Season Interrupted: Volleyball star Dain Johnson looks to the future

Eric Sondheimer

Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Dain Johnson

School: Manhattan Beach Mira Costa

Sport: Volleyball

Key stats: 6-foot-7 middle blocker was key player for No. 1 ranked team in Southern Section Division 1.

Fall plans: Will attend UC Santa Barbara

On the cancellation of the season:

“It was and still is a big bummer. There’s frustration knowing you were that close to getting to the places you wanted to be as a team but having it drop out from under your feet was painful and still stings. At this point I’m trying to use it as fuel going into the future.”

On beach volleyball courts being closed:

“I saw some videos of the department of beach and harbor guys cutting down the nets. That’s just salt in the wound.”

On life without sports:

“It’s a pain. It really sucks. It’s kind of frustrating because it’s great having that routine. The closest thing I can get is watching that Michael Jordan documentary. It’s trying to find motivation every day.”

How he stays in shape:

“I’ve been getting workouts from UC Santa Barbara. I’ve been doing workouts with my dad. I’ve been playing a lot of ping-pong and getting my butt kicked by my dad. That’s been good teaching me how to lose.”

On the new things discovered with free time:

“I’ve played bass guitar since middle school and as volleyball has taken up more of my time, I’ve taken a break. With all this free time, I’ve found time for bass guitar.”

How the sports stoppage has changed him:

“It’s taught me to appreciate what I had. It showed anything you have and anything you’ve worked for can go away, so you have to appreciate what you have when you have it.”

Where he sees himself in 10 years:

“I’m looking to major in political science. I really would like to work for the State Department or foreign service. During this break, it’s given me time to compile places to go on the bucket list.”

And what is his travel bucket list?

“I’m really interested in anthropology and ancient history. If I could go anywhere, I’d go to Greece or Roman sites.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.