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Friday, June 14, 2024

INTERESTING FOLKS: PJ Baseball Assistant Coach Benny Perez’ Motto – “Work Harder than the Next Guy”

Coach Benny Perez. Photo by A. Nowel, 5/2023

Benny Perez has worked hard all of his life. He’s loved the game of baseball for a long time and is currently the assistant coach at Pope John XXIII Regional High School for the Varsity baseball team.

After playing a couple years in professional baseball, Perez returned to coach, be a nightly police officer, and a father to a son and daughter. With the years passing by, Perez recounts how he has become a highly respected coach, friend, husband, and father.

Perez is a Jersey City native. He attended Marist High School and was coached by former Pope John Head Coach Vincent Bello from 1996-2000. Perez then played one season of Division III baseball before playing independent baseball in Puerto Rico which was some of the greatest experience that Perez had with the game as he explained.

“That was a great experience for myself because it instilled responsibility and helped me to grow up and mature,” said Perez.

Perez has been in law enforcement for over 20 years and continues to love the job but does look forward to retirement. He has coached at Pope John for the last 11 seasons. The message that Perez wants to pass down to anyone he coaches is that hard work is the key to success, and that they have to work harder than the next guy.

“Sometimes it won’t go your way, but hard work gives you a chance to compete,” said Perez. “No matter if it is on the baseball field or in life, they need to work hard to outwork the next guy because it builds a lot of character.”

Perez learned a lot of work ethic and morals from his parents and has carried that through his everyday life.

“My dad showed us good work ethic, and my mom showed us the moral part of it,” said Perez. “She showed us that love conquers all while my dad showed us that hard work would prevail, and I took that throughout my life. Every endeavor that I had, I put those 2 pieces together to build who I am.”

Perez has built a life from what he had for him, his family, and the players that he has coached, and the players that he will coach.

No matter what the situation is, Perez will always find a solution and make it work for the things he keeps the most valuable: the interactions with fellow coaches and players that he has everyday and his family as a loving husband and father.

Andrew Nowel, Contributing Sportswriter
Contributing Sportswriter

Currently enrolled at Canisius University in Buffalo, New York, Andrew Nowel is an up-and-coming journalist/photographer and broadcaster. He wrote sports' articles for his high school, Pope John XXIII Regional High School. Andrew has worked with Morris Sussex Sports in sports broadcasting and analyzes professional sports in his free time. Andrew and his friend Ryan have a podcast that talks about professional sports and Canisius Athletics. Andrew also runs his own website about Canisius Athletics. He strives to inform the people about local sports and the young athletes of our communities from Buffalo to New Jersey and everywhere.

Andrew has provided previous and remarkable sports stories and photographs for the Ridge View Echo since he was 16 and enrolled at Pope John High School.