PHS 1980 State Champion Baseball memorial to be installed

In Sports by Reporter News

Please join the players and coaches on Saturday, February 28 at 12:00 p.m. in celebrating a memorial to be installed at the PHS Baseball Field. Parking is behind the “Rig” football stadium’s visitor stands off of Pearland Parkway or Oiler Dr.

The unveiling ceremony will take place after the current Pearland baseball varsity team plays St. Pius.

This was a privately funded project by the players of the team. Guy Mikeska, the first baseman on the team came up with the idea and was made possible because of classmate Leslie Bryson w/Bryson Memorials. The team is very proud of this accomplishment and are very excited about the memorial. It is made out of solid black satin granite and is 6′ tall, 5′ wide and weighs over 4,300 lbs.

Since 1960, Greater Houston schools have dominated the Class 4A state high school baseball tournament, winning 12 championships and reaching the finals 17 out of 21 times. But none of the past Greater Houston champions could match 1980 titlist Pearland at the plate.

The Oilers unleashed a 24-hit attack with impressive victories over San Antonio Roosevelt 9-4 in the finals and an 8-4 opening round decision over Carrollton Turner.

“Pearland is certainly one of the best-hitting teams we’ve ever had at the state tournament,” said University Interscholastic League Athletic Director Bill Farney.

Those 24 hits, 12 in each game including seven extra base blows, sent the Oilers past Bellaire’s 1960 state champions as the two-game hitting leader on the list of 12 Greater Houston winners.

The Oilers dominated the 4A field and had the most impressive offensive performances in tournament history. In 1980 4A was the largest school in Texas. In 1981 5A was established and Pearland moved up to 5A. The Oilers finished with an impressive 32-4-1 record.

The Oilers were lead by Coach Bill Bratcher, Assistant Coach Ronnie Johnson, and Trainer Steve Vidal. Players include: #1 Craig Smajstrla, #2 Carl Mikeska, # 3 Billy Barton, #4 Kennon Simmons, #5 Chris Christoph, #6 David Bird, #7 David Maly, #8 Bret Davis, #9 Mickey Owens, #10 Malcolm Primrose, #11 Mark Michna, #12 Doug Kneupper, #13 Jeff Schock, #14 Keith Shepherd, #15 Larry Riddle, # 17 Guy Mikeska, #18 John Dempsey, and #19 Clifton Gibson.

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