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Thursday, October 26, 2000 

Netters expect to see WF at regionals

PECOS, Oct. 26, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles tennis team doesn't know who they're going  to face Friday morning, when the Region I-4A tournament gets underway.  But coach Bernadette Ornelas said, "My kids were all saying `bring on  Wichita Falls'."

Pecos has faced Wichita Falls each of the past two seasons on the Coyotes' home court, and have lost both times. Wichita Falls was the tournament's No. 2 seed to crosstown rival Wichita Falls Rider in 1998 and the No. 1 seed in 1999, and that doesn't figure to change tonight when the seedings are handed out for the regional tournament.

"We won't know until (tonight) who we'll play," Ornelas said Wednesday, the last day the Eagles had to practice at home. But the Eagles and Clint Lions have been the low seeds each of the past two years at regionals.

The tennis team left at 5 a.m. today for Wichita Falls, and was scheduled to arrive this afternoon, giving them a little time off before beginning play at 8 a.m. Friday.

"Our kids are excited about going, no matter who we play," said Ornelas. Pecos goes in as the No. 2 seed out of 2-4A, after losing in the district tournament finals a week ago to the Clint Lions, 10-9. In a match played at El Paso Americas due to rain in San Elizario.

For the second year in a row, the girls' team has carried the Eagles into the regional tournament. They swept all their matches against Clint, a week after doing the same thing to the Lions in Pecos, while Clint swept all the boys matches both times, with the difference being a Clint win in mixed doubled in the district tournament.

Ornelas did say the Eagles have been hampered by a knee injury suffered before district by Jerry Orona. "He's going to have knee surgery next week. Hopefully, he'll be back for the spring season."

The Eagles also are one player short on the girls' side, with Amanda Fleming out due to illness, while Ornelas was also battling a sore throat on Wednesday.

A total of 16 teams will be in Wichita Falls for the Region I-4A Tournament, with the top two squads advancing to the Class 4A state finals next month in Austin.

Golden Eagles look to pull off surprise in Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 26, 2000 -- An 0-2 district record, a 1-6 season mark and a team that lost 32-0 at  Eagle Stadium a year ago.

All that could make the Pecos Eagles feel a little bit overconfident going into Friday night's game against the Canutillo Golden Eagles, especially with a game against co-district leader El Paso Mountain View looming next week. But coach Gary Grubbs said his team is fully focused on Canutillo, a team that has played far better than either their district record this season or last year's final score in Pecos, indicates.

"We can't look past them. We've got to win this one," said Grubbs, whose team can get close to clinching their third straight post-season trip with a win in Friday's 7:30 p.m. game.

Canutillo out-gained Fabens two weeks ago and held Mountain View to under 70 yards rushing last Friday, only to see key mistakes at the wrong time send them down to 27-13 and 17-7 defeats. And last season in Pecos, the two Eagle squads played a scoreless first half, before a series of turnovers allowed the host team to score five touchdowns in the final two periods.

"It was a lot closer than 32-0. We returned a punt for a touchdown and blocked a punt. I think we scored twice on defense and once on special teams," Grubbs said. Trent Riley and Peter Juarez returned Mark Dominguez passes for touchdowns in the game, while his backup, Jason Lopez, also was intercepted by the Eagles.

Dominguez is playing mainly on defense this season, while Lopez is the starting quarterback for Canutillo. He threw three touchdowns in the Golden Eagles' season opening win over Santa Teresa, N.M., but has been intercepted three times in the past two weeks.

"Jason is doing a real good job running the offense, but he's got to learn when not to force the football," Canutillo coach Scott Brooks said. "He can throw it a mile, but he's got to learn when to throw it an when not to throw it."

When he throws, Octavio Ramirez and Eddie Hita have been his main targets. Hita, a 252-pound tight end, is averaging 20 yards per catch and Ramirez is just under that number this season at wide receiver, with both having scored two touchdowns.

On the ground, Noel Rios ran for just under 100 yards against Fabens and for just over 100 against Mountain View. "He's a tall, lanky kid, but he runs hard and is real evasive," Grubbs said. "I've never seen anybody hit him real hard."

Rios has run for 428 yards this season, while Jesse Silvas has added another 270, and Grubbs said Lopez "can also run the ball."

Up front, the Eagles' coach said Canutillo "is probably the biggest team we've faced all season." Including Hita, the Golden Eagles' line averages about 230 pounds.

That size has been more in play on defense, where teams have found it tough to run against Canutillo. "Our defense has played good all season," Brooks said. "About half the points we've given up came after turnovers, when we set them up after interceptions or fumbles."

They committed seven in their loss to Fabens and had three more turnovers last week, though Mountain View did burn Canutillo through the air, throwing for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

"They broke away two 60-yarders. On one, our kid did have position but he just mistimed his jump and on the other we were just out of position," Brooks said.

Aside from the big front line, Brooks said linebacker Jessie Ramirez had played well all season for the Golden Eagles Ramirez is a returning all-district pick, and could make it tougher for the Eagles to run outside with the success they've had the past two weeks.

Daniel Terrazas had 75 yards and a touchdown rushing in the 21-20 win over Fabens, while the Eagles also did well running the ball up the middle late in their victory, which improved Pecos' District 2-4A record to 2-0.

Omar Luna gaining 87 yards, most of that in the final period. Both Luna and Terrazas had to go on offense and defense almost all the way at Fabens, due to injuries suffered by Jason Carrillo the previous week, and by Matthew Levario in the first half of the win over the Wildcats.

Carrillo remains out indefinitely with his hip injury, while Levario will be back this week. Grubbs said the only other Eagle who'll miss Friday's game is lineman Micah Huffman, who suffered a concussion last week.

While the Golden Eagles are winless in district and have lost six straight games, Brooks said his team's attitude "has been real good. Nobody's quit the team, and I can't ask the kids to play any harder. They're just not doing the things at key times they need to be doing."

"They're looking at it like if they beat us, they should win their last two games (against Clint and San Elizario) they'd go 3-2 and make the playoffs, so they'll be treating this like a playoff game," said Grubbs, whose 4-3 club closes out its season at San Elizario, after next week's home match-up with Mountain View.

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