Seymour named MHVCA Assistant Coach of Year

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Chris Seymour, right, was voted Class 3 Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association (MHSVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year. He is pictured with his daughter, junior Sharayah Seymour. Contributed photo

Assistant fills in for head coach on maternity leave

Cassville High School Assistant Volleyball Coach Chris Seymour knew at some point in the fall he would have to assume head coaching duties for the volleyball team, but what he did not expect was the spring recognition he would receive for doing so.

Seymour has been named the Class 3 Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association (MHSVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year. An assistant coach for four years at Cassville, he was challenged with the task of serving as head coach while Head Coach Briana Kleine was away on maternity leave.

“It was two days before our first game of the year at the Branson Tournament when I was told Briana was having her baby,” Seymour said. “She was with us during the jamboree, then I took over. She did a great job preparing me, and our freshman coach Cassidy Larson also did a great job handling the freshmen and junior varsity teams.

“There really wasn’t a ton I had to do. And, my support system was second-to-none, including my wife, Angela, who helped prepare me and did stats, and team mom Betty Holman, who did things like team meals and other things to support us.”

Seymour said Kleine told him about the award a day before the MHSVCA announced it.

“I was at baseball practice and she thought we were at a game, so she was going to just leave me a voicemail,” he said. “I was speechless. In no way did I expect to get this or feel like I deserve something like that.”

Kleine, who nominated Seymour, begs to differ.

“Our season was chaotic,” Kleine said. “I went on maternity leave two days before our first tournament and Coach Seymour had to take over the entire season and into districts. Coach Seymour had to establish a lineup that worked for our team despite quarantine and COVID-related challenges. It was absolutely nuts, but he did a great job stepping up. He coached the girls through districts and even got a first-round win.”

Seymour credited the athletes for making the season easy for him.

“The girls made it easy because they are so coachable, and the upperclassmen really helped coach themselves,” he said. “Landry Parnell was set to be out libero, and she had an ACL injury that ended her season, but she became like another assistant coach for us. Players like Olivia Holman and Sharayah Seymour also really helped the team along.

“This really isn’t my award. It also belongs to the girls, because they did such a great job at it.”

Seymour said with the challenges of the season, like being quarantined twice, the outcome record-wise was not what the team wanted, but much more was gained.

“This team fought and battled and never gave up,” he said. “That made it easy to do my job, because the love the girls had for one another made it a successful season.”

Personally, Seymour said he is honored and humbled by the award.

“Honored does not even begin to describe how I feel,” he said. “It’s cool, but I am humble enough to realize I don’t deserve it because I had so much help.”

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