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Friday, October 14, 2005

RCCRD starts signing up kids for soccer play

The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is enrolling children now through Oct. 31 for its fall youth soccer program.

The program is open to boys and girls’ ages 4 1/2 to 9, with a sign-up fee of $10 through Oct. 31, and a $5 late fee for children signed up following that date. Registration forms are available at the RCCRD office at the old Pecos High School gym.

A copy of the child’s birth certificate and signatures from both parents are required with the returned registration form. For further information, call 447-9776.

Area golfers endure rain delay during tourney

Area golfers endured a thunderstorm break Sunday afternoon at the Reeves County Golf Course, during the West of the Pecos Fall Classic, which featured 40 golfers in five tournament flights.

Mark Burgen took first place in the Championship Flight of the two-day tournament, which along with the First Flight was forced to play their final holes following the 4 p.m. rain delay. Burgen shot a 69-67-136 to win by two strokes over Marcos Lopez, who had a 71-67-138. Curtis Howard finished third with a 68-75-143 and Robert Navarette was fourth, with a score of 71-75-146.

In the First Flight, local golfer Sal Nichols took first place with a 76-77-153, two shots ahead of Brad Shuggart, who had rounds of 77-78. Johnny Doan was third, with a 74-82-156 score, while Jim Pogue was fourth, with scores of 74-83-157.

In the Second Flight, David Bradley won with a 79-80-159 score, one stroke better than Gaylon Doan, who had rounds of 79 and 81. Beto Perez won a scorecard playoff for third, with a 78-85-163 score, while Dan Maldonado took fourth, with a score of 83-80-163.

The Third Flight had a three-way tie for first decided by a scorecard playoff. Bob Burkholder ended up winning there, after shooting 83-81-164. He beat out Charlie Claburn, who shot an 80-84-164, and Mark Valenzuela, who had an 84-80-164. Keith Windham finished fourth, with scores of 87-78-164.

In the Fourth Flight, the winner was Mario Flores, with a 91-86-177 score, while A.J. Chavez placed second, with an 92-86-178. Randy Lozano finished third, with scores of 91-88-179 and fourth went to Kenny DelaGarza, with scores of 89-81-180.

Eagles face changes going into Indians game

The first quarter started out great for the Pecos Eagles last week, while the first quarter was a nightmare for the Seminole Indians.

But it’s the Indians who come into Friday night’s home game against the Eagles with a share of the District 3-3A lead, while the Eagles try to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Lamesa in their 3-3A football opener.

Pecos took a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into last week’s game, and appeared to be driving for another touchdown later in the period. But after a fumble by quarterback Eddie Vela, Lamesa drove 79 yards to tie the game, then used another Pecos turnover to kick what turned out to be the game-winning field goal in the final minute of the half, as the Tornadoes defeated the Eagles by a 10-7 final score.

To make matters worse for Pecos, they’ll be without both Vela and Joenell Garcia this week due to disciplinary reasons for an off-campus incident over the weekend. Miguel Estrada will replace Vela at quarterback, while head coach will have to shuffle his linebacker corps for the third week in a row, after Vela replaced Garcia at one of the starting spots for the game against Lamesa.

“Miguel’s going to play, and we’ve got Donnie (Myles) as the emergency quarterback. We’ve got a little package we’re putting in for him,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis.Estrada started last year against Lamesa and came in after Vela got hurt this season in the opening game against Midland Christian. He threw for 84 yards and a touchdown ,but like Vela last week, had problems holding onto the ball.

With Estrada in, Willis said the Eagles won’t have as many running plays for their quarterback. “We’re going to look to throw the ball a little more,” said Willis. “He’s looked good in practice throwing the football, it’s just if he gets banged up, is he going to stay confident.”

While Pecos faded on offense after a fast start last week, Seminole’s opening period at home against Greenwood was definitely not encouraging. The Rangers took a 14-0 lead after one period, then widened that margin to 21-0 early in the second period.But instead of folding, the Indians came back, scoring twice before halftime, then adding a third touchdown to open the third period. Missed extra points kept Seminole from tying it then, but after trading scores with Greenwood over the next 1 1/2 quarters the Indians would win the game, 40-39, on a 55-yard run by Eric Boyd at John Salazar’s extra point kick with 2:14 to play.

“That’s the biggest comeback I’ve ever been associated with,” said Indians’ coach Chris Burtch. “Guys have come by and said they’ve been here 20 years and they’d never seen anything like it.”

“They spread them out and ran a no back package and just picked them apart,” Willis said. “When he wasn’t picking them apart, Boyd was running.”

Boyd accounted for almost 350 of Seminole’s 460 yards in offense last week, running for 179 yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for another 170 and two scores, both to wide receiver Micah Clay.

“We’ve got a group of kids just plays hard. They don’t have the talent some of the other teams have, but they won’t give up,” said Burtch, whose Indians, like Pecos, started pre-district play with a 1-4 record.

Unlike the Eagles, Seminole had been moving the ball on offense in most of their games. They led all the way in their only win, a 42-21 victory over Levelland, and Burtch said, “In two of the other games we led at some point in time. We just couldn’t hang on.”

“It’s started by Eric Boyd, but when he drops back to pass we have kids who can help him out. We had seven different receivers catch the ball against Greenwood,” Burtch said. While Clay was the big receiver in that game, the Indians’ coach said Corbin McDaniel and Trey Curiel were the prime targets in Seminole’s previous two games, while running back Manuel Gonzales gives the Indians another running threat along with Boyd.

“He’s a little bitty guy, but he’s agile and does a real good job running the ball,” said Burtch.

“He’s just shifty. We’ve got to hold onto him, “ Willis said. “But Micah Clay is a good receiver and their quarterback gets after it. They’re the ones we have to contain.”

The first quarter last year was even worse for Pecos than last week’s opening period was for the Indians, and things got worse before they got better. Seminole scored three touchdowns in the first period, and three more in the second quarter, and while the Eagles ran for over 200 yards in the second half, it was too late to prevent a 48-18 loss to the Indians, who went on to earn a share of the District 3-3A title.

The good news for the Eagles, who gained 197 of their 202 yards on the ground against Lamesa, is that run defense has been Seminole’s main weakness this season. Pecos and Seminole both have given up over 1,500 yards rushing, and Greenwood racked up over 400 yards last week in their high-scoring loss.

“I told them at workouts people have been able to run the ball on them some,” said Willis. Luis Ortega gained 142 yards last week and leads the district with 743 yards in six games, but picked up over 100 of his yards last week on the first two series of the game.“We just stopped blocking. They firmed up and ran the same plays, and we ran the same plays, but we just didn’t hold our blocks,” Willis said. “You could see two or three times Cowboy (Ortega) was just one tackle away from breaking it.”

“We’ve faced teams that haven’t really tried to pass the ball. They’ve just been smash-mouth teams that have run the ball most of the time,” Burtch said. He added that the Indians have a smaller than usual line this season, but linebackers Drew Phillips and William Brown both have played well this season.

Defensively, the Eagles moved Vela in at linebacker last week, after getting Josh Payan back at that position for the final pre-district game at Sweetwater. With both Vela and Garcia out, Lamberto Herrera will start in Vela’s weak side linebacker position.

“We just have to hope Josh can hold up, because we don’t have any backups for him now,” Willis said.

As far as moving anyone up from the junior varsity, the Eagles barely have enough players for Thursday night’s home game against Seminole, after several JV players were suspended for breaking into lockers and stealing equipment from Lamesa, during last week’s game on the Tornaodes’ home field.

“We returned the stuff to Lamesa, and I talked to coach (Carlon) Branson and they gave us the cost, and the kids are going to pay for it,” said Willis.

Assistant coach Michael Valencia said Pecos will try to play with just 12 players in Thursday’s game, which will follow the Eagles’ freshman contest against Seminole.

Bears heading to Marathon after rallying past Cougars

The Balmorhea Bears kept their playoff hopes alive before a homecoming crowd last Friday, and avenged a loss last year to the team that kept them out of the playoffs, as they rallied for a 45-44 victory over the Dell City Cougars.

The Bears got off to a slow start for the third straight district game, falling behind 14-8 after one period and 36-16 at halftime. But unlike their district opening loss against Grandfalls, when the Bears never got on the scoreboard, and their loss the following week to Sierra Blanca, when Balmorhea rallied from a 24-point deficit only to lose in the final period, this time they used a 29-0 third period to grab a 45-36 lead, then held off Dell City in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Woodruff had two touchdown catches for Balmorhea, two on passes of 19 yards from Brian Mendoza and a 36-yard pass from Brandon Mendoza. He also had a fumble recovery for a score, while Brian Mendoza also had a 38-yard TD pass to Sean Enloe, Brandon Mendoza had a five-yard touchdown run and Eddie Lozano had the Bears’ other touchdown, on a six-yard run.

Balmorhea ended up with over 400 yards in total offense, with Brian Mendoza passing for 184 of the team’s 235 overall yards. Dell City got most of their yards on the ground, with David Pinon and Bobby Tate combining for over 200 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Tate had three of the five scores, including touchdowns on back-to-back runs in the first half and a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter that cut the Bears’ lead to one point.

Balmorhea’s win got the Bears back to .500 on the season, at 3-3, and left them with a 1-2 record in District 8-A six man, going into their road game this Friday night in Marathon, against the Mustangs. Dell City, meanwhile, suffered their first loss of the season and are 5-1 and 2-1, tied for third place with Grandfalls, which was shocked by Sierra Blanca last Friday, 41-32, as the Vaqueros and Fort Davis remain the only district undefeateds, with 3-0 marks.

Balmorhea’s JV defeated Marathon’s varsity on the Mustangs’ home field to start the season, but Marathon does have the same number of district wins as the Bears right now, thanks to a victory in their 8-A six man opener against Buena Vista. The Mustangs lost to Sanderson this past Friday, 56-8.

Eagles hosting Prowlers after loss to Loboes

There weren’t any surprises in Pecos Eagles’ match Tuesday night in Monahans against the defending state champion Loboes. But after their 25-7, 25-6, 25-17 defeat at the Larned Special Events Center, the Eagles now face their biggest match of the season at home on Saturday, when they host the Fort Stockton Prowlers.

Pecos ended the first half of District 3-3A play with their seventh consecutive district loss to Monahans over the past three-plus years that the teams have been together as 3-3A rivals. But Monahans also has yet to lose a game, let alone a match, during that span, and have dropped just one game so far in the 2005 season while returning most of the players who captured last year’s Class 3A state title.

“We did get a couple of blocks. Brittany Rodriguez got a couple of good blocks, and Monahans hits the ball so hard that it fell in their backcourt, and we got some points,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia. “But we ended up most of the time on defense, and when you do that, they’re going to score all the time.”

“Monahans sets are low and quick, and our blockers are going to have to be faster getting over,” said Garcia, while adding, “but Amalie (Herrera) and Tiffany Tarango had some success picking up their hard shots on the back line.”

The Eagles were hurt the most by senior Brittany Hughes, both with her kills on the front line, and with her serves on the back line. “We struggled with receiving Brittany Hughes’ jump serves, and that’s something we’re going to have to work on in practice. There were a couple of times we passed her serves right back over the net, and that’s what they wanted.”

Offensively for Pecos, Garcia said, “Probably the person who had the most luck was Adriana (Armendariz). She hit the ball down the line a couple of times. Brittany had problems getting the ball past their middle blockers.”

The loss left the Eagles with a 10-18 record and an 0-3 mark, but Garcia said the Eagles could tie Fort Stockton for the final district playoff berth if they can beat the Prowlers at home on Saturday. Fort Stockton lost on Tuesday to Presidio, and are 1-2 in 3-3A play. That includes a 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-27, 15-10 loss earlier this month on the Prowlers’ home court, in which the Eagles had problems in the deciding match with Tracey Jimenez’s serves, and lost an early 8-2 lead.

“If we beat Fort Stockton and we beat Presidio (next Tuesday), we’ll get into the playoffs. Second and third place are still up for grabs,” Garcia said.

Monahans also won Tuesday’s junior varsity match, by 25-16, 25-14 scores. Play will open on Saturday with the Eagle and Prowler freshmen teams at 11 a.m., followed by the JV game around 12:15 and the varsity contest starting around 1:30 p.m. Garcia also said Saturday’s match will be Parents Appreciation Day for the Eagle teams.

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