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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 15, 2005

Girls’ golfers, Nichols earn regional trips

The Pecos Eagles girls golf team and Pecos Eagle senior boys golfer Michael Nichols will be going to the Region I-4A Tournament again this season, though both girls coach Tina Doan and boys coach Kim Anderson hope to improve their results between now and the regional competition on April 25-26 in Midland and Odessa.

The girls team advanced to regionals for the seventh straight year, while Nichols qualified for the I-3A tournament for the fourth time, following the final round of the District 3-3A Tournament, in Seminole on Monday for the boys and on Tuesday for the girls in Fort Stockton.

The girls shot a 346 for the final round of play and finished with 1,041 total for the 54-hole tournament, which was won by Monahans for the second straight year. The Loboes shot a 322 on the Pecos County Golf Course, and took first with a 977 score. Lamesa ended up in third place in the final standings, with an 1,125 score after a final round of 380.

Shelly Martinez had the second-best round of the day, and finished second in the medalist race for the three rounds of the tournament. Martinez shot a 74, two shots behind Monahans’ Amanda Stuessy for the day, and finished at 226, two strokes in back of the Loboes’ Allison Jordan for the tournament.

Stuessy was third, with a 233 total, while Pecos’ Eleanor Mason tied for fourth with a 255 score, and Jennie Canon was one stroke back in sixth place, with a three round score of 256. Mason shot a final round of 54 and Canon had an 85 on the day, while the Eagles’ other two ‘A’ team golfers, Rico Pina and Carolina Briones, shot 100 and 110 on Tuesday. Briones finished the tournament with a 305 score and Pina ended up at 307 “We’re just going to revamp and work hard for the next week and a half,” said Doan. “We’re going to try and keep our Top 3 players playing strong like the last couple of rounds and get our 4-5 players playing better.”

Pecos’ ‘B’ team shot a 415 and finished sixth overall in the tournament with a 1,245 score. Stephanie Galindo shot a 99 and finished at 286, while Evelyn Flores had a round of 102 and finished with a 317 score, Marissa Lyles shot a 107 and finished at 328 and Kayla Natividad had a 119 and finished at 349. Melissa Mendoza also had a 107 on Tuesday, but didn’t have an overall score after missing the opening round of play on March 30 in Pecos.

“We know regionals will be tough with Monahans, and I know Snyder and Sweetwater will be there from the other district,” Doan said. Pecos placed second at state to Snyder two years ago, and last year finished third at regionals, behind Monahans and Snyder. This year’s I-3A girls tournament will be held at the Nueva Vista Golf Course in Midland.

Nichols ended up tied for fourth with Seminole’s Brett Nichols in the boys’ medalist race, while Pecos ended up finishing fifth overall in the tournament, which was won by the Indians on their home course. Fort Stockton rallied in the final round to pass both Monahans and Lamesa and claim the second regional team berth. Nichols, won medalist honors last year in district, but ended up finishing behind Seminole’s Brady Shivers, Monahans’ Victor Calzada and Fort Stockton’s Nunnie Rodriguez after a round of 82 on Monday.

The senior finished with a 241 score, while Shivers shot a 75 and finished at 227, Calzada had an 83 and finished at 238, and Rodriguez shot a 77 and wound up at 240. Calzada will join Nichols as a regional medalist, since both finished among the Top 6 players and were not on one of the regional qualifying teams.

“He started par, par and then went double-bogey, double-bogey, but he had enough of a cushion to get it” Anderson said. “At one time Joseph Tarin had him by 2-3 strokes, but then he blew up.”

Tarin, who had an 83 back in March when Pecos played in Seminole, shot an 85 this time and finished at 246 overall, while Zack Morton and Jake Weinacht both finished with 280 scores, after Weinacht shot a 92 and Morton a 97 on Monday. Pecos’ other ‘A’ team golfer, Matt Oglesby, shot a 98 and finished at 309 for the tournament. The Eagles’ other two golfers, Jesse Prieto and Frank Deishler, shot 110 and 109 respectively and finished with 336 and 342 scores.

“Tarin improved a little bit from last week, and Oglesby broke 100 for the first time in the tournament, but overall we didn’t play very well,” Anderson said of the Eagles’ 356 score, which left them at 1,067 for the tournament. Seminole shot a 311 on their home course and won with a 977 score, while Fort Stockton shot a 321 and finished at an even 1,000 to grab second. Monahans placed third with a 332 score on Monday for a 1,009 total, while Lamesa ballooned to 337 and dropped from second to fourth, with a 1,010 score.

Regional play will be at Odessa’s Ratliff Ranch this year, where Nichols shot a 73 back in February during tournament play. But Anderson said right now, “We’ve got a lot of work to do on Mikey’s swing before regionals. But we’re going to fix that before then.”

Eagles, Loboes still in dark about end of game

It was nowhere near as spectacular as Roy Hobbs banging one off the outfield lights in “The Natural”, but the power outage that hit the Monahans High School baseball field Tuesday night did cause a few fireworks of its own.

A transformer blew out with two outs in the top of the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game between the Pecos Eagles and the Monahans Loboes, with the Eagles holding a 4-2 lead on the Loboes. Smoke poured out of the transformer at the top of the tower, leaving only the emergency light glowing, and leaving the status of the game up in the air.

The umpires ended up halting the game over safety concerns, but that left Eagles’ coach Elias Payan, Loboes’ coach Arcadio Rivera and athletic directors Patrick Willis and Mickey Owen to sort out whether or not the game would be resumed at a later date, or if the Eagles would be awarded the victory.

“The rule says anything that has to do with darkness or the weather, if we hadn’t played five innings we would start over, but if you’ve completed five innings, it’s a complete ballgame,” Payan said following the game, the outcome of which eventually was turned over to the District 3-3A administrators to decide.

As of Thursday morning, no decision had been made about completing the game, but assistant coach Junior Williams said, “It looks good for us. The UIL rulebook says if the game is called because of darkness it’s an official game.”

As for what happened on the field before the lights went out, unlike most of Pecos’ district games this season, when the Eagles have started slowly at the plate, they came out hitting in the first three innings against pitcher Kevin Kenyon, and were helped by a couple of Monahans mistakes.

Kenyon survived a pair of errors by third baseman Kenny Almanza in the first inning, but couldn’t get out of trouble when Almanza threw away Miguel Estrada’s grounder in the second, following a leadoff single by Eddie Vela. Chris Garnto singled to center to score both runners, and one out later Kenny Rayos singled to left to make the score 3-0.

Kenyon got out of trouble after that, but Josh Anchondo opened up the fourth inning with his first home run of the year, over the left field fence, to make the score 4-0.

That turned out to be the next-to-last hit for the Eagles until the transformer blew out with two away and Jose Chavez at bat. A fifth inning single by Anchondo and a fourth inning walk to Javier Mendoza were the only baseunners allowed by Kenyon after his shaky start.

Meanwhile, Vela was keeping Monahans’ hitters off balance for most of the night, as he tried for his fifth win of the 2005 season. The junior survived a leadoff double by Kenyon in the second inning before surrendering an unearned run in the fourth, when Kenyon scored after singling and stealing second to open the inning, when Garnto threw past Anchondo at third trying to get Kenyon advancing on a passed ball.

Vela would finally get Kenyon out on a pop up in the sixth, but it came after a Tico Olivas single and was followed by an RBI hit by Scotty Najar to make the score 4-2. Larry Jasso, who hit two home runs in last month’s 6-3 Pecos win over Monahans, then came up as the tying run, and hit one to deep left field, but Miguel Estrada made the catch, and Vela then got Sam Graves for his sixth strikeout of the night to end the inning. Tuesday’s game was the third this season Pecos has played where light tower problems have been involved. The Eagles’ first two home games of the season were played with the light tower behind first base inoperative due to a blown transformer, but Eagle Field has more lights overall than in Monahans, and the problem with shadows wasn’t as severe during those games, which were won by Snyder and Odessa High.

The Eagles needed the win to stay close to one of the final two District 3-3A playoff berths, going into their 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday against Seminole. The Eagles are 3-4 in district, while Greenwood is 4-3 and Seminole is 5-3 after an 11-1 loss at home to Presidio on Tuesday.

Pecos scored a 5-3 win over Seminole in pre-district play, but the Eagles were hammered by the Indians in Seminole last month, 10-0. Chavez had Pecos’ only hit in the game off pitcher Trey Curiel, while Matt Castleberry homered in each of the first two innings off Vela, including a grand slam in the second inning.

Payan said Anchondo would start on the mound on Saturday and will be trying to get back to the .500 mark on the season, after falling to 1-2 with a 9-6 loss last Friday at Fort Stockton. It was the weakest of his three starts since returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, after he defeated Monahans, 6-3, and lost to Presidio, 4-2, in his other two outings.

Loboes pull away from Pecos in late innings

A one-run lead on the road failed to hold up for the Pecos Eagle softball team for the third time in the five days. But unlike their two losses last weekend at Fort Stockton and Greenwood, the Eagles were unable to keep things close in the late innings against the Monahans Loboes on Tuesday.

Monahans scored eight times in the fifth and sixth innings on Tuesday to turn a 4-3 lead into a 12-5 victory over the Eagles, who dropped to 4-6 in District 3-3A in their final road game of the season.

“I thought we came out and hit well,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls. “We were aggressive, but you can only make so many errors.

“The top of the lineup has carried our team hitting the last couple of games, and once again that was the case. We need to get the bottom of our order hitting a little better,” she added.

Pecos took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Monahans pitcher Heather Schuler, then tied the game in the third after the Loboes scored once in the bottom of the first and twice in the second inning for a 3-1 advantage. But Monahans would take the lead for good in their half of the third, scoring one run for a 4-3 lead, and the Eagles were unable to score again against Schuler or Raquel Hawkins, who came on in the fifth inning to pick up the save.

The Eagles got their first run on a one-out single by Jessica Florez, after Lupe Navarette dropped Savanna Ewing’s leadoff fly ball to center field. Ewing beat Schuler’s throw to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amalie Herrera, and Danielle Garcia reached on an infield hit following Florez’ single to load the bases.

But Schuler came back to strike out Vanessa Valeriano and Bianca Baeza to end the inning, and then tied the game in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double, after Herrera walked Breann Chavez and wild pitched her to second to start the inning.

Errors hurt Pecos in the second, when the Loboes took a 3-1 lead. After a leadoff hit by Dina Ortiz, Ewing threw wide on a Navarette grounder to third, allowing her to reach base, and after Herrera struck out Katlin Mitchell, she threw the ball past Ewing trying to pick Ortiz off third, allowing her to come home. Navarette then scored on a throwing error by Valeriano at shortstop.

Pecos came right back to tie the score in the third. Herrera singled and scored on a Garcia base hit, following a walk to Florez, who then came home on a ground out by Valeriano. But in the bottom of the inning Schuler singled and reached second when Garcia couldn’t hold onto a throw from Valeriano on a grounder by Hawkins, and Amber Jarrett followed with an RBI double for a 4-3 lead.

Monahans would collect seven hits off Herrera in the fifth and sixth innings, while Pecos’ only two base runners were erased, as Herrera was caught stealing in the fifth after a bunt single off Hawkins, and Garcia was doubled off first by Ortiz, after she caught a popped up bunt by Valeriano behind home plate.

Ortiz had a pair of two-runs singles in both of the Loboes’ big innings. The first came after an infield hit by Jarrett made it 5-3. Then in the sixth, her single capped a five-run inning, with the first three runs coming off a bases-loaded walk to Schuler, a Hawkins single and passed ball by Florez.

“We had the opportunity to get a couple of outs in the sixth inning, but couldn’t do it,” said Walls, who overall was happy with Herrera’s effort, despite allowing 12 hits.

“I thought she threw very well and worked ahead of the hitters in the pitch count most of the game, but we just made too many mistakes behind her. When she makes t hem put the ball in play, we can’t make errors,” Walls said.

Monahans improved their district record to 7-2, and moved a half game ahead of Fort Stockton in the race for third in the 3-3A standings, as the Prowlers were beaten by Greenwood on Tuesday, 8-3. Pecos’ next game is at home against Greenwood, who beat the Eagles by a 4-2 score last Saturday in Midland. But the teams won’t play until next Friday, due to the district track meet and TAKS testing early next week. Pecos ends its 2005 season the following day, April 23, with a home game against Presidio.

Pecos 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 -- 3 5 5 Monahans 1 2 1 0 3 5 x --12 12 2 Herrera and Florez. Schuler, Hawkins (5) and Ortiz. W - Schuler. L - Ortiz. E - Pecos, Ewing, Herrera, Valeriano, Garcia 2. Monahans - Navarette, A. Jarrett. DP - Monahans 1. LOB - Pecos 5, Monahans 4. 2B - Monahans, Schuler, A. Jarrett. S - Pecos, Herrera. Monahans, Fuentes. SB - Monahans, A. Jarrett. CS - Herrrea (by Ortiz), Ortiz (by Florez). WP - Herrera 3. PB - Florez 2.

Crockett 7th grade boys finish 2nd

The Crockett seventh grade boys track team placed second and the eighth graders fourth this past weekend, at the District 3-3A junior high track meet in Monahans, while Pecos’ seventh grade girls were fourth and the eighth grade girls fifth in their divisions at the Saturday meet.

Monahans took first in both boys divisions, while the Loboes’ seventh grade girls and Lamesa’s eighth graders won those division titles. Monahans finished with 191 points to 138 for the Eagles in the seventh grade boys division, where Pecos picked up six gold medals on the day.

Chris Martinez threw 99-feet-5 to win the discus by just over 1-1/2 feet over teammate Robert Herrera, who took the shot put with a 37-foot-4 throw. Sammy Sandoval won both the 400-meter dash, with a 59.37 time, and the 800 meters, with a time of 2:23.74. German Rodriguez was second in that race, 10 seconds behind Sandoval, while running an 8:30.46 to win the 2400-meter run. The boys’ other first place finish came from Cesar Medrano, who took the 200-meter dash with a 32.28 time.

Sandoval earlier had placed third in the triple jump, while Maurice Johnson was third in the 400 meter dash and in the 110 hurdles, where Alex Dominguez place second. Johnson also was sixth in the triple jump and the long jump, while Dominguez took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles. Edward Rodriguez and Nick Granado had Pecos other two individual medals, as Rodriguez was second in the 1600 meters after a fourth place in the 2400 meter run, and Granado was third in the 100 meter dash.

The seventh graders also got a third place medal from Dominguez, Johnson, Sandoval and German Rodriguez in the 1600-meter relay. The other points for the Eagles were from fifth place finished by Jake Lopez in the 400 meter dash and 300 meter hurdles and a sixth in the 110 hurdle, along with a sixth by Adam Garcia in the 1600 meter run and a fifth place in the 800 meter relay.

The seventh grade girls had 75 points overall in a division won by Monahans with 180 1/2 points. Seminole was second with 130 points and Lamesa was third with 115. The picked up one first place medal, as Ashley Baeza took the discus with a 61-foot-6 throw, while Allyson Salcido was second in the long jump and placed fourth in the triple jump. Salcido also was second in the 100 meter hurdles, , while she, Aileen Rayos, Brittany Quintana and Brittany Chavez were second in the 400 meter relay and third in the 800 meter relay.

Kendra Villanueva was third in the 400-meter dash, Trina Morales was sixth in the 1600 meter run and the girls’ 1600-meter run also took sixth.

The eighth grade girls had the lowest finish of the four Pecos teams, but scored the second highest number of points, finishing with 85 in the closest of the four divisions. Lamesa won with 128 points to 110 for Monahans, while Greenwood had 99 and Seminole 94 points.

Most of the girls points came in the field events, including a trio of first place finishes. Brittany Palomino won the long jump with a 15-foot and was third in the triple jump; Kristen Ikeler won the pole vault with a 7-foot-6 effort, and Gabbi Garcia won the high jump with a 4-foot-10 leap. Claire Weinacht was second in the pole vault, clearing 7 feet, Jasmine Rayos was second in the high jump, with a 4-foot-7 effort, and she also was fourth in the triple jump.

In the running events, Palomino was second in the 100-meter dash with a 13.81 time; Rayos was second in the 400 meters with a 69.37 time; Weinacht was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles; and Lily Gutierrez was third in the 1600 meters with a 7:00.20 time and fourth in the 800 meter run. In the relays, the 800-meter team was the only one to place for Pecos, finishing sixth.

The eighth grade boys wound up with 74 points in their division, won by Monahans with 220 points. Seminole was second with 115 points and Presidio third with 76. The eighth graders had no first place finishes, with their best result a second by Hector Ramirez in the 400-meter dash and by Phillip Williams in the 200-meter dash. Williams was also fourth in the triple jump while Saenz placed fourth in the long jump. In the running events, Brian Mora was fourth and Jesse Juarez sixth in the 800 meter run; Joseph Rodriguez was fourth in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles; and Mora was fifth in the 400 meters.

In the relay, Saenz, Williams, Dominguez and Ramirez were third in the 400 meter relay, while the first three plus Rodriguez was third in the 800 meter relay. In the 1600-meter relay, Dominguez, Mora, Saenz and Ramirez finished sixth.

Coaches unsure of some spots at district meet

Pecos Eagle girls track coach Veronica Valenzuela and boys’ coach John Fellows were taking a wait-and-see attitude about the health of a couple of their people, going into the opening day of the District 3-3A Track and Field Championships on Thursday in Fort Stockton.

Field events began on Thursday and continued Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Panther Stadium, while the running finals were to get underway at 3 p.m. on Friday.

The main question for the boys is the status of senior Rashad Terry, who pulled up two weeks ago with a leg injury in the 200-meter finals at the San Angelo Relays. Terry didn’t run last week at Crane, and while Fellows was optimistic said he didn’t know how the leg would hold up at district.

“We’ll see. He’s not 100 percent, but he should be good enough to qualify,” he said of Terry, who advanced to state in the 100 and 200-meter dashes last season. “He’s had a little pain, but he’s looked good running this week.”

Terry will also compete in he high jump, along with Ricardo Morales. But fellows said the Eagles will be without sophomore Larry Johnson in both that event and in the 800 meter relay, where Pecos had one of the fastest times in the district going into this week. “Andrew (Grant) may try the pole vault, even though he’s injured,” Fellows said. Grant hurt his elbow while practicing last week, and also did not compete in the Crane meet. While both Eagle teams have been shorthanded during this season, especially in the running events, the shot put and discus have produced the best overall results so far for Pecos. And the new UIL rule allowing the top three finishers to advance to regionals could help the Eagles in those two events on the girls’ side.

Chad Evans will try to defend his district shot put title from a year ago, and will be challenged by Seminole’s Bryan Brown, while Evans also will be looking to win the discus competition. On the girls’ side, junior Jessica Florez and sophomore Chantel Mazone will be trying for their first regional berths in both the shot put and discus. In the running events, Jummy Akinyode has won the 200 meters at district the past two seasons. She’ll be challenged by Monahans’ Cassie Smalls this time, and will also try to qualify for regionals in the 400-meter dash.

Valenzuela will get back one of her injured distance runners for district, in freshman Heather Lamka. Her sister Kathryn placed fourth last week at Crane in the 3200 meter run. However, Valenzuela wasn’t sure about the health of the other freshmen twin sister combo of Shatavia and Octavia Hightower.

“Shatavia will run the 100 and the 200, and with Octavia it depends on how well her knee is,” Valenzuela said. “We’ll try to have her do the 100 and 200 and Ashley Ornelas will do the 100 hurdles and the 300, but if Octavia’s not well enough to do the 200, we might put Ashley in there.”

Girls doubles teams grab both regional berths

Pecos Eagles seniors Catherine Garcia and Sara Natividad surprised a couple of ranked teams, including their own teammates, this past weekend, as the duo won the girls doubles championship at the District 3-3A tennis tournament in Monahans.

Imari Ornelas and Crystal Ikeler also qualified for the Region I-3A tennis tournament, finishing second to Garcia and Natividad in girls’ doubles, while Pecos’ boys doubles team of Pedro Gomez and Jesse Hanks just missed a trip to regionals, finishing third after losing a playback match for the second place regional spot.

“My girls had a great weekend in doubles,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz, whose team placed second in the division to Monahans. “I’m surprised, but glad for both of them, because they’re both seniors.”

“They beat the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals, the No. 2 seed in the semis and then the No. 2 seed, which was my other girls team,” Ortiz said. Garcia and Natividad won a three-set 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over top seeds Susie Wall and Annie Friesen of Seminole, then defeated No. 4 seeds Heather McLemore and Ana Vega of Greenwood, 6-3, 6-4. In the finals, they downed Ornelas and Ikeler by 6-1, 6-4 scores. “I tried to get them seeded for the tournament, but they had a couple of losses, so it didn’t come out right,” Ortiz said of Natividad and Garcia, while Ikeler and Ornelas opened their half of the bracket up with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Fort Stockton’s Victoria Burgess and Laura Casas, then downed No. 3 seeds Laura Ramirez and Tiffany Bean of Monahans, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. The Eagles ended up with 20 points in the girls division, while Monahans placed first with 27. “We got second overall in the tournament, which was surprising, because in district, the only team we were able to beat this year was Lamesa,” Ortiz said. “I think our kids really worked to prove they were better than what they showed this year, and I give all the credit to the kids this weekend. They worked hard and did what it takes to win.”

Gomez and Hanks also were unseeded going into last weekend’s tournament, but won their first two matches, 6-3, 6-1 over Kyle Minton and Angel Ruiz of Greenwood, and 6-2, 6-4 over No. 3 seeds Zach Rodriguez and Jeremy Martinez of Fort Stockton.

“They lost to the No. 2 seeds (Seminole’s Colby Morris and Steven Boehm) in the semifinals, but that team ended up winning the tournament,” Ortiz said. After their 6-4, 6-1 loss, Gomez and Hanks downed Lamesa’s Eike Rellin and James Nix, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in he third place match, and thanks to the win by Morris and Boehm, had a chance to play for second against Fort Stockton’s Brian Fierro and Alex Marquez, but came up short in a 6-2, 6-2 defeat.

The other boys doubles team, of Francisco Ornelas and Jerris Rayos, lost in the opening round of play to Greenwood’s Leonel Ramirez and Patrick Colvin, 7-6, 6-4, while in singles play, the Eagles’ best result was a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 loss by Amber Pando to No. 3 seed Leigh Hampton of Fort Stockton in the quarterfinals of the girls singles competition. Sada Orona fell 6-0, 6-0 to Lamesa’s Skyler Boles in the first round in the other singles match for Pecos, while on the boys’ side Alexander Gray lost to Seminole’s Gavin Castillo, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, in his opening match, and Cody Zamarippa was beaten by Steven Martinez, 6-2, 6-3 in his opener.

Fort Stockton ended up with both regional qualifiers in boys’ singles, with Bryan Rainwater defeating Daniel Hernandez for the title, 6-1, 6-1, while Monahans placed first and second in the girls’ singles, with Trina Escamilla downing Ortiz’ niece, Dina, for the title, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

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