2022: A Year in Sports

An old year came to an end in 2022 and a new year in 2023 is before us. Area high schools are hoping to see much success for the rest of the 2022-2023 school year in athletics.

It was an exciting year in 2022 for area high school sports with some schools making significant strides in their history.

Friendswood Mustangs

In the Spring of 2022, two teams competed for the top prize in their respective sports. The Friendswood Lady Mustangs soccer team came close to perfection as they rolled into the Region III-5A tournament in Humble with a 25-1 record and an amazing 24 consecutive shutouts.

Friendswood survived having its shutout streak broken in the regional semifinals, moving past Pflugerville Hendrickson with a 3-2 victory, but the younger Lady Mustangs were unable to break through the defense against a senior-laden and physical Magnolia team, which ended Friendswood's run with a 1-0 win.

For Friendswood baseball, the trip to the state semifinals held at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock was the program's second-ever state appearance, but the Mustangs weren't satisfied with merely repeating history, as they defeated Mansfield Legacy 4-2 to make their first-ever appearance in the state championship game.

With pitching, defense and senior leadership providing a strong foundation throughout Friendswood's history-making baseball season, the Mustangs were ultimately edged 2-1 in the Class 5A state championship game against Georgetown.

The Friendswood swim teams also had a banner year while advancing to the state swim meet in Austin again while winning the District 20-5A swim title.

The Region 20-5A girls swim champion was decided on the final event of the day as Friendswood and A&M Consolidated battled in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

It would be the Lady Mustangs who would edge A&M Consolidated in the final event to claim the Region 20-5A crown. The Friendswood girls closed out the swim meet with 310 team points for the region title followed by A&M Consolidated (301.5 points).

The Friendswood girls swim team concluded their outstanding swim season by placing third at the Class 5A state swim meet held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

The girl's 200-free relay foursome won first place and are the new state champions in this event. Swimmers in this event were: Andi Jeanes, Peyton Becker, Abigail Nelson, and KK LeBlanc.

There were two medalists in individual events: Sophomore Tony Laurito placed first in the boy's 200-yard Individual Medley with a time of 1:49.62 and is the new state champion and freshman KK LeBlanc who placed second in the girl's 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.20.

When the latest round of UIL realignments were rolled out in February, the most glaring change came in the district for Friendswood football.

In 2021, Friendswood began the season 0-4 and then reeled off six straight wins to tie for the District 10-5A Div. I title. They lost their first round playoff contest to finish 6-5.

However, the realignment in 2022 wasn't kind to the Mustangs as they entered a rugged district with powerhouses like Manvel, Angleton, Magnolia West, Fulshear and Richmond Foster.

Friendswood was unable to get into playoff contention in the district of giants as they finished the 2022 football season with a 4-6 mark and remained at home for the post-season.

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Friendswood senior Camryn Peter (11) defends against Magnolia in the Class 5A Region III finals at Turner Stadium.

The Lady Mustangs came up short 1-0 against the Lady Bulldogs.

The No. 3 state-ranked Friendswood Lady Mustangs closed out the season with a sparkling 26-2 mark.
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Friendswood Mustangs at 5A state swim meet in Austin.
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Friendswood athletic director/head football coach Robert Koopmann retires.

Dawson Eagles

The Dawson boys and girls were each crowned District 23-6A swim champions while Dawson swim coach Daniel Cox was named "Coach of the Year." The Dawson boys finished in first place with 140 points followed by Pearland (119), Strake Jesuit (82), and Shadow Creek (77). The Dawson girls finished in first place with 182 points followed by Pearland (128), Shadow Creek (127), and Alvin (42).

The Dawson boys basketball team finished the 2001-2022 season with an 11-1 district record to share the league championship with Shadow Creek (11-1). Dawson senior Tyree Davis was named "Offensive Most Valuable Player" while Dawson senior Hayden Windsor was named "Defensive Most Valuable Player."

For the fifth straight year, under the leadership of head coach Lauren Leth, the Dawson Lady Eagles have advanced to the 6A Region III volleyball tournament after Dawson swept the Summer Creek Lady Bulldogs in the region quarterfinals 25-13, 25-15, 25-23. The Lady Eagles lost to Cinco Ranch in the 6A Region III semifinals to finish 32-14.

The Dawson Eagles captured the PearBowl with a 21-14 win over the Pearland Oilers.

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2022 Dawson boys basketball - District 23-6A Co-Champions.

Pearland Oilers

Pearland basketball coach Steve Buckelew has been at the helm of the Oilers basketball program since 1995. The veteran coach picked up his 800th career win when Pearland beat Manvel 64-54 on November 26, 2022.

Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole and State Representative Ed Thompson presented coach Buckelew with a special proclamation and an American flag that flew over the state capitol in Austin.

In 2022, the Pearland Lady Oilers made their first regional basketball championship game appearance since 1991 under first-year head coach Jere' Adams, who guided the program to its 11th consecutive playoff berth.

Pearland shared the District 23-6A title with Shadow Creek and defeated Clear Springs, West Brook, North Shore and Seven Lakes in the first four rounds of the postseason.

"I feel like it was a special group, and the sky was the limit," Adams said. "I was just trying to get the next day as a first-year head coach. I'm not surprised to be here — I want to make that clear. Our girls deserved it and worked hard to get there."

The Lady Oilers fell to Summer Creek 59-42 to close out their season at 28-10.

The Pearland Lady Oilers soccer squad posted a 2-0 victory over Dawson to take the District 23-6A title for the second year in a row.

Pearland happily welcomed B.J. Gotte as the new head football coach. Gotte comes to Pearland a proven winner with a championship pedigree at Katy High School. He was a part of five state championships: three as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Katy (2003, 2012, 2015), one as offensive coordinator at La Marque (2006), and one as a head coach at Katy Paetow (2021). He played on the offensive line for the legendary Mike Johnston at Katy in the '90s, graduating in 1997.

The Oilers made the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive year, but more importantly, a new discipline and culture was brought back to Pearland that had been noticeably absent for the past four years. Pearland is back on track with a sense of great expectancy.

The Pearland Lady Oilers golf teams finished first and second to capture the District 23-6A championship and advance to the Class 6A Region III golf tournament.

The Pearland Lady Oilers captured the District 23-6A softball title and advanced to the 6A Region III finals before coming up short against the 6A defending state champions Deer Park. The Lady Oilers closed out with a 32-10 season record.

The Pearland Lady Oilers won the District 23-6A volleyball crown and advanced to the 6A Region III quarterfinals.

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2021-2022 Pearland Lady Oilers - UIL Regional finalists.
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New Pearland Oilers head football coach B.J. Gotte.
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800 WINS - Pearland basketball coach Steve Buckelew collected his 800th career win early in the 2021-2022 season.

Shadow Creek Sharks

Shadow Creek boys basketball team made it to the region final in Class 5A and now they advanced to the 6A regional championship game, but came up short against a strong Atascocita (34-6) squad that is returning to the 6A state tournament.

No. 14 Shadow Creek (29-4) saw another banner season end with the loss. The Sharks shared the District 23-6A title with Dawson and defeated Clear Springs, Summer Creek, Dickinson and Bellaire in the first four rounds of the playoffs. Shadow Creek finished with 20-plus wins for the fifth straight season.

Shadow Creek girls won a pair of gold medals at the UIL state track and field championships enroute to a runner-up finish in the final team standings. The Lady Sharks scored 40 points for their second-place finish behind state champion Lewis Flower Mound who scored 68 points while Plano East finished in third place with 36 points.

Shadow Creek, who won the District 23-6A football crown, ended their season with an 11-1 mark after falling to Summer Creek in the 6A Region III Div II area round.