The PLAYMAKERS powered by UTMB Health (6/08/22)
Welcome to the VYPE Playmakers, powered by UTMB Health. Typically, we highlight student-athletes making a difference on the field, court, or track. But this week, we recognize five coaches who enjoyed outstanding seasons on the diamond.
Cory Benavides (front, left), Friendswood baseball coachCourtesy photo
>> Cory Benavides, Friendswood baseball coach
In Benavides’ fourth year as head coach, Friendswood is headed to Round Rock after finishing as a regional finalist last season. The Class of 2006 Mustang, a former baseball and football standout, is a Friendswood lifer. Benavides was raised in Friendswood. He played shortstop and pitched for the Mustangs. The Mustangs (29-7-1) play Mansfield Legacy (32-9) in the Class 5A semifinal Thursday at Dell Diamond.
David Rogers, Pearland baseball coach
>> David Rogers, Pearland baseball coach
In his third year at the helm of the Oilers, Rogers led Pearland to a 34-9-1 overall record and district championship. Pearland finished in the regional semifinals, falling to eventual state qualifier Ridge Point. Rogers has led the Oilers to the regional semifinals each of the last two seasons.
Laneigh Clark, Pearland softball coach
>> Laneigh Clark, Pearland softball coach
Once again, Pearland softball enjoyed a tremendous year under Clark’s leadership. Pearland went 32-10 this season, won a district championship, and made it to the regional final. Clark entered the season with 614 career wins as she added another chapter to her legacy as one of the Greater Houston area's top softball coaches.
Brent Kunefke, Clear Creek baseball coach
>> Brent Kunefke, Clear Creek baseball coach
Kunefke led the Wildcats to a district championship in his 10th year at the helm. Kunefke entered this season with 176 career wins. Clear Creek went 19-14-1 overall this year but 11-1 in District 24-6A. The Wildcats made it to the regional quarterfinals, sweeping Shadow Creek and North Shore before falling to a tough Pearland team.
Ricky Torres, La Porte baseball coach
>> Ricky Torres, La Porte baseball coach
Torres led the Bulldogs on a terrific postseason run. After placing third in district play, La Porte made a memorable run to the regional quarterfinals. The Bulldogs had one of the marquee wins of the playoffs, defeating defending state champion Barbers Hill, 8-3, in the bi-district round. Torres has been a head coach for 30 years and led La Porte to a 19-12 overall record this year.
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