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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Pecos faces, Alpine, MC after losses

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagle boys basketball team were still in search of their first win of the season Monday night, when they traveled to Midland to take on the Midland Christian Mustangs, while Pecos’ girls were looking for their third victory of the 2005-06 season at home on Monday night, against the Alpine Bucks.

Both teams suffered three losses over the weekend at the Coahoma Invitational Tournament, though in the quirk of the bracket, the Eagle girls ended up in the tournament’s third place game after dropping games to the host Bulldogs and Ozona Lions on Friday and Saturday. They defeated Odessa High’s junior varsity Saturday morning, 44-36, and ended up facing Midland Classical later in the day, and losing by a 52-25 score.

“Saturday I only took six, so that was tough on them,” said Eagles’ coach Lisa Lowery, whose team is now2-6 on the season. “In the first game we did OK, but then we were dead-legged.”

Lowery moved freshman Jasmine Rayos up from the junior varsity squad for the tournament, and she led Pecos with six points in the win, while also playing well on defense for the Eagles, who had to rally from a early deficit, and then outscored OHS 16-6 in the final period to break a 30-30 tie.

In the loss to Midland Classical, Adriana Armendariz led Pecos with 10 points, while Emily Hinton had 20 to lead Midland in scoring.

Pecos dropped their tournament opener to Coahoma by a 48-18 score, then were beaten in the consolation semifinals by Ozona, 33-30. “We were ahead by one with 35 seconds left, but then we turned the ball over, and after we got it back, turned it over again,” Lowery said.

In the loss to Coahoma, the Eagles coach said Pecos hurt itself with poor shooting. “We missed 17 free throws. With a 48-18 score, just the free throws would have made it 48-35.

“It’s just flat shooting. Our defense was much better. We switched it up and hustled, but when the shots aren’t falling it gets frustrating,” Lowery said.

Olga Mendoza, who led Pecos with eight points in the loss to Coahoma, earned all-tournament honors, Lowery said.

The boys, who came into the tournament off a 64-53 loss at home to Stanton last Tuesday, fell to the Buffaloes again in their first round game,55-47, then fell on Friday to Olney, 81-56, and lost their game on Saturday against San Angelo Lake View, 76-54. Like Lowery on Saturday, boys coach Art Wellborn said he was shorthanded on Saturday, even though the Eagles were scheduled to get a couple of players off the ineligible list for their game against the Chiefs.

“Three of my kids didn’t come because they were taking the SATs, so we were shorthanded,” Wellborn said, and the Chiefs ended up racing out to a 26-14 first quarter lead and a 44-30 halftime advantage.

“San Angelo has some decent athletes. They hit a couple of shots at the beginning and got their confidence up and then got after it,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Lupito Bustamantes, who led all scorers with 17, was named to the all tournament team, while Luis Licon had 15 points and Lucas Macha had 10, his first double-digit game after missing the first week of the season with a knee injury. Trey Carter scored 15 to lead Lake View, which had five players in double figures.

Wellborn said the game on Thursday against Stanton was similar to their Tuesday loss to the Buffaloes, as the Eagles trailed by two at the half, and never could catch up at the finish. Bustamantes had 16 points and Licon 14, while Mike Carmona had 14 and Garrett Fulton 13 for Stanton.

“Friday’s game we got beat by around 20, but we didn’t play that badly. Olney just has some kids who can play,” said Wellborn. Felix Salcido’s 12 points led Pecos, while Licon also was in double figures with 12.

Monday’s home game for Pecos’ girls was moved up a day, and was originally scheduled for the Bucks’ home court. That changed when the teams’ first meeting of the year, two weeks ago, was switched to Alpine due to conflicts with the Bucks’ football playoff game and the Eagles’ swim meet that weekend. Alpine ended up winning by a 46-38 score, despite 20 points from Armendariz. Debbie Valenzuela’s 10 points led Alpine in that game.

Pecos’ boys went into their late Monday afternoon game at Midland Christian with an 0-6 record after Saturday’s loss, while the Mustangs are 2-2 on the year following a 59-36 victory over Monahans on Saturday at the Denver City Invitational. Darby O’Donnell led Midland Christian with 17 points in the game.

Realignment likely to put Pecos in EP district

Realignment for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years won’t be announced for almost another two months, but based on figures being reported in the Permian Basin and decisions being made in far West Texas, the Pecos Eagles appear to be headed back to an El Paso-based district come next August.

The Eagles, who spent four years in the El Paso based District 2-4A before dropping down to Class 3A in 2002, appear likely to become members of a new El Paso-based District 1-3A next year, when the University Interscholastic League comes out with their bi-annual realignment. But unlike their previous four-year stay in 2-4A, when the nearest district rival to Pecos was 175 miles away, this time the Eagles should have one or two other area schools moving out of District 3-3A to join them in the new district.

El Paso hasn’t had any Class 3A teams since 1998, when Clint and Fabens petitioned to move up to Class 4A and join Pecos, El Paso Mountain View, San Elizario and Canutillo in District 2-4A. When Pecos dropped down to class 3A several other El Paso area schools dropped from Class 5A to 4A, and Clint and Fabens opted again to petition the UIL to remain a 4A school and avoid the long multiple trips to the Permian Basin that a move back to Class 3A would involve.

But with the upper cutoff for Class 4A nearing the 2,000 student mark for high schools, some of the teams in the El Paso districts now have almost four times the enrollment of Fabens and Clint, which lost students when the new Horizon City High School opened three years ago.

As a result, the El Paso Times reported in mid-November that Clint and Fabens will not petition to remain in Class 4A this year, while at the same time, Class 2A schools Anthony and Tornillo will petition to move up to Class 3A in August of 2006. Those two schools have been in a five-team district with Alpine, Crane and Kermit the past two years, and would see a slight decrease in travel costs if a Class 3A district is created in the El Paso area.

With four schools in the El Paso area, the UIL would then need to find anywhere from one to four other schools to round out the district. Pecos is the closest of the current Class 3A schools to El Paso, but other possibilities include Fort Stockton, Presidio and Monahans.

With Presidio not playing football, the Eagles current District 3-3A has seven schools for all other sports, while the 3A districts to the north and east of the Permian Basin contain only five schools each. That would leave room to realign the other district schools, Greenwood, Lamesa and Seminole, into one of those two districts, though the status of Andrews could create a different move by the UIL in the Permian Basin.

Andrews reported an enrollment of just over 900 students this year, while the cutoff for 4A enrollment for the UIL has been at 900 for the past four years. Any increase in that number would likely drop the Mustangs down into Class 3A for the 2006-07 school year. Eagles’ head coach Patrick Willis said Pecos tentatively has Andrews scheduled as a non-district football opponent for the next two seasons, and will also play non-district against Seminole, if the UIL splits the Eagles and Indians into separate districts.

Aside from the added travel costs - Tornillo is 160 miles from Pecos while Anthony is on the west side of El Paso, over 225 miles away - a new district based in El Paso will cause problems for the Eagles’ football and baseball sub-varsity schedules during district play. Junior varsity and freshman district schedules for those teams have mirrored the varsity schedules the past two years, while Pecos had to scramble to find sub-varsity district games in District 2-4A, due to the long Thursday trips in football and the lack of lights at most of the El Paso-area fields in baseball.

No schedules can be finalized until after the bi-annual UIL realignment is announced on Feb. 1, and the period ends for schools to appeal their district alignments.

Eagles place four on 3-3A grid team

Pecos Eagles junior runner back Luis Ortega was named to the first team All-District 3-3A football squad, while senior defensive end Justin Hannsz was chosen as a first-team selection on defense in voting by the district’s six coaches, junior Robert Nunez was a second team selection on both offense and defense for the Eagles and senior Donnie Myles was one of five special teams players selected to the squad.

The All-District team was released on Friday, following Monahans’ 35-16 loss to Sweetwater in the Class 3A-Division II state quarterfinals.

Ortega earned first team honors by finishing second behind district MVP Sam Graves of Monahans in rushing for the 2005 season. He ran for 1,244 yards on 244 carries this year, with a season high of 196 yards in Pecos’ game against Sweetwater, 150 of that in the first half. He scored four touchdowns while providing 60 percent of the Eagles” total offense during their 1-9 season.

Ortega was an second team selection as a sophomore in 2004, when he ran for 918 yards, while this year’s two second-team picks for Pecos are both first-time choices.

Hannsz was moved to defensive end just prior to the start of district play and ended up as the Eagles’ leading tackler for the season. Nunez was the Eagles’ other defensive end, where he earned second team honors, while also earning the same on offense at tight end. Myles was chosen from the Eagles to the first-ever all-district special teams squad, which was made up of one player off each of the district’s six teams. He led the district in total number of kickoff returns with 22 and average 17.1 yards per kick, and had eight punt returns for an 8.4 yard average this season.

Along with Ortega, Myles, Hannsz and Nunez, coach Patrick Willis said three other Pecos players received honorable mention in voting by the district’s coaches, all on defense. Seniors Eddie Vela and Josh Payan earned that honor at linebacker, while senior Eli Hinojos was earned honorable mention at cornerback for Pecos.

Monahans, second place Seminole and third place Greenwood dominated the all-district first team selections. The Loboes’ running back Sam Graves was named overall district MVP, while coach Mickey Owen earned Coach of the Year honors for his team’s 13-1 record in his first season as Monahans head coach. Greenwood sophomore quarterback Colton Wilbur was named MVP on offense, while Lobo teammates Steven Richardson and Larry Jasso shared the defensive MVP award, at end and linebacker respectively. All-District 3-3A Football Team District MVP -- Sam Graves, RB, Sr., Monahans Coach of the Year -- Mickey Owen, Monahans First Team Offense Quarterback Eric Boyd, Jr., Seminole; Chase Corneilus, Sr., Monahans Running Back Chris Roberson, Jr., Monahans; Justin Sebree, Sr., Greenwood; Luis Ortega, Jr., Pecos. Fullback Lane Flowers, Jr., Greenwood Tight End Sean Merrick, Jr., Monahans Receiver Chris Collins, Sr., Monahans; Micah Clay, Sr., Seminole Center Jo Jo Birdwell, Sr., Monahans; David Browne, Jr., Monahans. Offensive Line Justin Parks., Sr., Monahans; Matt Swanson, Sr., Monahans; Bobby Guzman, Jr., Seminole; Dean Smith, So., Greenwood; Jake Peine, So., Greenwood. Kicker Albert Gonzales, Sr., Lamesa Offensive MVP -- Colton Wilbur, QB, So., Greenwood. Offensive Newcomer -- Dustin White QB, So., Lamesa; Corbin McDaniel, RB, So., Seminole; Sergio Corral, QB, So., Ft. Stockton. Defense Interior Line Juan Romero, Jr., Ft. Stockton; Abe Espinoza, Jr., Greenwood; Adrian Savage, Sr., Monahans; David Browne, Jr., Seminole End Blake Whisnand, Jr., Monahans; Justin Hannsz, Sr., Pecos; Kevin Cole, Jr., Greenwood Linebacker Lane Flowers, Jr., Greenwood; T.J. Brooks, Jr., Monahans; Drew Phillips, Sr., Seminole. Defensive Back Devin Fenn, Jr., Monahans; Chris Collins, Sr., Monahans; Micah Clay, Sr., Seminole; J.J. Hickman, Sr., Fort Stockton; Jamie Crawford, Sr., Greenwood. Punter Jo Jo Birdwell, Sr., Monahans Defensive MVP -- Steven Richardson, DE, Sr., Monahans; Larry Jasso, LB, Sr., Monahans. Second Team Offense Quarterback None Running Back J.J. Hickman, Sr., Fort Stockton; Manny Gonzales, Jr., Seminole; Michael Washington, Jr., Greenwood. Fullback Isaac Guzman, Jr., Lamesa Tight End Robert Nunez, Jr., Pecos; Josh Rodriguez, Jr., Fort Stockton Receiver Alfrefo Agredano, Sr., Fort Stockton; Logan Bawcom, Jr., Greenwood; ToddWarren, Jr., Seminole. Center Sterling Satterfield, Jr., Greenwood. Offensive Line Brandon Reece, Sr., Seminole; Rolando Hernandez, Sr., Monahans; Nathan Armstrong; Jr., Fort Stockton; Jeremy Patterson, Sr., Greenwood. Kicker Jon Salazar, So., Seminole Defense Interior Line Dean Smth, So., Greenwood; Samuel Sifuentes, Sr., Lamesa; Zac Sedino, Sr., Monahans; Bobby Guzman, Jr., Seminole. End Robert Nunez, Jr., Pecos; Dexter Shafer, Jr., Greenwood; Nick Martinez, Sr., Lamesa. Linebacker Josh Rodriguez, Jr., Monahans; William Brown, Jr., Seminole; David Hill; Sr., Greenwood; Michael Longoria, Sr., Lamesa. Defensive Back Cole Cornelius, Sr., Monahans; Rowdy Pack, Jr., Seminole; Adam Norris, Sr., Greenwood; Kevin Furlow, Sr., Lamesa. Punter Logan Bawcom, Jr., Greenwood Special Teams Isaiah Alford, Jr., Monahans; John Paul Guzman, Sr., Seminole; Manny Olivas, Jr., Fort Stockton; Donnie Myles, Sr., Pecos; David Hill, Sr., Greenwood; Shawn Putman, Jr., Lamesa.

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