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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Pecos, Balmorhea runners fall short of trips to state

Balmorhea Bears’ senior Michael Hernandez just missed earning a second straight trip to the Class A cross county finals, after finishing 11th this past weekend at the Region I-A meet at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

Meanwhile, Eagle senior Jennifer Martinez improved on her effort from two weeks ago at regionals, but was hampered at the end of the race by an injury and finished 47th in the Class 3A division of the Lubbock regionals.

Edgar Contreras of Cotton Center edged out Hernandez for the 10th and final state cross country berth, though the Bears’ runner is the first regional alternate for the state meet in Georgetown, if any of the Top 10 finishers cannot attend the state meet. Bears’ coach Doug Maynard was unavailable on Monday, along with an exact time for Hernandez, but Contreras took 10th with a 17:56.21 time. Jose Enriquez of Adrian won the Class A meet, finishing the three-mile race with a 17:02.05 time.

Martinez ran her two-mile race in 13:27.02, which was third best among District 3-3A runners, after an illness two weeks ago left her in ninth place out of the 10 regional qualifiers. She finished just behind Presidio’s Kelly Coffman, who was 42nd with a 13:30.18 time, while Monahans’ Daisy Zamarippa was the highest finisher among 3-3A runners. Zamarippa, the district champ, placed 26th with a time of 12:56.20.

“Jennifer probably would have been able to cut her time a little bit more, 10 seconds or less, but she sprained her ankle in the last 200 meters,” said Eagles’ coach Rudy Jurado. “She was starting her kick and just stepped down and twisted it.”

Lauren Simpson of Canyon won the race with an 11:42.31 time, while Martinez’ time was within a minute of the Top 10 finishers, Jurado said.

On the boys’ side, Perryton’s Shota Yamaguchi won the meet with a 16:01.41 time, while Fort Stockton’s David Palma qualified for state by finishing third, with a 16:36.10 time.

Swimmers score second sweep against Monahans

The Pecos Eagles swim team picked up their second dual meet sweep of the season over the Monahans Loboes on Thursday, with the boys scoring an easy win and the girls taking first by a narrower margin over the Loboes at the Monahans High School pool.

The boys won by a 105-67 margin despite being without a couple of swimmers, while the girls edged Monahans, 84-70.

“On the boys’ relays Matthew Flores wasn’t there, so I had to switch things around a little bit,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse, who added that most of her swimmers did compete in their regular races in the two-team meet.

“Some of them may have swum something different because it was a dual meet and a let them do a few different things, but mostly it was the same as in the last (invitational) meet,” Morse said.

The boys were already without Matt Elliott due to the injury he suffered two weeks earlier in football. His brother Jose replaced him at the time in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and on Thursday Alonzo Garcia replaced Florez in those races. Along with Kyle Winkles and Matt Oglesby, they won the 200 medley relay with a 1:51.91 time and later swam a 3:46.01 to win the 400 freestyle relay.

Luke Serrano, Brian Carrasco, Adam Medina and Hector Roman swam the ‘B’ relay for Pecos in he 200 medley and placed fourth, while Serrano, Jose Gonzales, Roman and Frankie Morin were second as the 200 freestyle ‘A’ relay. The 400 ‘B’ relay of Morin, Carrasco, Roman and Media was third.

Winning firsts in the individual events were Oglesby, who took the 200 medley in 2:09.61 and won the 100 yard butterfly in 59.09; Winkles, who won the 100 free in 52.90 and took the 50 free in 23.19; and Elliott, who took the 100 backstroke with a 1:01.55 time. Earlier in he meet, Roman as first, Gonzales second and Oscar Machuca third in the 1-meter diving competition.

Other finishes for the boys included a second and third by Garcia and Morin in the 200 freestyle; a third by Serrano in the 200 medley; a fourth by Woody Tremble and a sixth by Machuca in the 50 free; a second by Elliott and a fifth by Medina in the 100 fly; a second by Carrasco and a fourth by Gonzales in the100 free; a second by Serrano and a third by Medina in the 500 free; a second by Morin in the 100 backstroke and a second by Garcia and a fourth by Carrasco in the 100 yard breaststroke.

The girls opened with a win by just over half a second in the 200 medley relay, with Ashley Mendoza, Lindsey Shaw, Cassandra Mata and Neyva Rodriguez finishing with a 2:16.37 time. The same four later won the 400 freestyle relay wih a 4:32.68 time, with the ‘B’ relay of Cynthia Marmolejo, Stephanie Lucas, Brittanie Rodriguez and Niki Lindemann placin third. Those four placed second as the ‘A’ relay for Pecos in the 200-yard freestyle race.

Shaw won both her individual races, taking the 100 yard breastrstoke in 1:19.13 and the 200 medley in 2:33.64, while Cassandra Mata also won her two indivudal events, taking the 100 fly in 1:21.40 and the 100 backstroke in 1:16.88. Other individual winners for Pecos were Marmolejo in the 200 free, with a 2:34.19 time; Mendoza in the 500 free, with a 6:13.49 time, and Neyva Rodriguez, who won the 100 freestyle with a 1:07.69 time.

The other finishes for Pecos included a fifth by Lucas in the 200 free; a second by Neyva Rodriguez and a fourth by Brittanie Rodriguez in the 50 free; a second by Marmolejo in the 100 fly; a third by Lindemann in the 100 free; a fourth by Lucas in the 500 free; a fifth by Rodriguez in the 100 back and a third by Lindemann in the 100 breststroke.

The Eagles will be at home again this Friday and Saturday for the annual Pecos Invitational. Morse said 19 teams would participate in this year’s meet , with diving set for 5 p.m. on Friday and the swimming finals at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Familiar woes cost Eagles in Panthers’ 26-7 victory

The final game of the 2005 football season for the Pecos Eagles was a lot like the previous few games for the Eagles. They started slow, fell behind early, rallied on offense just before halftime, but then couldn’t carry the momentum into the second half against the Fort Stockton Panthers.

The Eagles fell behind 19-0 before scoring just prior to halftime, then were given good field position to start the second half, when Lamberto Herrera recovered an onside kick attempt by the Panthers. But after driving inside the Fort Stockton 35, the Eagles mishandled the ball on a 3rd-and-4 play, then got off an 8-yard punt that was made even worst by a 15-yard personal foul call against Pecos. Panthers’ fullback M.J. Salmon then ran 44 yards up the middle on the next play, and J.J. Hickman followed that up with a nine-yard run around the end for a touchdown, giving Fort Stockton their final score in what ended up as a 26-7 Panthers victory.

“It just was like we weren’t inspired, and I was disappointed in that,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis, as his team again suffered from early mistakes that put them in a two-touchdown hole.

The Panthers scored on the game’s first possession on a two-yard run by quarterback Sergio Corral, after Alfredo Agredano returned the opening kickoff to near midfield and Hickman had picked up 45 yards on six straight carries. The Eagles then opened their next series with a fumbled snap and a four-yard loss, before Miguel Estrada’s third down pass to Luis Licon was picked off by Jesus Sandovar and returned to the Eagle 43.

Pecos would hold Fort Stockton on that series, but missed a chance at a turnover when Corral threw the ball up for grabs and Eli Hinojos couldn’t hold on near the 25-yard-line. It was one of three missed chances at turnovers for the Eagles, with the final two being the costliest. On the first, the Panthers’ sophomore threw a deep pass downfield late in the opening period that looked as if it would be intercepted by Estrada. But the Eagle defender stopped to jump for the ball, and it went over his head and into the hands of Agredano, who raced to the end zone for a 57-yard score.

That touchdown came after Pecos had failed to take advantage of a 46-yard run by Ortega on the previous series. He ran for seven yards on the next three plays, but couldn’t handle a pitch on fourth down, and ended up falling on it at the 29-yard-line, where Fort Stockton took over.

“He might have had a chance to score on that, because we had that side walled off,” said Willis. “We had holes open for him a couple of times, and just one person would get a hand in there and stop it.”

The second missed chance was another ball thrown up by Corral to Agredano, two plays after Estrada was picked off by Bryant Arcides in Pecos territory. This one was picked off by Javier Tercero, but the Eagles were called for pass interference on the play. Six plays later Corral made it into the end zone on a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak, to make it 19-0. “The little things keep hurting us, the same way it’s been each year. We had that (interception) drop, and the pass interference call set them up,” said Willis, as the Eagles went their final three games without a defensive turnover, and had only three turnovers on defense in their final seven games of the 2005 season.

The Eagles finally got into the end zone on their next series, set up by a 38-yard return by Tercero and a facemask call against Fort Stockton that put the ball at the Panthers’ 36-yard-line. This time, Pecos would convert on fourth down, as Ortega picked up six yards on a 4th-and-1 play. Two plays later, he took another pitch and went around the left end 15 yards for his fourth touchdown of the season.

Ortega would end up with 101 yards rushing in the first half and 192 yards for the game, but the rest of the Eagles managed just 15 yards offense on the night. They got more than that on their first series following the Panthers’ third quarter score, when Eddie Vela connected with a diving Tercero on a 23-yard completion. Coming after a first down run by Ortega, it got Pecos inside the Panthers 35-yard-line, but Ortega hurt his ankle on the following play, Tercero was stopped for a one-yard loss on second down and on third down Estrada was sacked by Rene Corral for an 8-yard-loss, forcing Pecos to punt.

Fort Stockton would fake a punt on 4th-and-12 as the third period ended, with Sandovar running for a first down, but Pecos would hold after that, and were able to tackle the Panthers’ punter the next time, after he tried to run following a high snap from center. Pecos then got another break when a holding call wiped out an interception by Estrada, and the Eagles then drove the ball inside Fort Stockton’s 25-yard-line.

But once more, the drive stalled when Vela was sacked trying to pass on a 2nd-and-7 play and passes on third and fourth down by Estrada fell incomplete. Pecos’ last series would end almost the same way, with a 20-yard run by Ortega getting the ball down to the 25-yard line before he was stopped on two runs, and two more passes by Estrada in the final minute of play fell incomplete.

“We just did some very undisciplined things, and I’m very disappointed about that,” said Willis, as the Eagles finished with a 1-9 record for the second year in a row.

The win gave Fort Stockton a final record of 2-3 in district and 4-6 for the season, Pecos ended the season with an 0-5 district mark and scored just 70 points for the year. The Eagles had solo touchdowns in eight games, while being shut out by Seminole and scoring over 10 points only once, against state-ranked Sweetwater. Ortega ended up running for 1,244 yards in 10 games, finishing second in the district to Monahans’ Sam Graves, who ran for 289 yards in the Loboes’ 49-33 victory over Greenwood on Friday.

Seminole shut out Lamesa, 21-0 in the other district game on Friday. The Indians, 5-5, will advance to the Class 3A-Division I playoffs against Abilene Wylie, 8-2, in a game scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

Monahans, which finished the season undefeated, will play right before that, against 9-1 Snyder, starting at 5:30 p.m., while 5-5 Greenwood faces 9-1 Sweetwater at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Bobcat Stadium in San Angelo.

PHS girls in Eldorado for basketball opener

The varsity basketball season gets underway for the Pecos Eagle girls Tuesday night in Eldorado, as they make their longest trip of the year to face the Class 2A Eagles in varsity and junior varsity contests.

The varsity season doesn’t start until next week for Pecos’ boys, but the Eagles will be at home on Tuesday night for their first varsity scrimmage of the season, against the Odessa Permian Panthers beginning at 7 p.m.

It’s the second year for both Lisa Lowery and Art Welborn as head coaches for the Eagles, and both will be looking to improve on their first-year efforts. Monday was the first day all of Pecos’ boys have been out, following the conclusion of the Eagles’ football season, while Lowery has had two weeks of workouts with all of her girls, following completion of volleyball in late October.

Lowery lost her leading scorer from last season, Danielle Garcia, to graduation, but returns starting posts Chantel Mazone and Adriana Armendariz and guard Olga Mendoza. She’ll also have another returning player in guard Vanessa Valeriano, while her other returning guard, Amalie Herrera, will miss Tuesday’s game due to an injury.

Garcia was the only consistent scorer for Pecos a year ago, but Lowery said, “I’m hoping Chantel will do better. She’s coming around, and I think she’ll be able to put it in the hole this year. She’s stepping up and being more of a leader for the team.

“I’m also looking for Adriana to be able to score some more, and I’m hoping our guards will be able to score from the outside,” she added.

Pecos lost their opener at home a year ago to Eldorado, 49-37, thanks to a 17-2 first half run. The games on Tuesday will start at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. in order to get the Eagles back home early from their 200-mile trip.

“I didn’t realize how long a trip it was, but they came here last year,” Lowery said.

Welborn said only varsity players would participate in Tuesday’s scrimmage against Permian, the first of two for Pecos before their season opener on Nov. 18 in Kermit. The other scrimmage for the Eagles will be this coming Saturday, at Coahoma.

Sub-varsities, Stockton split closing games

The Pecos Eagles’ seventh grade teams had a narrow win and a narrow loss on Thursday in Fort Stockton; while the scores weren’t as close in the eighth and ninth grade contests, as the Eagle and Panther sub-varsity football squads split their season-ending games.

In the only game played in Pecos on Thursday, the Eagles’ ninth graders ended their season on an up note, beating the Panthers by a 34-8 score. In Fort Stockton, the Crockett eighth graders ended their year with an 0-8 mark with a 38-12 loss to the Panthers, while the seventh grade purple team was edged 30-28 and the gold team scored a 6-0 win.

The ninth graders won after three straight three-point losses, scoring five times after Fort Stockton returned a first quarter fumble for their only score of the night. The Panthers still led 8-6 after Jeremy Martinez’ 4-yard run got the Eagles on the board. But Hector Ramirez scored on runs of 5- and 60-yards in the second period, with Timo Reyes adding the extra points for a 20-8 halftime lead.

Pecos would stop a Panther scoring threat in the third period, then added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, on runs for 6- and 3-yards by Martinez and Ramirez. In the seventh grade game, coach Jerry Parent said the Panthers won thanks to one extra two-point conversion. “We scored two of four extra points, and then converted three of their four,” he said.

Arturo Munoz scored three times and threw a halfback option pass to Isaiah Patino for the other score. “The defense didn’t play very well, but the offense looked good,” said Parent, as the purple team ended their season with a 5-3 record.

The gold team finished 5-2, with Donovan Rodriguez passing 15 yards too Alonzo Archuleta for the only score of the game. Pecos’ gold team had beaten Fort Stockton at home earlier in the season, 32-6, while the purple team used a kickoff return to win their first meeting against the Panthers, 8-0.

The eighth graders improved over their home performance against Fort Stockton in September, when they lost by a 48-14 score, but fell short of their first win of the season. Pecos’ touchdowns came on a kickoff return by Maurice Johnson, and a pass from Johnson to Alex Dominguez.

Bears get win at Sanderson to end season

The Balmorhea Bears were able to close out their 2005 football season with a winning record Friday night, as they used a touchdown and a safety in the final period to rally past the Sanderson Eagles, by a 38-33 final score.

Bears’ coach Adolfo Garcia said his team was ahead most of the night, but saw the host Eagles take a 33-30 lead with a pair of third period touchdowns. But a 12-yard touchdown run by Benjamin Orosco put Balmorhea back in front by three, and the Bears picked up their final two points on a safety by A.J. Garcia.

“They drove to the 16 on their last drive, before they turned it over on downs,” said Garcia, who had only 11 players suited up for Friday’s game. “Americo Rios played a real good game, and A.J. Garcia played really good on defense,” he added.

Rios caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Brian Mendoza in the opening period, and later returned a kickoff 79-yards in the second period, after the Eagles had tied the game at 14-all. Mendoza intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown in the first period for Balmorhea’s second TD, and Orosco had a 4-yard run in the second quarter, which put the Bears up 30-14 before Sanderson scored just prior to halftime.

The win allowed the Bears to finish the season with a 6-4 record, 4-3 in District 6-A six man play, while Sanderson finished with a 3-7 record, 2-5 in district play. Garcia said Balmorhea will graduate nine players off this year’s team, and are expecting five freshman players to move up from the junior high team next season.

“We’re looking to have about 14-15 players next year, because our enrollment is so low now,” Garcia said.

Grandfalls won the district title on Friday, with a 53-27 win over Dell City, while Fort Davis earned the other bi-district playoff berth, with a 66-19 win over Sierra Blanca. Grandfalls will take on Grady and Fort Davis will face Wellman-Union in the first round of the playoffs this coming weekend.

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