Stephenville’s new girls soccer coach, Misty Benson, knows that her job extends beyond the playing field.
It just so happens that discipline and unity, two traits she emphasizes, lead to wins and well-rounded student-athletes alike.
“Obviously I want to win, but I also want to develop players and young ladies,” Benson said.
Benson, who has eight years of high school coaching experience, comes to Stephenville by way of Manvel, a brand-new school south of Houston.
Stephenville High School Athletic Director Chad Morris said he was excited about the new addition to the department’s coaching staff.
“She’s been successful where she’s been,” Morris said. “We’re excited about her background.”
Benson is “a good fit” for Stephenville, he said, noting her emphasis on discipline that Benson herself echoed. That attitude is of a piece with the mindset of the entire department.
“It’s going to be an exciting time for her,” Morris said.
Last season, the team she helped start from scratch managed a .500 record playing a mix of varsity and junior varsity squads. Their competition was tough, too, as their district included perennial contender Friendswood.
Plus, of the 16 players on her team, Benson said six had no prior experience.
The hardest part of leaving her job at Manvel was telling her players, Benson said.
“I had a great group of girls and a great group of parents,” she said. “You definitely don’t walk into a situation like (that) expecting to leave in a year.”
However, being from Dallas, Benson was eager to move “closer to home” — an opportunity the Stephenville opening allowed.
She grew up playing on club teams, and went on to play at St. Edward’s. She broke into the coaching ranks soon after, and was pulling double duty coaching boys and girls varsity soccer in her first year.
A stint at Houston’s Lamar High School followed. She’s also worked as a team coordinator for the U.S. Soccer Federation, organizing camps for the national teams.
Benson said she was looking forward to “meeting the girls and getting a feel for the community.” Everything other than the actual day-to-day coaching will be new to her, she said, but she is familiar with the “great reputation and history” of Stephenville athletics.
The Honeybees squad she’s set to inherit is young and talented, and has become a postseason regular. Taking the team further into the playoffs is one of Benson’s goals, along with “(building) the program amongst the girls.”
Unity among players is key to on-field success, Benson said, because in crunch situations “it’s all about the relationship you have with your teammate” - and lessons like that have a way of transferring to any and all fields.