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Dylan Maxcey, Friendswood
The Greater Houston-Area is loaded with elite talent in every sport. Welcome to the VYPE Playmakers powered by UTMB Health, where we will head down south and recognize of Galveston and Brazoria County's best athletes.
Clear Springs is the reigning District 24-6A Champions and are not to be tangled with in 2022. The Chargers went 31-2 overall a year ago and reached the Region III-6A Finals, falling to eventual Class 6A State Champion Deer Park. Clear Springs brings back eight starters as they seek a sixth-straight trip to the postseason in 2022. The most important of those returners is LSU-commit Emma Strood. Strood is the returning District MVP, a TGCA All-State selection and NFCA All-American pick last year. She was 21-0 as a starter with a 0.52 ERA and 234 strikeouts. She also led the team in RBIs (31), doubles (10) and home runs (6).
Break up the Broncos! The Bay Area Christian School are the defending State TAPPS DIII Champs after going 28-4 and 6-0 in district play. Coach Kyle Kennedy has to be licking his chops to get back out on the diamond as he returns a decorated crew of experienced starters. JoJo Medellin is the man… literally. He was the TAPPS 4A Male Athlete of the Year after earning the District MVP; first-team, all-state honors and an all-tournament team selection. The shortstop has signed to Baylor and is the heartbeat of the team.
Cory Benavidas enters his fourth season as the head coach of the Mustangs, and he hasn’t missed the postseason yet. Friendswood reached the Regional Finals in 2021 with a 33-3 record and have no plans of slowing down until they win a Class 5A title. The anchor of every great baseball team is its catcher and the ‘Stangs have a good one. Texas Tech Red Raider-signee Dylan Maxcey, the District’s Defensive MVP and school record-holder for RBIs, is the straw that stirs the drink for Friendswood.
The Alvin Yellowjackets have the talent. Now, it’s time to get into the Regional conversation as a real contender. Last season, Alvin reached the Area Round for just the second time in the last three seasons, but this roster is loaded with talent. Returning for her senior season is reining District 23-6A MVP Victoria Valdez, who is committed to Texas Tech. The catcher will be the leader behind the dish and is lethal at the plate. Her leadership in unmatched and will carry the ‘Jackets to a big-time season in 2022.
If you can win TAPPS DII District 5, you can win the State Tournament. Lutheran South Academy is a power baseball program, period. Coach Aaron Schneider has led the Pioneers to four TAPPS State Titles over the past six years. That’s a dynasty, folks. Pulling the wagons is Deundre’ Jones (Kansas State), the big-hitting first-baseman who has a fist full of rings. Jones is a talented lefty, who can spray the ball all over the field.
Welcome to the 2022 softball season.
The season got started last week with non-district games beginning across the city. VYPE has previewed 22 public school teams in the city.
Check out the season preview for the No. 2 Clear Springs Chargers.
The reigning District 24-6A Champions will be one not to tangle with in 2022.
The Chargers went 31-2 overall a year ago and reached the Region III-6A Finals, falling to eventual Class 6A State Champion Deer Park. Clear Springs brings back eight starters as they seek a sixth-straight trip to the postseason in 2022.
LSU-commit Emma Strood will lead the group after being the District MVP, a TGCA All-State selection and NFCA All-American pick last year. Strood was 21-0 as a starter with a 0.52 ERA and 234 strikeouts. She also led the team in RBIs (31), doubles (10) and home runs (6).
Along with Strood, Anna Soles (Kansas-commit) will provide the other part of the one-two punch in the circle after going 8-0 with a 1.63 ERA.
Other players to take note of include Claire Pollack (UT Dallas), Grace Lee (Carnegie Mellon), Ashley Walker (UT Dallas), Emma King and Bailey Botier.
They keys to success for 10th-year coach Jennifer Knight (175-104) include pitching and “aggressive hitting and baserunning”.
The Chargers will lean on their “Iron Sharpens Iron” motto in 2022 and punch their ticket to state.