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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 22, 2005

PHS athletes need physical by next week

Physical forms for Pecos High School football and volleyball players are due in by next Friday, July 29, while incoming PHS football players will also have helmet fittings and receive their workout equipment on July 28-29, according to trainer Joel Birch.

Workouts for both football and volleyball begin on Monday, Aug. 1, and no player will be allowed to participate in pre-season drills without having a physical and getting a medical form signed by their doctor and returned to their coach. Formers are available either through local doctor’s offices or at the PHS field house.

Equipment fittings for Pecos Eagles varsity, junior varsity and freshmen football players will be from 8:30 a.m. until 12 noon, and from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on July 28-29 at the PHS field house, Birch said.

LLers begin play for WT state title

After making nearly annual appearances at the State Little League Tournament during the 1980s and early 1990s, the Pecos Little League returns a team to Waco this week, after a gap long enough that none of the current players were even born the last time a local team played at Marvin Norcross Field.

Pecos’ 11-year-old All-Stars were scheduled to begin play at the tournament with an 8 p.m. game against Wichita Falls on Thursday at Norcross Field, part of the Baylor University athletic complex along with Brazos River. A win would put the Little Leaguers into a 5 p.m. game on Friday against either San Antonio McAllister Park or West Brownsville, while the losers of those games will play an elimination game at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Pecos placed third at state in their last trip to Waco, in 1993, but a lot has changed since then - including the State of Texas in the eyes of the national Little League organization. Texas is actually two states now, with the area east of Interstates 35 and 37 making up the East Texas area, and includes Houston and part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. West Texas includes the rest of the state, and in the 12-year-old division, both winners would then advance to the Southwestern Regional, which also is held in Waco.

Pecos’ 1992 trip was in the 11-12 year-old bracket, but beginning last year, the national Little League organization gave local organizations the option of fielding separate 11-year-old and 12-year-old teams. The 11-year-olds swept through District 37 play in Pecos at the start of July, and last week went undefeated in Section 1 play at Fort Stockton, clinching the title by rallying in their final at-bat for a 3-2 win over San Angelo Northern. Jose Salgado picked up the win, allowing just two unearned runs in the fourth inning, while Brandon Garnto earned the victory two days earlier, when Pecos defeated Northern by a 13-3 score after trailing 3-2 going into the fifth inning.

For Thursday’s game against Wichita Falls, manager Vaughn Garnto said, “I’ll probably start Brandon. That’s subject to change, but it will probably be him.”

Garnto also won an error-filled 11-8 decision over Midland North Central after shutting out Fort Stockton in district play. Salgado defeated Monahans twice in district and then beat Lubbock Midwestern, 6-2, in his other sectional game.

Wichita Falls won the Section 2 title last Saturday at The Colony, downing Abilene Wylie by a 5-3 score. Chad Coburn allowed only one hit, while Joe Barron went 3-for-3 and Dylan McDorman was 2-for-3 in the win. Like Pecos, Wichita Falls is also undefeated going into the West Texas State Tournament.

Weather conditions are forecast to be good for the tournament, which will run through Sunday or Monday, though humidity levels will still be a lot higher than what Pecos’ players had to deal with playing in their district and sectional games. However, Garnto said he didn’t think that would be a negative factor for his team in Waco.

“It might amount to a little more, but I don’t think so,” he said. “We’ve been trying to practice when it’s hottest outside, so we can get use to it.”

Pecos will have to deal with a little drive to and from Norcross Field for their games. Garnto said due to a Jehovah’s Witness meeting this weekend in Temple, most of the area’s motel rooms already had been booked, and the team was forced to make reservations in Gatesville, 40 miles west of Waco. Along with the meeting, other rooms also were taken by the 9-10 year-old Little League All-Star teams that qualified for state, and for the Little League girls’ softball tournament, which is also this weekend.

The 11-year-old All-Star Division was set up by Little League as a way to prepare players better for the 12-year-old Major League Division, the main one in the Little League program. State winners there advanced to regional play, and those winners move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., but the state champions at the 11-year-old level do not advance on to regionals.

Aside from trying to win the West Texas State 11-year-old title, Pecos will also be trying to defend the 2004 championship won by Midland North Central out of Section 1, in the inaugural year of the new division. Most of the players off that Midland team were on the 12-year-old All-Star team that defeated Pecos’ 12-year-old All-Stars by a 13-1 score last Saturday in the Section 1 Tournament in Lubbock.

Magazine picking Eagles 6th again in 3-3A

After finishing last in district play for each of the last three seasons, Texas Football Magazine has no change in the Eagles’ fortunes in 2005, according to their pre-season predictions.

Preseason workouts for Pecos and the other District 3-3A teams get underway on Aug. 1, and the magazine forecasts Monahans claiming the district title under new coach Mickey Owen, after missing out on post-season play last year. Seminole and Greenwood, which shared the 2004 district title with Fort Stockton, are the other two teams picked to make the playoffs this fall.

Meanwhile, the Balmorhea Bears, who just missed the playoffs last season, are predicted to earn their first post-season berth since the 2001 season, though Grandfalls-Royalty is selected to win the District 6-A six-man title.

Pecos finished 1-9 last season, while going 0-5 in district play and finishing last in the six-team district. Turnover problems plagued the Eagles’ offense in the 2004, but Pecos does have seven of its 11 offensive starters back in 2005 and 15 players returning overall, which is about average for 3-3A squads.

This is the first season the Texas Football has listed their district-by-district selections officially, and the first time the magazine has listed the name of its analyst for each of the state’s six classifications, along with the private school leagues. Carl Padilla’s selections for Class 3A has none of the 3-3A teams ranked in the Top 25 but two teams out of District 4-3A, including the Eagles’ final pre-district rival, Sweetwater, among that group.

Sweetwater is ranked 14th by Texas Football, but is picked to finish second behind Snyder, which the magazine ranked No. 3 in its pre-season listing. Texas Football ranked Cuero and Marlin as the top two teams in 3A this season.

Sanderson and Dell City were the two playoff qualifiers out of Distinct 6-A six-man last season, with the Cougars edging the Bears for the final district playoff berth. According to Texas Football, this year’s finish will be similar to the late 1990s, when Balmorhea placed second to Grandfalls three out of four seasons.

As with Pecos’ district, none of the teams in Balmorhea’s district are ranked among the top teams in the state in six-man. Throckmorton is rated No. 1 in the preseason poll, while the highest-ranked team in the Permian Basin is Garden City, at No. 5.

Texas Football offers up no predictions for private schools in its 2005 forecasts, but Midland Christian, the Eagles’ season-opening opponent, comes into the 2004 season having won the TAPPS Division II state title last year. The Eagles’ other three pre-district foes all come from Class 2A, in Denver City, Kermit and Alpine.

The magazine has the Cranes and Yellowjackets finishing 1-2 in District 1-2A, while Denver City is picked seventh in the eight-team District 5-2A. For the two teams the Eagles will face in their pre-season scrimmages, Coahoma is picked sixth in District 4-2A, while Andrews, whom the Eagles will scrimmage on August 12 in Pecos, is expected to earn the No. 3 playoff spot out of District 4-4A.

Pecos earned their lone victory last season over Denver City in a game played in Monahans due to delays in the installation of artificial turf at Eagle Stadium. Pecos will play at Denver City, Kermit and Sweetwater in pre-district play, while hosting Midland Christian and Crane. Their district home games are against Lamesa, Monahans and Greenwood.

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