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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 7, 2005

Netters struggled at lower seeds in loss to Loboes

The Pecos Eagles tennis team did all right in the matches involving the top seeded players on Tuesday, in a match at Monahans. But the host Loboes came up with a sweep of the lower seeds and ended up taking the match overall by a 20-4 score.

“The higher seeds did OK, but we’ve got a lot of freshmen girls, and they’re mostly juniors and seniors on the girls’ side,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz. “Our kids are competing, so I’m not disappointed at all. They’re out there giving what they’ve got, so I can’t ask for more.”

All of Pecos’ wins on Tuesday came from the top three seeds. On the boys’ side, Jessie Hanks defeated Chris Garcia at No. 2 seed, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), and No. 3 seed Jerris Rayos downed Michael Derrick, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 in singles, while Hanks and Francisco Ornelas defeated Garcia and Derrick at No. 1 doubles, 8-5.

The girls’ lone win came from No. 1 seed Imari Ornelas in singles, as she downed Tiffany Bean, 6-2, 6-0. The next closest match for the girls came at No. 7 seed, where Delicia Ramorez dropped an 8-6 pro set match to Amanda Chavez, while on the boys’ side, Francisco Ornelas dropped an 0-6, 6-1, 14-12 match to John Wilhelm at No. 1 seed, and No. 4 seed Cody Zamarippa fell by 6-4, 6-4 scores to Kyle Bean.

“Mimi (Ornelas) is our only senior. Everybody else is juniors or below, so we just have to take what we’ve got and go,” Ortiz said.

The Eagles’ coach added that this past Saturday’s scheduled matches against Midland Trinity and Midland Christian have been rescheduled to Nov. 5. The Eagles’ next matches will be this coming Monday in Fort Stockton, against the Panthers and Reagan County Owls, while their final home matches of the fall season are against Midland High and Fort Stockton, on Oct 15 and Oct. 18.

Pecos (4) at Monahans (20)Boys SinglesFrancisco Ornelas lost to John Wilhelm, 0-6, 6-1, 14-12; Jesse Hanks defeated Chris Garcia, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3); Jerris Rayos defeated Michael Derrick, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7; Cody Zamarippa lost to Kyle Bean, 6-4, 6-4; Derek Barron lost to Andrew Orona, 8-3; Barron lost to Daniel Heslin, 8-0; Zamarippa lost to Ryan Day, 8-4.Girls SinglesImari Ornelas defeated Tiffany Bean, 6-2, 6-0; Crystal Ikeler lost to Emily Acker, 6-3, 6-0; Elva Martinez lost to Madison Murray, 6-1, 6-0; Victoria Montoya lost to Cheyene Smith, 6-0, 6-0; Daniela Bustillos lost to Hannabeth Carter, 6-0, 6-0; Jenette Perea lost to Erin Coldeway, 6-1, 6-1; Delicia Ramirez lost to Amanda Chavez, 8-6; Sira Mendoza lost to Jolynn Sinclair, 8-4; Hope Mora lost to Brita Mews, 8-2; Tiffany Boicourt lost to Meagan Galindo, 8-0.Boys DoublesOrnelas and Hanks defeated Garcia and Derrick, 8-5; Rayos and Zamarippa lost to Bean and Orona, 8-3.Girls DoublesOrnelas and Ikeler lost to Ramirez and Ramirez, 8-1; Martinez and Montoya lost to Smith and Murray, 8-0; Bustillos and Perea lost to Acker and Carter, 8-1; Ramirez and Mendoza lsot to Coldeway and Chavez, 8-3; Mora and Boicourt lost to Sinclair and Mews, 8-1.

Serve problems cost Pecos in loss to open district play

There were a lot of momentum changes Tuesday night, in the Pecos Eagles’ District 3-3A volleyball opener at Fort Stockton. But in the end, the Eagles ended up on the wrong end of the momentum shift, and ended up losing a five-game match to the Prowlers.

Pecos won the first game by a 25-22 score, then fell to Fort Stockton by scores of 25-17 and 25-22. In the fourth game, the Eagles appeared to be in control late, grabbing a 23-20 lead, but then had to rally from 24-23 and 25-24 deficits to stay alive, with a 27-25 victory. That forced a deciding game, but after jumping out to 8-1 and 9-2 leads, the Eagles couldn’t handle the serves of Fort Stockton’s Tracey Jimenez, who had three aces in a 9-0 run, as the Prowlers closed out the match with a 13-1 streak to score a 15-10 victory.

“They had a little girl (Jimenez) who hurt us all night,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia. “She had a nice spin on her serves, and we just couldn’t handle it.”

“We just passed the ball into the net for our setters to handle too much,” Garcia said. “But I think the girls now know they can beat them, and they’ll do it when we play them next time up here.”

Fort Stockton had beaten the Eagles in a scrimmage and swept Pecos in their only match during pre-district play, at the Cantaloupe Classic in Pecos in late August. After the Eagles pulled out the opening game, the Prowlers were able to take control late in both the second and third matches, and then appeared ready to finish things off when they turned a 23-20 deficit into a 24-23 lead.

“We came out real strong, but then let up in the second and third games. But we played real well at the end of the fourth game,” said Garcia. “Brittany (Rodriguez) and Adriana had good nights hitting, and Gabi (Garcia) played last night and had a couple of key hits.”Gabi Garcia had a hit to keep the Eagles alive in Game 4, while Rodriguez finished that game off with a spike, while on the other side, Pecos did have problems at times with hitters Ruby Bernal and Leslea Fierro, but Debbie Garcia said Rodriguez and Jasmine Rayos did have a couple of blocks in the match.

Jenny Palomino did a very good job at the libero (back line) and Amalie Herrera did a good job picking up some balls on their hard shots,” the Eagles’ coach said. “But Fort Stockton is also very good at picking up balls. We hit some hard shots they got to.”The loss leaves the Eagles with an 11-17 season record going into their District 3-3A home opener on Saturday afternoon, against Presidio. The Eagles have faced the Blue Devils three times this season, all in tournament play, and after lost each match in split games, after losing out to the Blue Devils last season for the third and final playoff spot out of 3-3A. Presidio dropped their district opener on Tuesday to defending state champion Monahans, who the Eagles will take on this coming Tuesday on the Loboes’ home court.

Pecos’ junior varsity defeated Fort Stockton, 25-22, 25-21, while the ninth grade Eagles lost to the Prowlers, 25-17, 18-25, 25-13. Garcia said play against Presidio would start with the freshman games at 11 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the JV at 12:15 and the varsity around 1:30 p.m.

Swimmers compete in Lubbock Relays

The Pecos Eagle swim team will participate in their first invitational meet of the 2005-06 season this Saturday, when they travel to Lubbock for the Lubbock Relays.

The meet will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center, and Pecos will see three teams from District 3-4A, in Andrews, Big Spring and Monahans, along with several other Class 4A teams from the Panhandle, and 5A schools from both there and from San Angelo and Abilene.

The Eagles opened their season last Thursday with a sweep of Fort Stockton, in a dual meet at the Pecos High School pool. Coach Terri Morse said she was looking at several news swimmers in different races against the Panthers, while due to the format of the Lubbock meet, she’ll handle things differently on Saturday.

“The Lubbock meet is 24 different relays, so there will be a lot of different stuff,” Morse said. The meet includes three three-person relays on the boys and girls sides, while the others are the regular four-person relays.

For the three regular relay events - the 200 and 400 freestyle races and the 200 medley relay - Pecos’ boys are seeded second to Lubbock High in the medley relay, and second to Lubbock Monterey in the 400 freestyle relay. They’re seeded eighth in the 200 yard freestyle relay, while the girls, who lost most of their relay squad from last year to graduation, are seeded highest in the medley relay, where they’re rated ninth going into the meet.

Pecos’ first regular swim meet of the season won’t be until Oct. 21-22 at Big Spring, while their next dual meet is set for next Thursday, at home against Monahans.

Eagles hope ground game keeps going against Tors

The Pecos Eagles running game was strong in the first half of their last game, against the Sweetwater Mustangs. And the Eagles running game was strong in the first half of their game last year against the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes.

But in both cases, the running game wasn’t strong enough to maintain early leads, though Pecos’ ground attack against the No. 3-ranked Mustangs was more impressive than their effort a year ago against the Tornadoes, in the teams’ District 3-3A opener.Friday night in Pecos, the Eagles again open 3-3A play against Lamesa, where they’ll be looking to end a couple of negative streaks and at the same time keep the Tornadoes winless on the season.

The Eagles are 1-4 following their 52-14 loss at Sweetwater, in a game that was far closer in the first half than the score indicated. The teams were tied at 14 after one period, and Pecos missed two scoring chances inside the Mustangs’ 20 in the second period, before Sweetwater pulled away in the third quarter.

Lamesa, meanwhile, came close to getting their first win two weeks ago, before falling to Littlefield by a 13-6 score. The Tors are 0-5 on the season, and like Pecos had last Friday off.

Scoring has been a problem for Lamesa this season, just the way it has been for Pecos. Sophomore Dustin White replaced Andy Kilgore at quarterback during the Tors’ third game of the season, and has done a little better job both running and passing in the last two games.

“He’s a quick little guy and a typical sophomore,” said Lamesa coach Carlon Branson. “He’ll make some plays for you and then make some plays that get you in trouble.”

“He throws a little bit more than their usual quarterback,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis. “They try to keep the ball in his hands, but throwing it is not what they’re going to win by.”

Kevin Furlow and Isaac Guzman have been Lamesa’s other main runners. Furlow had gained 292 yards this season, while Guzman has run for 125 yards, while catching nine passes out of the backfield for an additional 94 yards.

Last season, Lamesa used an 89-yard fumble return for a touchdown to turn around their game with Pecos, and convert what looked to be an impending 14-0 Eagle lead into a 19-7 Tors’ victory. Pecos played that game without leading rusher Luis Ortega, who ran for 196 yards two weeks ago in the loss to Sweetwater, 150 of that in the first half.

The Eagles changed to a two-back offense in that game, and Willis said the team has been working both on improving that and on the 1-back formation during their bye week. They’ve also made a couple of changes on defense, including reinserting Eddie Vela at weak side linebacker.

“With Eddie in at Willie (weak side), and Josh (Payan) coming back, that ought to help us,” Willis said. Payan played his first game of the season against Sweetwater after a knee injury during Pecos’ final scrimmage, while Vela suffered a concussion while playing linebacker in the season opening game, and was limited to just quarterback duties until now.

Willis said Vela might split time at quarterback with Miguel Estrada, who started last year’s game in Lamesa. “We may have to get Miguel some snaps, but it’s not as hard when you’re doing the two-back stuff,” Willis said.

Defensively, Lamesa has fared better in their past two games, and Branson said, “We really didn’t play that badly against Denver City (a 56-7 season-opening loss), but we just turned the ball over a lot in bad positions. I feel like against Levelland, Littlefield and Brownfield we’ve been improving.

He said the Tors were hurt by the loss of linebacker Steven Hatchett to injury, and that there hasn’t been any single player who has stood out. “We’ve got a bunch of guys week-to-week who have stepped up for us,” Branson said.

“I know they’ve got some big kids,” said Willis, adding he didn’t expect to see changes in the Tors’ defensive plans. “They’re going to do what they’re going to do. They’ve already played two-back teams in (Lubbock) Cooper, Littlefield and Brownfield.”

Last year’s loss to the Tors was part of the Eagles’ current 13-game district losing streak, dating back to the start of district play in the 2002 season. The Eagles also have played far better on the road than at home during that span, having lost 10 straight overall and 14 of 15 overall, dating back to a loss to Lamesa in their 2002 home opener.

“This is a big game for us. It really is,” said Willis, looking at the district season.

Monahans comes into their 3-3A opener against Fort Stockton with a 5-0 mark, while Greenwood has routed Andrews and Ballinger in their last two games, following an 0-3 start against state-ranked Sweetwater, Snyder and Abilene Wylie.

“I think Monahans is still the cream of the crop, and Greenwood is getting better, but we’ve got a chance to compete against those teams if we do the things we’re supposed to do,” he said.

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