwell over-set a transition ball out of play. Prepare dinner ran across the pole and batted the ball onto Benesh and Partain’s facet of the web and had a laugh-out-loud look and transient dialog with the ref as to why that must be authorized. In the meantime, Caldwell, laying on the bottom, pumped his fist in mock celebration.
They’d lose that match, however Prepare dinner had larger issues on his thoughts, like chasing Benesh across the court docket on each facet swap searching for a excessive 5, one thing he amped up just a few months later within the semifinals of the Laguna Seashore Tour Sequence the place he’d try the unimaginable: To get Invoice Kolinske to acknowledge an opponent’s existence.
“I did chase Invoice across the court docket in Laguna, as a result of we’re advantageous, it’s a present,” Prepare dinner stated. “Each time he modified sides I’d go a method. I did it to Andy in Chicago, and he virtually didn’t crack, however I managed to make him crack. [Mike] Placek as effectively. That’s a bit of level for me. However Invoice stays strong. I’ll chase him round. That’s simply a part of the sport.”
All of it — the antics, the humor, the garish and foolish outfits, the “present,” as he calls it — bely one thing it appears he virtually desires to maintain secret: Seain Prepare dinner is among the most proficient defenders within the nation. He’s at the moment No. 19 within the AVP rankings and ninth amongst defenders. In back-to-back matches on the Manhattan Seashore Open, he lopped off two people who belong on seaside volleyball’s Mount Rushmore, upsetting each Phil Dalhausser and Alison Cerutti. Solely Caldwell, his personal associate, beat him out for Most Improved in 2023.
“Consistency,” he stated of the distinction between 2022 and 2023. “Simply having the ability to do it many times and once more was the distinction. Occasionally I may do one thing that was fairly candy but when I received requested to do it once more, it was loopy fortunate.”
There you may have it: 39 phrases of considerably trustworthy speak from Prepare dinner through which he acknowledged he would possibly know a factor or two about this sport and learn how to play it. That’s all you would possibly get. As a result of the following sentence was again to the humor by which he has change into so identified: “Now I can string collectively two fortunate factors. One to 2? That’s large.”
He desires you to snicker. To have interaction. And he’s change into exceptionally good at doing each whereas additionally getting wonderful outcomes on the court docket, one thing you may not truly concentrate on for those who solely observe him on Instagram. The place most gamers will throw up highlights, Prepare dinner takes the trail much less traveled, with one blooper after one other. Low-lights solely. The dichotomy between his outcomes and his on-line persona has turned him into one thing of a must-watch participant on the AVP.
“For those who’re not fast on protection, it’s important to be fast of wit,” he stated. Right here a participant would possibly snicker, taking a crack at himself like that, however Prepare dinner’s humor is deadpan. You by no means actually know when he’s being severe. This solely makes him funnier.
“I’m a social media man, not a volleyball man,” he stated.
Joking? Not joking? Who is aware of?
“I positively did extra on Instagram than I did on the volleyball court docket. If I’m going to do volleyball, possibly I have to do different avenues, and social media is one in all them, so I’ve tried to get after it.”
The technique has labored out effectively, each on the court docket and off. His Instagram boasts a hair under 10,000 followers, which isn’t a ton, however it’s about 30 % larger than Benesh, the highest-ranked blocker within the nation who will most probably be competing within the Paris Olympic Video games. On the court docket, he gained a pair of Tour Sequence occasions — in Waupaca and Laguna Seashore, each with Caldwell — and made the semifinals of the Manhattan Seashore Open. In three of his ultimate 4 tournaments, his lowest end was a 3rd.
He loves speaking about that third.
Not one of the good components making the retelling.
He gained’t point out the wins over Evan Cory and Troy Area or Billy Allen and Alison or Dalhausser and Avery Drost. Not the truth that he made the semifinals of the most important event on the seaside volleyball calendar. Nor the truth that he almost made as a lot cash in that single event ($6,000) as he did in his total 2022 season mixed. No, no. That’s what most would possibly do.
However that is Seain Prepare dinner, seaside volleyball fool.
Here’s what he as a substitute chooses to convey up when speaking about his run to a 3rd place end in Manhattan: “We had such an enormous day [on Saturday] after which it’s like half previous 8, I bounce within the water, I virtually die. I received caught in a wave, each of my legs cramped up, and I am going ‘I’m gonna die blissful, that is cool.’ I used to be caught, and I used to be like ‘Ah, effectively.’ I managed to tug myself house, go out, fell asleep with the restoration legs on. I ate something I may. I get again to the courts, and our warm-up was straight up serve obtain, let’s see what we will do, and we simply received decimated.
“I received roofed so many instances. I wanted to pad out Theo [Brunner’s] stats. He’s let me practice with him just a few instances, figured I’d make him look good. We’re on the finish, in serve obtain, and Theo goes ‘Is it OK if Trevor [Crabb] skyballs?’ Cody and I are like ‘What do you imply?’
“It’s extra disrespectful that you just’re asking us. It’s that unhealthy?”
“Trevor’s a pleasant man.”
“This was worse.”
“Skyball, and Cody goes off chasing it. ‘Are we enjoying it it doesn’t matter what anyway?’ We’ve misplaced. It doesn’t matter how good you might be, 20-6 is an enormous deficit. So, yeah.”
So yeah … with that skyball and the forgettable conclusion to that play, he completed third, a career-high in a Professional or Gold Sequence. He’d solely prefer to remind you of the egg he laid within the second set of these semifinals.
Internally, although, Prepare dinner is aware of the leaps he has made. He has elevated himself from the highest of the mid-level group of gamers on the AVP to the underside of the upper-tier. Which is why yow will discover this self-deprecating 31-year-old father on the seaside at 8 within the morning. No associate. No digicam. Simply repping out passing and setting with coach Pompilio Mercadante. These are the moments you gained’t see on social media, those which have made him an unlimited expertise on the AVP.
“It was a great 12 months,” he allowed. “It’s going to be robust to check 12 months to 12 months now. The whole lot to this point that I’ve accomplished in my profession has been three 12 months [cycles]. That is the peaking 12 months of the three. Now it’s on the backside of the three years for me. Now with my factors, I’m on the upper finish of 1 group, and the decrease finish of the World Tour group. It reinvigorates my low season. I need to be within the health club. I need to practice.”
He’s. You simply gained’t see it.
All you’ll see is Seain Prepare dinner, seaside volleyball fool.
Simply the way in which he desires it.