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Friday, August 11, 2000

Eagles seek leadership at scrimmages

Staff Writer
PECOS, Aug. 11, 2000 -- Leadership was one of the things Pecos Eagles' volleyball coach Becky Granado said her 1999 team was lacking, and is one of the main things she'll be looking for starting today, when the Eagles play the first of their two pre-season scrimmages, starting at 4 p.m. at the Pecos High School gym.

The Eagles will face Wink and Fort Davis at 4 p.m., and Granado said they may also scrimmage Grandfalls this afternoon. They'll definitely face the Cowgirls on Saturday at Monahans, along with the host Lady Loboes and Odessa Permian Panthers, starting at 10 a.m.

Pecos placed second to Clint in District 2-4A last season, finishing with a 20-12 record after a 15-6, 15-5 loss to eventual state-champion Hereford in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Eagles get most of their players back from that team, but on Thursday Granado said she's still hunting a team leader among her seven senior players.

"I said to them when you're a leader you have to be the one that takes charge. You have to the first one to get on the court and the last one to get off," she said. "I've got seven seniors and if just one of those seniors would step up everything would fall into place.

"At least I'll have three tall girls this year, if nothing else," she said, referring to seniors Philly Fobbs and D'Andra Ortega and junior Michelle Saenz.

Clint swept Pecos in district last season in part due to their height advantage, and do get hitters Collanne Bramblett and Melissa Arnold back. But the Eagles should be in better shape on their front line defense this year, while Fobbs also was the team's No. 1 hitter last season.

Pecos also returns outside hitters Ashley Salcido, Alexa Marquez and Kalyn Lara, as well as hitter/setter Dee Dee Molinar, all seniors. "Right at this early date that's who I'm looking at, only because they're experienced, and I don't know what my juniors can do," Granado said.

Aside from Molinar, Granado said she's looking at Jessica Rodriguez, Victoria Gomez and Mya Gomez to fill the other setter's spot for Pecos. "Out of all of them Jessica has the most speed. It's just a matter of the girls adjusting to them," Granado said.

While the added height up front should help Pecos' defense there, Granado said she also expects the back line defense to improve this season. "We should be faster there. We have Kathy (Maldonado), Victoria and Becky (Dominguez) on the back line, and that should help. If we can learn to cover people and read the hitters instead of them having me tell them where to play, we should be all right."

After their scrimmages today and Saturday, the Eagles open regular season play next Tuesday with a dual meet against Alpine and Odessa High in Odessa. That's followed by the Monahans Sandhills Tournament a week from today, where they'll open up against either Andrews or El Paso Bowie.

Clint, Big Spring and Monahans are also on the Eagles' side of the bracket in the double-elimination tournament, while two of their four other District 2-4A rivals, Fabens and Canutillo, also are entered in the tournament. "We get to see San Elizario here (at the Cantaloupe Classic on Aug. 25-26), so we'll see everybody in the district except for Mountain View," Granado said.

Lawyer says Irvin innocent of pot charge

DALLAS, Aug. 11, 2000 (AP) - Michael Irvin, the flamboyant former Dallas Cowboys receiver whose license plate reads "PLAYMAKER," faces a second drug charge which his attorney insists is unfounded.

Irvin maintains that he was at the wrong place - an apartment where a woman was wanted for a bond violation - at the wrong time. That was as federal agents stormed the apartment Thursday, finding marijuana and what reports described as trace amounts of a substance appearing to be cocaine.

"The marijuana was not his; he did not possess any marijuana," said defense attorney Howard Shapiro. "What their (the FBI's) timing was and what they hoped to accomplish, I have no idea."

Irvin faces arraignment later on a marijuana possession charge - a Class B misdemeanor - in Collin County court. He awaited formal charges Friday morning. Maximum punishment on the charge is a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

The FBI said law enforcement officers from a North Texas drug task force arrested Irvin in the apartment while serving a warrant for Ronda Adham, who was wanted for violating her bond on a May drug arrest.

Adham was part of a group accused of selling the heroin that killed Cowboys teammate Mark Tuinei last year, authorities told The Dallas Morning News in Friday's editions.

Agents did not find Adham in the apartment, but arrested her sister, 21-year-old Nelly Adham - and Irvin.

FBI spokeswoman Lori Bailey would not say where they found the marijuana, but Plano police told the newspaper that the drug was found on Irvin.

Shapiro declined to discuss what Irvin was doing in the apartment or his relationship with Nelly Adham. Neither Bailey nor complex officials would say who was renting the apartment.

"The charge is not being at an apartment, and what he was doing at the apartment was none of my business and not anyone else's," Shapiro said. "I don't want to make more out of this than it already is."

Although authorities said they did not know Irvin was in the apartment when they raided it, a neighbor told a television station that law officers only called out the star's name before entering even though the warrant did not name him.

Despite earlier reports that traces of a substance appearing to be cocaine was found inside, no cocaine charges have been filed against Irvin. He recently completed serving four years of probation for possession of that drug.

It was unclear if Irvin's latest arrest would affect his plans to work Sunday pregame shows on Fox Sports Net and his legacy of a Hall of Fame career.

Ronda Adham, whose name has also appeared in official records as Rhonda Adaham, was indicted by a federal grand jury May 11 on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

According to a federal arrest affidavit, she was arrested May 17 along with 21 others as part of a nationwide sting.

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