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PAY IT FORWARD: Toups; Roper draw from playing careers into coaching

Coach Leonard Toups at Aldine

Entering his third season on the north side, Leonard Toups is getting the special opportunity to coach at his alma mater in his first head-coaching job.

“I love that I can still be a part of the game,” Toups said. “Is there really a better job than that? I get paid to teach the game of baseball and have fun every single day.”

After playing at Aldine High School, Toups played junior college baseball at UT-Brownsville. He then played Division I baseball at Texas Southern and was a part of the 2008 SWAC Championship team.

Heading into this year, Toups said the first goal of the season is to win a district championship. What’s even cooler for Toups is that he is getting to coach his son Johnny.

“Honestly, it’s a lot of fun. I can assure you that he gets no special treatment. I am demanding of all of my athletes and hold them all to the same standard. He knows that I’m coach Toups on the baseball field between the lines and dad outside of them.”

...

Eisenhower's coach Ahmad Roper

Entering his 10th season at Eisenhower High School, Ahmad Roper is the engineer of the Ike girls’ track success.

Roper is a graduate of Alief Hastings High School, where he played football and ran track. At Hastings, Roper went to state and finished second in the 200 and 400-meters. He also went to state in 1998 for football. That season, the Bears lost to Flower Mound Marcus.

After high school, Roper attended Prairie View A&M where he started playing football and running track. By the end of his collegiate career, Roper finished just running track, in which he was an All-American a couple of times in the relays. Roper has the experience and is now passing it on to the next generation of speedsters.

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