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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 9, 2005

Eagles seeking first win, against Jackets, ex-coach

Staff Writer

Two teams looking to stop two-game losing streaks to start the season, the Pecos Eagles and Kermit Yellowjackets, will meet at Walton Field Friday night at 8 p.m., as the Eagles face the coach who headed Pecos the last time they defeated the Yellowjackets. Gary Grubbs was the coach in 2001 when the Eagles drove the length of the field late in the game to score a touchdown and pull out a one-point win over the Jackets. Grubbs resigned in June of the following year to take over as head coach at Eldorado, but left there this past summer to take over as head coach in Kermit, following the resignation of Vance Jones.

“Being a 2A school, I knew it would be real competitive and would be a good job,” said Grubbs, who has Crane, Alpine, Anthony and Tornillo as the other members of District 1-2A. Former Eagle assistant coaches Junior Williams and Brian Gibson also are members of Grubbs’ Kermit staff, while he said the rest either came from Eldorado or were coaches he knew from other jobs.

Jones had guided Kermit to four straight playoff trips and three consecutive victories over the Eagles, the latest a 23-8 loss at home last season. The defeat was also the first of 10 straight regular season losses for Pecos, the latest a 21-7 defeat last Friday in Denver City.

Kermit lost their season opener to Ozona and this past Friday, dropped a 20-19 decision at Brownfield. A missed extra point late in the game cost the Jackets a shot at overtime, but Grubbs said overall, his special teams have played well this season.

“We didn’t tackle well. We had that extra point blocked, but our special teams kept us in the game,” he said. “We got a blocked punt and scored a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.”

Kermit graduated most of their key players from last year’s 9-2 team, but do return running back Gabi Saucedo. He had 46 of the Jackets’ 68 yards rushing in last year’s win and last week returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to open the second half.

“Gabi is a real good running back. He’s not going down by arm tackling,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis. “He can do some things running if we don’t take care of business.” Randy Castillo is another returning starter for Kermit, though last season he only played at free safety, Grubbs said. This year he’s starting both there and at quarterback.

“Their quarterback is decent,” said Willis. “We’ve got to contain him, and they’ve got a good receiver (Joe Albert Lujan) we’ve got to keep contained.”

Grubbs said Lujan and tight end Cedric Thompson were Castillo’s main targets, with Thompson also lining up as a split receiver “They’re both about 6-feet and give us good targets on the outside,” Grubbs said.

The Eagles last week got 150 yards rushing out of quarterback Eddie Vela, but running back Luis Ortega was limited to 39 yards after gaining 123 the previous week against Midland Christian and 227 the previous year against Denver City.

“We’ve got to get Cowboy (Ortega) more involved in the offense, and not let them stop him the way Denver City did,” Willis said. Ortega ran for 85 yards and a touchdown in last season’s game against Kermit.

Pecos did cut down on their opening week fumble problems against Midland Christian. They didn’t fumble once against Denver City, but were set back by 11 penalties. Kermit, meanwhile, had three fumble recoveries in last week’s game, and returned an interception for a touchdown in their opener against Ozona.

“The defense has been our strong point. We’ve caused a lot of turnovers,” Grubbs said. “But we’re playing a lot of 3A opponents that are going to be bigger than us.”

“We’re young overall. We only have five kids who have any varsity experience from last year,” he added. Aside from Castillo at safety, Grubbs said linebacker Woody Evans played well for Kermit in last week’s game.

“Brownfield pretty much kept them off the field,” Willis said about the Jackets’ offense last week, though Kermit was able to drive down field and score on a run by Castillo with 1:10 to play, before missing the extra point.

Last year’s game with Kermit was the debut of Pecos’ new artificial turf surface at Eagle Stadium, and Friday’s game at Walton Field will be the only game the Eagles will play on natural grass during the first seven weeks of the 2005 season. They played on Denver City’s artificial turf field last week, and will play on turf again two weeks from now, when they travel to Sweetwater. Their next game on natural grass won’t be until Oct. 14, when the Eagles travel to Seminole.

Starting Lineups Pecos Kermit Defense Offense DE (50) - Edward Valencia 190 QB (11) - Randy Castillo 160 DT (56) - Ruben Salgado 245 FB (40) - Gabi Saucedo 180 DT (55) - Julio Orosco 285 WB ( 9) - Santos Saucedo 165 DE ( 8) - Justin Hannsz 180 SE ( 8) - Cedric Thompson 210 LB (44) - Sammy Urias 180 RT (55) - Aaron Williams 190 LB ( 6) - Joenell Garcia 160 RG (63) - William Whiteside 190 LB ( 76) - Lamberto Herrera 165 C (52) - Donnie Dominguez 165 CB (30) - Eli Hinojos 150 LG (65) - Jacob Etheridge 165 R ( 9) - Miguel Estrada 140 LT (66) - Saul Garcia 165 S ( 2) - Robert Nunez 185 FL (22) - Woody Evans 185 CB ( 3) - Andrew Grant 150 SE (27) - Joe Albert Lujan 165 Offense Defense QB ( 7) - Eddie Vela 170 DE ( 7) - Taylor Garvey 160 RB (31) - Luis Ortega 190 DT (54) - Andrew Hinojos 180 SE (13) - Luis Licon 150 DT (50) - Jacob Garcia 165 WB ( 1) - Jeremy Dunlop 170 DE (77) - Christian Barrera 175 LT (50) - Edward Valencia 190 LB (83) - Isaac Ortiz 175 LG (52) - Michael Lee 220 LB ( 8) - Cedric Thompson 210 C (56) - Ruben Salgado 245 LB (66) - Saul Garcia 165 RG (55) - Julio Orosco 285 LB (22) - Woody Evans 185 RT (62) - Bill Moody 200 CB (27) - Joe Albert Lujan 165 TE ( 2) - Robert Nunez 185 S (11) - Randy Castillo 160 SE ( 3) - Andrew Grant 150 CB ( 1) - Dewane McDaniel 150 P (50) - Edward Valencia 190 K (66) - Saul Garcia 165 K (55) - Julio Orosco 285 P (27) - Joe Albert Lujan 165

Defense strong for Eagles in victory over Van Horn

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team took advantage of their only match over a two-week period to play one of their better nights of the season Tuesday night, at home against the Van Horn Eagles.

Pecos did a good job of moving on the court in the first two games, while using the visiting Eagles’ own problems to defeat Van Horn by 25-13 score. They had a letdown in Game 4, allowing Van Horn to score a 25-18 win, but then rallied in Game 5 to finish off the match by a 25-16 score.

The Eagles, who were off last weekend and will be off again this coming weekend, got back junior Brittany Rodriguez, who had missed the previous two games due to an injury. She had a series of kills in Game 4, after Van Horn had cut Pecos’ 16-8 lead to 16-13. “We’re still adjusting to our new people,” said Garcia who added that her back line had a good night against Van Horn.

“Jenny Palomino had a good game at libero (back line defensive player), Tiffany Tarango had a good game and Amalie (Herrera) had a good game,” the Eagles’ coach said.

The back line players were kept busiest in the opening game, come up with several hard kill attempts by Van Horn’s Yvette Urias and Tiffany Dunn. But several other kill attempts by the visiting Eagles went out of bounds, as Pecos built up an early 8-3 lead. Van Horn would get to within three points midway through the game, but Pecos closed things out with a 9-3 run, including a block by Rodriguez on Amanda French, a hit by Amber Pando and an ace serve by Herrera.

Herrera found an opening for a dink shot after a long volley to get Pecos started in Game 2, but most of Van Horn’s problems in that game were self-inflicted. They missed on a number of kills and even after scoring points, would miss a chance to gain momentum with a series of bad serves.

The Eagles also scored first in Game 3, but Van Horn led most of the way, taking the lead for good at 18-17 on a spike by Beverly Corrales. But in the final game Pecos led most of the way after Van Horn got on the board first, going out to 8-2 and later 16-8 leads before holding off the visiting Eagles’ comeback.

The win improved Pecos to 8-11 on the season. The Eagles’ next home match will be on Tuesday, when they host Van Horn. Pecos then goes to the Sul Ross Tournament in Alpine on Sept. 16-17, which replaced the Seminole Invitational scheduled for last weekend on the Eagles’ schedule.

Pecos’ freshman and junior varsity teams will be in action this weekend in tournament play at Fort Stockton. The JV opens with an 8 a.m. match against Alpine, while the ninth graders play an hour later in their opener against Crane. The JV Eagles outlasted Van Horn on Tuesday in a five-game match, winning by a 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10 score.

Pecos’ junior high teams will play in Presidio this weekend, after placing first in both the seventh and eighth grade divisions of the Sandhills Junior High Tournament in Monahans this past weekend. The seventh grade girls won their matches over Fort Stockton, Wink and Crane, while the eighth graders won by defeating Monahans’ ‘C’ team, Crane and Monahans’ regular team in their three matches.

Bears go for win at home after season-opening loss

The Balmorhea Bears will look for their first win of the season in their 2005 home football opener on Friday night, when they host El Paso Jesus Chapel in a 7:30 p.m. game.

Balmorhea opened their season last Friday night on the road, with an 86-57 loss to No. 7-ranked Whitharral.

“They pulled away at the end of the third quarter,” said coach Adolfo Garcia, whose team came out of a high-scoring first half trailing the Panthers by a 58-43 score.

“Just right off the bat on the second series on defense I lost my starting tailback (Brandon Mendoza), so that didn’t help things any,” Garcia said. “But the kids who came in to replace him did a good job.”

Americo Rios ended up running for 109 yards for Balmorhea, over half of that coming on touchdown runs of 25 and 28 yards in place of Mendoza, who Garcia said would also miss this week’s game against Jesus Chapel.

Garcia said the Bears had trouble stopping the Panthers towards the end of last Friday’s game. Jake Baker ran for 142 yards and five touchdowns, while throwing for another 134 yards and three TDs for Whitharral, who also got a 163-yard rushing night out of Jimmy Reyna.

Jesus Chapel is also 0-1 on the season after being beaten in their season opener by Balmorhea’s District 6-A rival Fort Davis, 64-33. “Fort Davis seemed to handle them pretty good, but they’ve got most of their team back from last year when they took us into overtime at their place,” Garcia said. The Bears ended up pulling out a 76-70 victory that day.

Fort Davis, which faces Whitharral next week, is one of three teams in District 6-A six man to win their first two games, while Sanderson is also undefeated after winning their season opener. The Indians beat Robert Lee last week, 73-38, while Dell City is 2-0 after a 75-30 win over El Paso Immanuel Baptist, which will host Balmorhea next week. Grandfalls is the other 2-0 team, following a 54-8 victory over Sands, while Sierra Blanca is 1-1 after a 91-0 win over the El Paso School of Excellence.

The other district team to play last week, Buena Vista, lost to Fort Davis’ junior varsity, 42-30. Balmorhea’s JV defeated Marathon’s varsity, 49-12 in the opening week of the season, while Sanderson’s win that week came over El Paso Immanuel Baptist, by a 59-34 score.

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