Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Pecos girls place fifth in Midland Tournament
The Pecos Eagle girls golf team shot identical 352 scores on Friday and Saturday at the Tall City Invitational in Midland and placed fifth overall in the Division II standings.
Monahans won the Division II title with a 327-330-657 score, five shots ahead of Andrews, which shot a 334-328-662. Snyder and Sweetwater were the other two teams in front of Pecos in the 19-team field, as the Tigers shot a 665 and the Mustangs a 685 to the Eagles’ 706 score.
The Eagles’ Shelly Martinez tied Monahans’ Amanda Stuessy for fourth in the individual medalist honors, shooting an 80-78-158 for the 36-hole tournament. Jennie Canon was next for Pecos with an 86-85-171, while Elanor Mason shot an 87-93-180, Rica Pino 100-97-197 and Carolina Briones shot a 107-104-211.
The Loboes’ Allison Jordan took medalist honors, shooting a 73-74-147, while two Sweetwater golfers, Brittany Mercer and Kelly Rainbolt, were next with 150 ad 157 totals.
Seminole was the only District 3-3A team not entered in the Division II field. Among the Eagles’ other district rivals, Fort Stockton shot an 804, Lamesa shot an 818 and Greenwood shot a 968. Among the other Class 3A teams in the field, Abilene Wylie was the only school to place in the Top 10, finishing ninth with a 793 score.
Pecos’ boys had this past weekend off, but will play in Midland this coming Friday and Saturday, while the Eagle girls go to Andrews for a two-day weekend tournament. The girls open their three-round district tournament at home on March 30, while the boys begin district play two days later at Lamesa.
Field events best for Eagles at Pecos Relays
Throwing proved to be better than running or jumping for the Pecos Eagle track teams on Friday at the West of the Pecos Relays, as the shot put and discus were the most productive events for both the girls and boys teams.
Midland Christian won both divisions of the track meet, with the girls winning by a 151-106 margin over Stanton, with Pecos third with 90 points. On the boys’ side the Mustangs scored 126 points to 113 for Sweetwater and 110 for Fort Stockton, while the Eagles placed sixth with 49 points.
Chad Evans, the lone returning regional qualifier for Pecos’ boys on Friday, also was the lone gold medal winner for the Eagles. Evans threw 49-feet-7 to win the shot put competition, while finishing second in the discus with a 133-foot-1 throw.
The girls, meanwhile, picked up gold medals in both events from Chantel Mazone. The sophomore threw 38-foot-10 3/4 to win the shot put, and had a 103-foot-7 throw to take the discus. Teammate Jessica Florez was third there with a 91-foot-9 throw, and was fourth in the shot put competition, going 30-8 1/2.
While Mazone’s wins were the only firsts on the day for Pecos, the Eagles earned several other medals, including a pair of second place finishes by Jummy Akinyode, in the 200 and 400 meter dashes. She was second in the 200 with a 28.52 time and had a 1:08.09 time in the 400, a race the senior is running for the first time this year.
“Jummy’s not feeling well, and she was gone for a college thing all week, so after she works out some more, she’ll get up there,” Valenzuela said of Akinyode, who won district in the 200 meters for the last two years.
But the Eagles’ coach also said some other team members hurt themselves with unexcused absences before Friday’s meet. “They found out what happens when you practice only once a week. Some had legitimate reasons, but others were gone 2-3 times this week. You can’t do that in track, and it showed.”
Pecos’ other medals included a second place finish by freshman Heather Lamka in the 3200 meter run, a third by freshman Shatavia Hightower in the 100-meter dash and a third by junior Jennifer Martinez in the 1600 meter run. Martinez also was fourth in the 800 meters, while Lamka’s sister Kathryn was fourth in the 3200 meters. But Hightower’s sister Octavia suffered a knee injury while running the 800-meter relay, after being scratched from the 100-meter dash.
“It was the same knee she hurt during basketball,” Valenzuela said. Hightower staggered out of her lane after hurting the knee, leading to the Eagles being disqualified in the 800 relay. Earlier they placed sixth in the 400-meter relay.
Martinez qualified for regionals in the 1600 and 3200 meters last year. Valenzuela said because of competition in the 3200 at regionals, she wanted to try her in a shorter race, but she placed behind a pair of Presidio runners, Kelly Coffman and Cynthia Wright, who Martinez will face in April at the District 3-3A meet.
“Jennifer’s been working, so she’s been practicing on her own,” Valenzuela said. “But we’ve had a talk, and she’s going to try and work out more with the team from now on, because it’s hard to simulate competition on your own.”
For the boys, coach John Fellows had most of his runners entered in the junior varsity division, where Pecos finished third, behind El Paso El Dorado and Midland Christian with 96 points, than at the varsity level. Because of that, there were several events where the boys had no varsity entries, though Fellows said for this week’s West Texas Relays in Odessa, “I’m going to move a lot of them up to the varsity. We’ll probably get almost everybody into it.”
Aside from Evans’ points in the discus and shot put, the Eagles also earned medals in the high jump and pole vault. Larry Johnson was second in the high jump, clearing 5-foot-8, while Andrew Grant took third in the pole vault, with an 11-foot-1 effort. The other point in the field events came from Juan Garcia, who was sixth in the discus.
The JV boys actually finished with a better time than the varsity squad in the 800 meter relay, where they ran a 1:41.71 time to place second, while the varsity had handoff problems and finished fourth, with a 1:43 flat effort. Individually in the running events, Pecos’ best varsity finishes came from sophomores Johnson in the 200 meter dash and Luis Ortega in the 800 meters, where they placed fifth. Pecos’ other points came from a fifth place finish in the 1600-meter relay.
The JV boys won their division’s 1600-meter relay - though in this case, their time was seven seconds behind the varsity’s result - and also picked up first places from freshman Dustin Windham, who cleared 11 feet to win the pole vault, and junior Ricardo Morales, who took the triple jump with a 39-foot-3 effort. Those efforts would have been worth fourth and third place respectively in the varsity division.
“I saw some bright spots. The kids competed well, but we just need to get some of them into shape,” Fellows said. “I think by the time district comes, we’ll be able to put some good things together.”
In the other JV events, Morales was third in the high jump; Ruben Salgado was third and Chris Navarette fourth in the shot put; Aaron Navarette was fifth in the discus; Travis Walker was third in the 400 meter dash; Victor Alonzo was fourth in the 100 meters; Daniel Acosta was fourth in the 110 high hurdles; Eli Hinojos was fifth in the 200 meters; and Garcia was sixth in the 800 meters. Pecos also placed fifth in the JV 400 meter relay.
Valenzuela said Pecos’ girls would also compete in this coming weekend’s West Texas Relays, after the Eagles originally had planned to take the week off for spring break. However, both coaches said they might be missing some people due to the holiday week. The West Texas Relays open on Friday afternoon at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, and continue through Saturday.
Pecos falls in finals after three tourney wins
The Pecos Eagles had more hits in their first four at-bats against the Crane Golden Cranes Saturday night, in the finals of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, than they had in the entire game the previous evening against the host Loboes. But the results were much better for Pecos in the tournament semifinals than they turned out in the title game against the Cranes.
Three of the Eagles’ first four batters singled off Crane starter Travis Lee, and combined with two errors, they allowed Pecos to score two times in the bottom of the first after allowing the Cranes three runs in the top of the inning. But Lee would come back from a 3-0 count to get Louis Valencia to foul out to the catcher, struck out the next two batters and allowed only on hit the rest of the way, while Crane scored four times in the fourth inning and once more in the seventh to win the Sandhills title by an 8-2 final score.
“After the first inning he kept us off-balance. We were swinging at pitches in the dirt, and he wasn’t going to change anything up,” Eagles’ coach Elias Payan said of Lee, whose curveball gave Pecos little to hit while helping him collect 10 strikeouts on the night. “We’ve got to be more disciplined at the plate. We’d go up there and take a called first strike and then make up our minds we’re going to swing at the next pitch.”
Even with the loss, the results were a lot better for Pecos over the weekend at Monahans than they had been through the opening week of the season. Valencia limited Monahans to only one unearned run the night before, while the Eagles scored two unearned runs in the fifth inning to defeat the Loboes, 2-1, after Pecos had rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the fifth inning a few hours earlier against Seminole to defeat their new district rivals, 5-2. The previous day, Pecos had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first inning against Big Spring to down the Steers by a 7-5 final score.
All that came after the Eagles’ pitching had been pounded in three of their first four games, including a 12-5 loss to Monahans at the West Texas Classic in Midland, and a 16-1 loss on Tuesday at home against Snyder. Isaiah Rayos, who took the loss that night, came back to shut down Seminole on Friday, while Eddie Vela, who owned Pecos’ lone win of the season going into the Sandhills Tournament, allowed just two runs over the final six innings against Big Spring in Thursday’s opener.
“Defensively I’m happy with what we’re doing. We’re still going to make some errors, but we cut down on our mistakes a lot from Tuesday,” Payan said.
Vela didn’t have as much success pitching on one day’s rest against Crane, after coming on in relief of starter Geno Leos on Saturday, while Leos was hurt by a two-out error in the first inning that allowed Crane to score all the runs they would need for the win.
Isaiah Rayos’ hard throw from close range to first baseman Kenny Rayos got by first base, allowing Daniel Sanchez to reach base and scoring Garrett McNeese who had opened the game with a single. Matt Castellon then doubled home Sanchez and scored on infield hits by Brandon Smith and Tim Taylor to give Crane a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Eagles quickly got two of those runs back, as Jose Chavez reached on an error by Sutherland at shortstop, went to second on a bad pickoff throw by Lee and then scored after an infield hit and stolen base by Vela, when Alfredo Franco couldn’t handle a throw to third trying to get Chavez. Isaiah Rayos then singled Vela home and went to second on Kenny Rayos’ hit.
But after going 3-0 on Valencia Lee got him to foul out, and then struck out Juan Garcia and Jonathan Garcia to end the inning. Those would be the first of 14 straight batters Lee would retire, until Chavez doubled with two outs in the fifth. Lee came back to fan Vela to end the inning, and allowed just one other base runner, when Garza reached on an error by Sutherland to open the seventh inning.
Vela replaced Leos on the mound in the fourth after Chris Nuno tripled down the line in left, following a walk to Smith and a single by Taylor to open the inning. McNeese greeted Vela with a single, and he would later score on a Sanchez ground out for a 7-2 lead. Crane’s final run came in the top of the seventh, on a single by Taylor.
“Crane’s a good ballclub. They outclassed us tonight, and did a good job pitching and hitting the ball,” Payan said.
In the win over Monahans, a double-error by the Loboes in the fifth spoiled Kevin Kenyon’s two hitter, as it brought home Garcia, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. That run came after Rayos had walked and scored, while Garcia reached base after a single by Valencia, who struck out eight batters in his first game on the mound this season.
In the win over Seminole, Isaiah Rayos came back from his loss to Snyder to give up only three-hits to the Indians, who defeated Pecos in the playoffs last season and will be one of the Eagles’ two new District 3-3A rivals this year. Pecos got their first run on singles by Garza and Garcia and a error on a Chris Garnto grounder in the second inning, while after Seminole took a 2-1 lead in the third the Eagles tied the game at 2-2 on a Chavez single and double by Vela, and went ahead to stay on an Isaiah Rayos single. Pecos would add two more runs in the sixth to give Rayos some breathing room in the seventh inning.
Rayos collected Pecos’ first home run of the season in the win over Big Spring on Thursday, while Vela allowed a first inning homer, then settled down to improve his record to 2-0 on the season.
“We started off slow, and Eddie’s arm was bothering him a little, but Eddie’s a competitor and was able to give us a sold seven innings, plus we played good defense and hit the ball well,” said Payan, who played the tournament minus his No. 1 pitcher, Josh Anchondo, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Thursday and is expected to be out at least until next weekend.
Crane reached the tournament finals after winning on a tie-breaker in a 2-2 game against Presidio in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils then rallied to be Big Spring, 6-5, to claim the consolation title.
The 4-4 Eagles will host Odessa High on Tuesday night, then travel to Snyder for tournament play beginning on Thursday. OHS defeated Pecos in a preseason scrimmage and is 6-2 on the season after a loss to Midland Lee on Saturday in the Tournament of Champions in Midland.
Bucks HRs shoot down Eagles in home nest
The Alpine Bucks might want to consider making Pecos the site of all their home softball games, after the results of Friday’s game against the Eagles.
Alpine, which shut out the Eagles in a scrimmage game last month in Pecos, lost at home to the Eagles last Tuesday by a 9-4 score. But in the rematch in Pecos on Friday, the Bucks took advantage of a couple of early Eagle errors and then out-hit Pecos the rest of the way, as they scored an 11-4 victory in the final pre-district game for the Eagles.
Hannah Dodson allowed Pecos only three hits, while collecting four all by herself off Eagles’ pitcher Amalie Herrera. That included a pair of doubles and a two-run homer in the third inning that gave the Bucks’ a 4-0 lead. Kassie Fuller followed that up with a triple, and would have a two-run home run of her own two innings later, after Dodson’s second double of the game.
Pecos opens the District 3-3A portion of their schedule on Tuesday afternoon in Lamesa against the Golden Tornadoes, and coach Tammy Walls said she expects to have her regular line-up in place for that game. She said starting second baseman Kelsey Flores was unable to play Friday because of disciplinary reasons, while starting shortstop Jessica Florez was busy behind the right field fence at the outset of play, competing in the finals of the shot put at the West of the Pecos Relays.
Her replacement, Vanessa Valeriano, had a first inning throwing error on a Mary Nunez grounder that set up Alpine’s first run, on Dodson’s double to center field. Danielle Garcia replaced Flores at second base, and played errorless ball, including a couple of leaping catches on line drives, but Walls said with Flores out of the lineup, “We’re too passive. Kelsey may not have the range of the others, but when she’s not there no one talks out there and says anything about what they’re supposed to do.”
Walls was referring to a double steal in the second inning with two outs, when Emily Morrow stole home while Carriza Mendoza was stealing second base. She was hit by a pitch to reach base, while Morrow opened the inning with a single and eventually reached third on a ground out and wild pitch be Herrera.
“I know it’s hard to get any momentum going when your lineup keeps changing. We’ve got kids in different positions because we’re trying to support kids in other sports, but the kids we’ve got out there have got to pull together with a different lineup and come through,” Walls said.
Anna Sandate singled home Fuller for a 5-0 Alpine lead in the top of the third, a lead the Eagles would cut to 5-2 in the bottom of the inning. Florez, who entered the game in the third inning, singled and Cassandra Terrazas then reached base on a sacrifice bunt, on a low throw to first by catcher Dee Dee DelaO. One out later, Jenny Palomino singled to right field to score both runners.
However, Dodson settled down to retire the side after that, and one inning later Alpine got the runs back on Fuller’s deep fly ball home run to left. Pecos got those two runs back in the bottom of the sixth without benefit of a hit, when Palomino reached on an error by Danielle Valenzuela at shortstop and Herrera waked to open the inning. After both moved up on a passed ball, Palomino scored on an Olga Mendoza ground out and Herrera came in on a wild pitch by Dodson.
But the Bucks pitcher would spark a four run seventh, singling with one away. Fuller then walked and after both runners moved up, LaToya Simples scored them with a single to center. Florez then dropped a throw from Herrera to second, trying to force Simples on a Morrow grounder to the mound, and with two away Mendoza doubled to right-center field for the final runs of the game.
The loss left Pecos with a 3-6 record going into Tuesday’s 5 p.m. district opener at Lamesa. The Eagles will play their home district opener on Friday against Seminole, which along with Lamesa are the two newest teams in the district.
Alpine 1 1 3 0 2 0 4 --11 10 2
Pecos 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 -- 4 3 2
Dodson and DelaO. Herrera and Baeza. W - Dodson. L - Herrera.
E - Alpine, DelaO, Valenzuela. Pecos, Valeriano, Florez. LOB - Alpine 4, Pecos 3. 2B - Alpine, Dodson 2, Mendoza. 3B - Alpine, Fuller. HR - Alpine, Dodson, Fuller. S - Pecos, Terrazas 2. SB - Alpine, Nunez, Mendoza, Morrow. Pecos, Herrera. WP - Pecos Herrera 3. PB - Alpine, DelaO 3. Pecos, Baeza 3.
Bears’ Rodriguez earns MVP, three others on all-district teams
Balmorhea Bears senior Lorissa Rodriguez was named Most Valuable Player for District 9-A girls basketball, while the Bears put one other girl and two boys on the All-District basketball teams.
Balmorhea’s girls place second in District 9-A before falling to Rankin in the area round of the Class A-Division II playoffs, and in addition to Rodriguez, who was the Bears’ leading scorer this season playing at post, Balmorhea also put junior guard Savannah Matta on the first team, as voted by the district’s coaches.
The boys had one first-team selection and one player chosen from the second team. Junior Justin Machuca was one of the six first-team picks, while senior Michael Rodriguez was among the five players named to the second team for Balmorhea’s boys, who placed behind Dell City and Fort Davis in the District 9-A standings.
Dell City and Sierra Blanca also had a pair of first-team selections on the girls’ side. The Cougars were represented by junior Shyra Dean and freshman Mecca Hilcox, while the Vaqueros placed senior Sandy Rodriguez and freshman Bianca Ohm on the first team.
The girls’ second team selections were Dell City freshman Ali Covarrubias, Sierra Blanca senior Kim French, Fort Davis senior Ashley Molinar and junior Ginny Stewart and Valentine senior Mandy Almanza.
On the boys’ side, Dell City was represented by senior Josh Archunde, the MVP selection for District 9-A, and three other seniors on the first team, Logan Means, Eloy Perez and Joey Garcia. Fort Davis junior LeeRoy Valerio joined Balmorhea’s Machuca as the other first team pick.
Joining Rodriguez on the boys’ second team were Fort Davis seniors Isaac Bentley and George Valerio, Dell City sophomore Tate Nichols and Sierra Blanca senior Alex Jackson.
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