Antipolo City grieves because of the loss of former youth baseball and softball hero in beloved son and friend Benedict Pedracio Jr. (1998-2024). Benedict lost his life Sunday evening, January 7, in a fatal motorcycle accident along the Antipolo-Teresa Road.
Benedict was a national player in baseball and softball. Among those who mourned his loss were his coaches and mentors, American coach David Flowers and national team coach Joseph Orillana.
Coach David helped organize baseball and softball teams not just in Antipolo but in other parts of the country. He first coached Benedict as a nine-year-old player.
“He (Benedict) grew in every team that he could and represented the city of Antipolo at every opportunity. He learned and valued what it meant to be ANTIPOLEÑO. I treated him like a son and tried to mold, coach and befriend him not only as a good baseball and softball player. But the most important was a respectable young man in the city of antipolo even though the odds were against him since day one,” said Coach David.
“He was part of the second batch of players that I started with and his older brother was part of the first batch of players that I started with. I do not take all the credit for his success. There are many coaches, friends, role models, guides who had an effect on and during his life.”
For his part national team mentor Coach Joseph, coached Benedict 2021 until 2023. Benedict was a member of the Antipolo Fast Pitch and Slo Pitch Softball teams. Coach Joseph remembers him as a humble young man and athlete.
“Good character and attitude inside and outside the field. Very talented and very humble player. Masayahin na bata at marespeto sa lahat. He qualified for National team for softball even in baseball. And good career in Philippine Air Force while playing baseball and softball for military,” said Coach Joseph.
Meanwhile, coach David is himself a motorcycle rider. He deeply regrets that an accident, which could have been prevented, resulted in the death of a young man who had his whole life ahead of him.
“As I learn more and more on a daily basis about the incident that took him away from people that loved him, I will need to wait at this moment and then pray about the incident. He was always trying his best to bring PEACE to everyone who came into his path. He was willing to join the Philippine Air Force because for him he understood what it meant to not only represent Antipoleños. But he also wanted to represent and serve for all Filipinos given the opportunity,” said Coach David.
“As for riders, yes we know even myself as a rider can become complacent or lazy in forgetting about the importance of wearing a helmet for our own safety. Others may seem to be mean at you for not wearing a helmet. But at the same time, they actually care or think about you enough to make sure you make it to where you’re trying to go to safely.”
Coach David says the Antipolo will deeply mourn the loss of young Benedict: a promising athlete, beloved son and brother, a credit to the community, a good man.
“Yes, we all have our sins as no one is perfect. But he was ANTIPOLEÑO and showed what being ANTIPOLEÑO was to others that came into his path,” said Coach David.